Refurbishing our scratching post

dora looks unhappy that we destroyed her scratch post

Will the cats ever know how much we love them? Not likely. Dora was quite unimpressed when we revealed our plans for the day – refurbishing the scratch post. As you can see, this cat toy has endured years of feline tenderness, but rather than blow $60+ on a new one, we wanted to play smart and fix it ourselves.

the two posts that need repairs

We actually have two cat scratch posts, both casualties of a loving home. This was our first time getting our DIY on for something sturdy, so thought it best to go slow and just do one today. We got a 15m natural fibre ‘scouts’ rope for $9, and quickset non-toxic PVA glue for $20. I recommend getting nails as well – will show you why in a minute.

removing old rope and glue from post

First, we removed all the shit from the post – both old rope and glue residue.

attaching new rope

Then we attached the new rope using glue and a substitute for nails. We figure the coil should handle most of the cat-claw tension over the years so long as the ends don’t unravel, so it was important to make sure both ends would be secure.

using a hammer to hold down the rope while the glue sets

Lucky lunch was ready, otherwise we would have neglected to give the glue time to set.

winding the rope around the post

So, because we didn’t buy nails, we had to make do with rivets to secure the end of the rope in addition to using glue. I have no idea why we had rivets in our home – not to mention I found them at the back of a drawer of clothes. You can see the first rivet at the top of the post. Somehow we hammered it in backwards instead of the proper riveting way. It looks dumb, and at my most anxious, I worry it’s a death trap, but we were careful to ensure any sticking-out parts were up high and down low where the cats hardly bother to touch.

We wound the rope around the post, gluing the bottom down every round and a half (ish), holding down the rope and closing any gaps as we went.

secure the other end of the rope to the post

Then we secured the tail end of the rope to the post. Use glue and a nail if you can; we used glue and a rivet.¬†Also, it turned out 15m wasn’t enough to cover the whole post, so we made up the last 2 rounds with old rope – again, not a big deal as this is the bottom of the base, where the cats don’t seem to scratch.

leave the fully-wound post to dry

We gave about an hour of drying time before reassembling.

watching curious cats walk down the stairs

reassembling the cat post

dora the cat enjoying her refurbished post

Apologies for the photos in this post – our place is pretty dark and my camera is pretty old… and Dora doesn’t sit still for long. I hope the rope we picked feels nice to scratch. It feels tough as shit to me, but I don’t have claws and padded paws. We’d opt for nails next go, or at least try to hammer the rivets in the right way, but for a first time DIY project like this, we didn’t do too badly.

At least the cats don’t hate it. :)