Making a cat scratching post is a good idea for anyone who has a cat. Cats will scratch at furniture for many reasons, including relaxation and grooming. Declawing a cat is barbaric, and not an option for most animal lovers. The simple solution is to create a safe place for your cat to scratch without damaging any furniture. Here's how you can make a scratching post for your cat with inexpensive materials.
Step 1 - Prepare the Base
The scrap wood you choose should be thick enough to support the length of the scratching pole. Trace the end of the PVC pipe with a pencil to create a circle in the center of the wood piece. This will create the template for you to make your cuts. You want to try to cut slightly smaller than the circle you traced. This will allow you to secure the pole to the wood more easily, creating a tighter fit. Once your cut has been made you will want to sand down the base. Even though you are going to cover it, you want it to be smoothed out.
Step 2 - Place the PVC
The PVC can be placed in the hole you created in the base. You may have to apply some pressure to get it in place. Once it's in place you can use the silicone sealer to secure it. If the PVC is in place well you may want to skip this step. If you do choose to use the sealant, use as small amount as possible to make the scratching post non toxic for your cat. Follow the suggestion provided by the sealant manufacturer for drying times before continuing.
Step 3 - Cover the Post
There are a few ways you can create the scratching surface. You can use sisal rope and wind it around the PVC and the base. If you choose this method you will want to start at the base and wind the rope up around the post. You will need to countersink screws in to the base, and wind tightly around the post, using glue to secure it at the top. You will want to wind it back down the post and around the base again. The other option is to attach carpet remnants to the base and post. The rope is more attractive to cats, but the remnants will also work. Attaching the carpet remnant can be tricky, and will require you to nail or staple the carpet securely so it won't pull when the cat scratches.
Step 4 - Add Catnip (optional)
Some people would prefer to not use catnip because of the sedation effect it can have on pets. The catnip will attract the cat to the post, and they will be inclined to use the scratching post over furniture. You can tie a piece of organic cat nip to a string around the top of the post, or crush some in to the covering. Crushing the catnip will release the fragrance and attract the cat.