“Re-purposing Old Towels into DIY Cat Scratching Posts”

“Re-purposing Old Towels into DIY Cat Scratching Posts”

Re-purposing Old Towels into DIY Cat Scratching Posts


Having a cat can be so rewarding, but those claws can do a number on your furniture! Thankfully, there’s an easy DIY solution – repurposing old towels into scratching posts. Not only does this save you money on store-bought posts, it’s also an eco-friendly way to give old towels new life.

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make your own cat scratching posts out of towels. We’ll cover:

  • Benefits of DIY towel scratching posts
  • What you’ll need
  • How to make a basic post
  • Design ideas for different types of posts
  • Where to place them around your home
  • Training your cat to use their new scratching posts

So if you’re ready to save your furniture and the landfill, let’s get started on making some purr-fect posts for your feline friend!

Benefits of DIY Towel Scratching Posts

There are many advantages to making your own cat scratching posts from old towels:

  • Cost savings – Towels are an inexpensive material you likely already have at home. No need to spend money on a pre-made scratching post.

  • Reduce waste – Repurposing used towels keeps them out of the landfill a little longer. It’s a small way to reuse and recycle.

  • Customization – You can make posts in different shapes and sizes to fit your cat’s preferences.

  • Easy to make – These DIY posts come together quickly. All you need are some basic crafting supplies.

  • Fun project – It’s enjoyable to take a common household item and turn it into something new and useful for your pet.

So if you want to pamper your cat, protect your belongings, and help the environment, upcycling old towels is a win-win!

What You’ll Need

Making a cat scratching post from towels is simple. You likely already have most, if not all, of the supplies needed:

  • Old towels – Terry cloth towels work best. Collect ones that are frayed or worn out.

  • Scissors – For cutting the towels to size.

  • Staple gun – To attach the towels to the base. An electric stapler makes quicker work.

  • Staples – Stainless steel staples are best. They won’t rust.

  • Wooden post – A sanded 4×4 post works perfectly as a base. Cut to the height you desire.

  • Rope – For wrapping posts. Jute or sisal rope is ideal.

  • Carpet scraps – Remnant carpet pieces can cover wood bases.

  • Hot glue gun – Helpful for affixing layers and decorations.

That’s really all you need for most designs. Now let’s get to the fun part – making posts!

How to Make a Basic Scratching Post

A simple post can be ready in under an hour. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Cut the Post Base

Use a 4×4 wooden beam cut to the desired height. 18-36 inches is ideal for most cats. Smooth and sand any rough edges.

Step 2: Cut and Prep the Towels

Cut or tear old towels into manageable rectangular shapes. 12 x 16 inches is a good standard size.

Step 3: Affix Towels to the Post

Use a staple gun to adhere the towel pieces to the post. Overlap edges slightly and staple every 2 inches or so.

Step 4: Wrap with Rope

Once towels cover the post, wrap sisal rope from top to bottom, securing with hot glue as needed.

Step 5: Decorate (optional)

Add interest by gluing on pom poms, ribbons, bells or other cat-safe decor.

That’s all it takes to create a simple cat scratching post with materials on hand! Now let’s explore some design ideas…

DIY Scratching Post Design Ideas

Beyond the basic covered post, there are many ways to customize your DIY towel scratching posts:

  • Add platforms – Extend base for a lounging spot. Attach a square of wood wrapped in towel to the top.

  • Make it tall – For a big stretch, set a post on an even taller wrapped wood base.

  • Use carpet scraps – For variety, cut carpet to fit wood bases instead of towels.

  • Shape it – Cut wood base in circle or wave shape instead of straight post.

  • Cross it – Nail two posts together in X shape for stability and scratching options.

  • Incline it – Prop up one end to create an angled scratching surface.

  • Build a house – Make multiple posts and connect with wood to form a house for scratching inside and out!

Get creative with shapes, sizes, towel patterns and decorations! Having a variety can keep your cat excited to use their approved scratching spots.

Where to Place DIY Towel Scratching Posts

Putting your new scratching posts in the right spots can encourage your cat to use them:

  • Near nap zones – Cats like to stretch and scratch when they wake up.

  • On cat walkways – Place near beds, food and litter to catch them while passing by.

  • Near cat trees – Integrate into play areas so they scratch then play.

  • Mark territory – Place posts by windows and doors to define “their” space.

  • Discourage furniture use – Put posts directly in front of or next to couches and chairs to divert scratching.

Try a few different locations and pay attention to where your cat is scratching most. Adjust post placement accordingly.

Training Your Cat to Use Their New Scratching Posts

With strategic post placement, your cat will likely take to them naturally. But you can proactively train kitty to use their new sanctioned scratchers:

  • Lead by example – Let your cat see you scratching the post yourself with your fingers.

  • Catnip – Rub some on the posts so the smell intrigues them to explore.

  • Praise – Verbally and physically reward your cat when you see them use the post.

  • Deterrents – Use “No!” and squirt bottles on furniture to discourage scratching there.

  • Nail trims – Keeping their nails short can decrease desire to scratch excessively.

With patience and consistency, your cat will get the idea…and save your sofa in the process!


Upcycling old towels into DIY cat scratching posts is easy, affordable, and eco-friendly. With a simple wooden post, staple gun, and towels on hand, you can make a variety of posts suited to your cat’s preferences. Strategically place them around your home for scratching satisfaction. Your cat will appreciate the custom-made scratching spots and your furniture will thank you! Give it a try and get creative with these practical projects. Your cat’s claws – and the planet – will thank you!