Turning Old Tennis Balls into a DIY Cat Scratching Post
Having a cat can be a joy, but their instinct to scratch can wreak havoc on your furniture. As a cat owner, it is important to provide appropriate scratching surfaces to redirect this natural behavior. An easy and affordable solution is to repurpose old tennis balls into a DIY cat scratching post!
In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to create your very own cat scratching post using materials you likely already have at home. We will cover:
- Benefits of DIY scratching posts
- Materials needed
- Step-by-step instructions
- Post placement tips
- Maintaining your cat scratching post
Providing a designated scratching area is essential for any cat owner. With some recycled tennis balls and basic supplies, you can create a functional scratching post that saves your furniture and satisfies your cat’s needs. Let’s get started!
Benefits of DIY Cat Scratching Posts
There are many advantages to creating your own cat scratching post:
Cost effective – Recycling old tennis balls and using household items significantly reduces costs compared to store-bought posts.
Customization – You can adjust the height, width, and style to suit your cat’s preferences.
Eco-friendly – Repurposing old tennis balls reduces waste and is better for the environment.
Durable – Tennis balls are surprisingly sturdy and make a solid scratching surface.
Satisfies instincts – Provides an appropriate outlet for your cat’s innate desire to scratch.
Giving your cat an appealing place to scratch prevents damage to carpets, furniture, and more. Constructing your own post allows you to cater to your cat’s scratching tendencies affordably.
Creating a DIY tennis ball cat scratching post is easy with minimal supplies. Here is what you will need:
Old tennis balls – The main component! Recycle used tennis balls or check with your local tennis club. You will need at least 20 balls.
Post – A wooden dowel, tree branch, or piece of PVC pipe will serve as the base. It should be at least 3 feet high.
Nails or screws – To securely attach the tennis balls to the post.
Duct tape – Helps reinforce nails/screws and provides a smooth scratching surface.
Sisal rope – To wrap around the post for added scratching appeal.
Carpet scraps – Extra traction and scratching texture (optional).
Drill – To pre-drill holes for nails/screws.
Screwdriver or hammer – To drive nails or screws into post.
That’s all you need for materials! Most items can be sourced affordably from hardware stores or even around the house.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your own tennis ball cat scratching post:
1. Prepare the Post
Cut your wooden dowel, branch, or PVC pipe to your desired height. I recommend at least 3 feet tall. Sand or trim accordingly to smooth any rough edges. Drill pilot holes at intervals of 2 inches on all sides of the post to allow for easier nailing/screwing later.
2. Attach the Tennis Balls
Use nails or screws to securely attach tennis balls to the post, leaving approximately 1 inch between balls. Make sure to drive nails/screws directly into the center “seam” of the tennis balls for stability. The balls should cover the entire surface of the post.
3. Reinforce with Duct Tape
Wrap duct tape around each row of tennis balls. This helps join balls tightly together and provides a smooth scratching surface when you later wrap with sisal rope. Make sure duct tape bonds tennis balls firmly to the post.
4. Add Sisal Rope and Carpet
For added durability and scratch appeal, wrap sisal rope all around the post over the duct tape and tennis balls. For extra texture, you can also incorporate scraps of carpet by screwing them into the post. The more textures, the better!
5. Touch Up and Finish
Check for any rough edges and use sand paper or scissors to smooth them. Your DIY tennis ball cat scratching post is complete! Now it is ready to be enjoyed by your cat.
Post Placement Tips
Proper placement of your new scratching post is key to enticing your cat to use it:
Position it in a heavily trafficked area like a hallway or near resting spots.
Make sure it is sturdy and does not shift easily when scratched or climbed.
Place catnip or treats on and around the post to attract your cat initially.
Do not place it too close to furniture you wish to protect. Cats often scratch objects near scratching posts.
Be patient. Your cat may need some time to get accustomed to the new scratching outlet. Reward them with praise and treats when they use the post to reinforce the behavior.
Maintaining Your Cat Scratching Post
With proper care, your tennis ball cat scratching post can last for years! Here are some tips:
Frequently check duct tape for wear and re-wrap as needed for safety.
Watch for loose screws or nails and re-secure them if the post becomes wobbly.
To increase enticement, spray catnip extracts on the post every few weeks.
Replace sisal rope periodically as it frays for optimal scratching texture.
Monitor for sharp edges and sand down as necessary for your cat’s safety.
Your cat will appreciate having an appealing scratching surface. Performing regular upkeep maximizes durability and keeps them coming back!
Creating your own cat scratching post from old tennis balls is an easy, affordable DIY project. It satisfies your cat’s scratching needs while saving your home furnishings from damage. Be sure to place it strategically, encourage your cat to use it, and perform regular maintenance for best results. I hope these instructions were helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions about crafting the ideal cat scratching post!