Saturday, August 1, 2009

Where I Make a Cat Scratching Post

I made a cat scratching post last week for our cats. Of course, like any self respecting cat their favorite place is the corner on the sofa, but we give them a substitute scratching post. Their favorite had worn out. It started out life with an acrylic base, a bunch of corks like you might find on a fishing net, and a dowel arrangement. This was screwed into the wall. In this house it is screwed onto the side of a bookcase we have in the kitchen. I looked on the internet to see if I could find a picture of it, but it seems nobody is making it anymore.

The first time it wore out the most favored place to scratch was the wicker laundry basket in the bathroom. It was just a simple basket. Nothing fancy. But, they destroyed it. I bought a plastic laundry basket and saved some of the wicker material. When the cork cat scratching post wore out I replaced it with a tower of Styrofoam rounds. I glued the wicker material I had saved from the destroyed basket onto the Styrofoam and forced the dowel thingie through the stack of Styrofoam. Here, you see a picture of this cat scratching post at the end of its life.

When my husband began complaining about how tacky it was looking I knew it must be pretty bad. Like most guys my husband is not concerned with how nice the place looks. Basically, I married a slob. The first few months of our marriage I picked up after him everywhere he went. I nagged. He bristled. It just wasn’t a harmonious arrangement. I realized if I wanted us to remain married I was going to have to do something. Since I couldn’t change him I would have to change me and at the tender age of 21 I became a slob. It has worked well these 33 years we’ve been married. As I’ve gotten older I have become more of a slob, but I am easily able to distract myself from clutter and focus upon whatever neato thing I am doing at the moment. However, when DeeDude, slob extroadianre, comments upon what a mess something is you know it’s gotten beyond bad.

So, last weekend I morphed the old tattered, well scratched and loved cat scratching post into a sleek refurbished one.

Here’s what I did. Since I could not find any Styrofoam in the shapes I needed it to be and since I didn’t want to sit there carving out rounds I switched tactics. I bought a roll of ½ inch foam rubber. I cut a piece of card stock the length of the dowel and wrapped and taped it around the dowel. It acted as a collar around the dowel and the dowel could move easily in and out. Then, I cut a piece of the foam rubber the length of the dowel and tightly rolled it around the dowel. Once I got it to the diameter I wanted I was done. I think it’s probably about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. I secured the foam rubber with bits of ribbon tied every 2 inches or so.

Then, I cut a piece of lovely scrap upholstery fabric I got at Beverley’s with seam allowances included. I basted the top and bottom of the fabric by hand. Then, I wrapped it around my foam rubber tootsie roll and stitched it up by hand. Positioned it in the acrylic base, pushed the dowel through and voila, the kitties had a very nice looking cat scratching post. I put some cat nip on it to see if they wouldn’t get interested in it. DeeDude has seen them working away at it, though I haven’t yet. You’ll notice in the picture Mattie stretching up to scratch right next to it. Not on it. Next to it. Oh, well. I think with time they will warm up to it.

What you could do if you are going to attempt this on your own is to think paper towel holder arrangement. Something sturdy enough to handle your cat as he or she is scratching away at it. Also, if you’ve got some salvaged fabric from whatever they destroyed use that to incorporate into your new cat scratching post. I would have used the wicker from the laundry basket if I could have found it. I know we still have some left, but it beats me where I put it. Someday it will show up, but in the mean time I do like the looks of our new cat scratching post.

1 comment:

Henry the Feline Fiber Artist said...

You have provided your cat with an excellent place to create Feline Fiber Art!