With these two notions in mind I set about making a scratching post that I could attach to the side of our Ikea couch. Here’s what you’ll need:
3/8 inch sisal rope
scrap wood (I used a 4×4)
heavy duty stapler and staples [I have revised this post: nails work better than staples!]
#17 x 1 inch wire nails
hot glue (optional, but a few dabs will keep the sisal on the post longer)
Wrapping the wood is straightforwards, if tedious. I used some clamps to hold the post down to my work bench while I did the wrapping. Put a few
staples nails in the sisal as you begin to wrap it around the wood. Wrap as tightly and closely as you can, putting staples nails in every few courses as you wind around the wood. Put a few more staples nails in at the end of the rope. That’s all there is to it.
You could make a base for your scratcher but I was more interested in integrating it into our living space rather than having a free-standing object that takes up a lot of room. Not only was I able to attach it to the couch (a hacked Ikea couch that I wrote about in a previous post) but I also turned the scratcher into a phone stand. This is a refinement of the original “catification” of the couch ends and an example of catification stacking functions.
I’m so satisfied with the results that I’m thinking about creating an integrated cat scratcher/USB charging station/cat perch using a twisty tree branch. I know, that sounds like a bad idea, but as Marshall McLuhan once said, “If you don’t like that idea I’ve got others.”
In fact, I can see a future in which everything is wrapped in sisal. Yet more proof that felines are in charge of much more than the interwebs.
Update 5/15/2017: This project has worked great and the cats love it. With our two cats, I’ve found that I have to renew the sisal around every four to six months.