Cats innately love to scratch, so you are right to think of creating a scratching post for them. But choosing or making one may not be as easy as you think. You have to determine the size and height of the scratcher that will appeal the most to your cat. We understand your dilemma. That is why we went ahead and looked for these requirements for a cat scratching post.
The height of a cat scratching post varies based on the size of the cat. But pet parents and caretakers agree that a scratching post should at least be around 31 to 32 inches tall. Generally, this height is enough for most cats to fully stretch their bodies while they try to satisfy the desire to pierce something with their claws.
But you may easily fall into premature conclusions and decisions due to the numerous choices and ways when buying a scratch post. Today, we will focus on knowing why the height of a scratching post is the most significant consideration before you buy or make one yourself.
Why Should You Make A Scratch Post Tall Enough?
A scratch post does not only function as a place where your cat can polish his claw. It should also allow your cat to comfortably extend their body from its front to its hind paws. This is why the recommended height is 31 inches or 32 inches, just about right for the average cat.
Cat parents also agree that the height of a scratcher should depend on the age of your cat. The older and longer your cat, the taller the scratching post you need to buy or create to prevent stiff back and shoulder muscles.
So if you have tall cats like Ragdoll or Maine Coon, you can make the scratch post as tall as 41 inches.
Do Cats Like Tall Scratching Posts?
All cats always have a natural inclination towards tall objects or high places. Why? They are hard-wired to do so because it is an inherent characteristic genetically passed down from their ancestor, Proailurus, the first cat, which used its agility and climbing abilities to hunt.
Today, though, cats only love tall objects simply for the fun of it. And tall scratching posts are one play station your cat favors the most for many good reasons that we have already mentioned. More importantly, scratching posts allow your cat to sharpen and strengthen their claws, as well as shave off the old ones.
In addition, your cat shows their affection, marks their territories, and relieves their stress through scratching, the behavior of both wild and domesticated share. So unless you provide them a special place to suffer the brunt of their claws, expect to see marks around your house or even your skin.
How Do You Make A Tall Cat Scratching Post?
A cat without a scratching post can be a bit destructive and result in your furniture becoming corrugated. So you better create one if you haven't already. We will give you all the steps you need to build a scratching post that your cat will frequent.
Before taking on anything, prepare all the necessary materials to complete your little cat facility in no time. Here are essential tools and items to obtain beforehand:
- Staple gun
- Circular saw
- Utility knife
- Electric drill or screwdriver
- Screw bits
- Sisal rope, 50 to 100 feet
- Rug or carpet sheet
- Wood glue
- Long lumber for the post
- A 20" x 20" plywood for the base
- Beveled wood post cap (optional)
- Beveled decorative edge (optional)
A Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Scratching Post
You are now ready to put every piece of the scratching post together by following the steps below:
1. Assemble The Base And The Post
- If you have not bought perfectly square plywood, you can make the square base yourself. Just ensure that it measures 20" x 20" as this measurement gives the post a stable balance even when your cat climbs on it. Increase the base size accordingly based on the height of the lumber you will use for the post.
- Draw a line from one corner to another to create a center intersection where the wood post will stand. Outline the 4" x 4" measurement of the lumber. Place it at the center of the line intersection to determine where to drill the holes for the screw.
- Also, outline the wood post at the center of the carpet. Use a utility knife and scissors to make a hole to insert the wood post later.
- Drill 4 holes on the plywood and turn it upside down. Drive 4 4-inch screws into the holes with the electric screwdriver to attach the post to the center of the base plywood.
- Install the beveled wood post cap on top of the wood and leave it to dry for a few minutes. If everything is stable, you can proceed to the next step.
2. Make The Base Appealing
- Insert the carpet into the wood post to the bottom. Then, staple the opening of the carpet to the base of the wood post.
- Afterward, start sticking the carpet on the plywood with a good amount of glue. Once done, put a heavy object on the carpet-covered base for an hour to let it dry before proceeding to the next step.
- After the glue has dried, fold the excess carpet to the bottom of the plywood, and staple it in place with a wood stapler. You can also just cut it to match the size of the base plywood.
- As the final touch, glue or screw the decorative edge to the four sides of the scratching post base. This way, you can hide the rough plywood sides and stop possible premature damage to the carpet by the edge.
3. Cover The Wood Post With Sisal Rope
The last attachment to add to the scratching post will be the sisal rope, which is the best material for your cats because of its roughness that resembles a tree trunk.
- To wrap the post, tack the end of the sisal rope using a powerful stapler gun. Hack the staple with a hammer to ensure the sisal rope attaches to the wood completely. From there, tightly pull the rope to cover the body of the post.
- Remember to staple every 3 or 4 layers of the sisal rope to keep it in place even with repeated cat scratching and climbing. Tack the staple on the first side, then the second side after the recommended rope layers. Repeat this process until you cover the whole scratching post.
- Some people use glue on the application. However, this makes the rope come off quickly. So you are better off with a screw or a wire nail if you do not have a stapler gun.
- The post is now ready for some action. You can now let your cat try for himself the new scratching spot.
Are you ready to create a tall scratching post for your cat? Read this previous post for some inspiration on what type to build.
Will A Cat Use Another Cat's Scratching Post?
Cats are territorial animals, so your cat will most likely put their mark on the scratching post immediately. This is why your cat has a low tendency of using other cats' scratching posts.
Nevertheless, your cat may still use other cats’ posts, but it seldom happens, especially when your cat knows that the scratching post is a shared property among other cats in your household.
As such, do not buy a used scratching post if possible, as your cat may only ignore it. Aside from that, scratching posts that other cats use may stress your cat out or transfer diseases.
What Is The Tallest Cat Scratching Post?
Cat parents will undoubtedly go out of their way to make the best scratching post for their cat. But some people create one with the thought of achieving something some cat parents do not try to do, simply because it is not cost-effective, such as building the tallest scratching post, which might be a haven for many cats.
According to the Guinness World Records, the tallest scratching post ever created stood at 32 feet and 3 inches. It was made by Shanghai Choosing Pet Products Co. in Shanghai, China, on August 15, 2018, with 15 layers of scratching trees. It weighed 20,706 pounds or 10.35 US tons.
Your cats will love a 31- or 32-inch scratching post as this will allow them to have a comfortable stretch from head to toe constantly, not to mention getting rid of stress, stiff shoulders, and old claws.
But you can always create an even higher scratching post to create a variety that will bring your cat new experiences. You can even make a horizontal scratcher for a different concern or interest your cats may have in mind.
To make a cat scratching post more enjoyable for your cat, you can also add catnip to it. Read our previous article to know why.