cat playing with DIY cat scratching post

How to make a cat scratching post

Want to lure your cat away from the sofa and curtains? Why not make a DIY cat scratching post?

Unfortunately, you can’t stop a cat from scratching. It’s in their nature; something they do to stretch their bodies and maintain their claws. But a simple scratching post can help to protect your soft furnishings. They’re actually quite easy (and fun!) to make. And, with the help of our step-by-step guide, you’ll have it up-and-running and ready for Tiddles’ scratching sessions in no time.


What will I need to make a cat scratching post?

  • a piece of plywood or MDF (medium-density fibreboard)
  • a small piece of carpet
  • a length of natural rope*
  • scissors
  • a staple gun
  • wood screws
  • glue

* To calculate the length (l) of rope you need, measure the height (h) in millimetres, divide it by the rope diameter (d)in milimetres, multiply by the circumference (c) in milimetres, finally divide by 1,000. This will give you the length you need in metres. h ÷ d x c ÷ 1000 = l


5 steps to make a DIY scratching post

  1. Prepare the wooden base

The first step is to create the base, upon which the new cat scratching post will sit.

This can be any size or shape that you like. However, we recommend cutting a piece of plywood or MDF into a square, measuring approximately 50 x 50 cm. That way, it’ll be sturdy enough to support your cat’s weight without toppling over. Try to choose a natural wood – as those treated with chemicals can be harmful to pets – and sand it down to ensure there are no rough or sharp patches.

  1. Cover with carpet

It’s perfectly fine to leave the wooden base bare. However, a nice touch is to cover it with a piece of carpet. Not only does this give the final scratching post a more attractive finish, it also adds an extra texture for your cat to play with – particularly if you opt for a carpet that is short-piled and coarse or fluffy and soft.

Cut a square that is slightly bigger than the base itself (e.g. 70 x 70 cm). Turn the carpet over and place the base directly in the middle. You should then be able to fold the edges of the carpet in and secure it in place using the staple gun. Place staples about 5cm apart, all the way around the edge.

Diagram to show the base being attached to the cat scratching post

  1. Attach the post

Next, you will need to attach the cat scratching post to the base.

The post itself can either be square or cylindrical and cut to any length. But keep in mind, it must be tall enough for your cat to stretch comfortably. To ensure it’s the perfect size, it can be worth measuring your pet (from nose to tail) and adding a few extra centimetres.

Turn the base upside down (so that the carpet is facing away from you) and rest it on top of the wooden post. Ensure it is perfectly in the centre and secure it in place using specialist wood screws.

  1. Add the rope

You’re now ready to add rope to the design. For this, we recommend using a natural rope – such as jute, flax hemp or sisal. These are incredibly hard-wearing and durable (and, therefore, can withstand your cat’s sharp claws), yet are also aesthetically-pleasing and very soft to touch.

Starting from the base, add a small amount of glue to the wood and wind the rope gradually upwards. Try to get the rows as neat and straight as possible and make sure they fit closely together. Once you reach the top, continue to wind the rope – into a spiral shape – to cover the top.

Diagram to show the natural rope being added to the scratching post

  1. Finishing touches

Lastly, you need to check that everything is safe and secure.

The glue should be enough to stop the rope from unravelling. But, to ensure it stays in place, it’s a good idea to add a few extra staples. You should also check the cat scratching post itself. This shouldn’t wobble or move when touched. But if it does, consider adding another screw to the base.

Once you’re happy with the final piece, simply add a couple of cat toys and it’s ready for playtime!


Start making your cat scratching post today

DIY cat scratching post

Ready to have a go?

Here at Ropes Direct, we have a range of natural ropes that are perfect for this type of project, including jute rope, sisal rope and flax hemp rope. These come in a broad range of diameters, are competitively priced and can be bought by the metre to meet your exact requirements.

To calculate how much rope you will need:

  • measure the height (H) and the circumference (C) of your post in millimetres
  • choose which diameter (D) rope you would like
  • divide the height (H) by the rope diameter (D) and multiply by the circumference (C)

This gives the length in millimetres. Simply divide this figure by 1000 to convert it into metres. Then, pop the number into the box provided and we’ll send you the correct length. It’s as easy as that.

If you have any questions about the natural ropes we stock, or would like further guidance on how to make a cat scratching post, you’re always welcome to get in touch. Either give us a call on 01692 671721 or send an email to and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


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