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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying my hand at DIY cat trees, scratching posts, etc. The first I made several years ago was made from wood and sisal rope. I feel like I spent much more money on supplies than I would have on just buying a post.

I did just make this (as posted on the DIY cat furniture thread):

My original plan was to wrap the inside with sisal rope. I ended up doing the entire thing in carpet because I had tons of scrap carpet, didn't want to deal with wrapping the rope, and didn't want to actually pay for the rope.

The only part of the project that cost me money was the edging - I used foam wrapped in fabric to hide the ugly edges of carpet.

While the cats have scratched at it a bit, so far they haven't used it nearly as much as they do the rope covered post. I'm sure part of it is because the post is so much taller. But I do think texture has a lot to do with it.

I also made a floor to ceiling climbing/scratching post in the basement by covering an existing support beam with outdoor carpeting. They climb it every now and then to get to feathers I have dangling at the top, but I've never seen them use it just for scratching.

I'm looking at prices of the sisal fabric as it would be much easier to wrap than the rope but its so expensive! What are some other alternative materials to look for to cover surfaces I want them to climb and scratch?
 

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Our cats love the sisal fabric and I'm just gonna bite-the-bullet and buy some. I have carpet posts that they enjoy, their cat tree has 3 different types of real tree limbs that they enjoy scratching and I re-covered a thoroughly 'combed' carpet scratch post with a sleeve of denim recycled from a pair of my husband's work jeans.
 

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Some cats that have a carpeted scratching post might use the carpet on the floor to scratch that's why it's better to use sisal. They associate the carpeted post with the carpet on the floor as the same thing-to scratch. That's what happened with my cats. Once they rip the carpet on the scratching post, I take it off and put sisal on it

Kathy
 

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The first tree we got was really just a small perch, but it was covered in sisal. The girls will still scratch on it, and it's held up really well.

Our second medium (I guess) tree was all carpet...I think it may have given Rochelle the ok that carpet was alright to scratch on, like razzle mentioned, because she would scratch the actual carpet around the tree too (we've since learned that scratching the actual carpet is bad, yay!). :( They really only use this tree to perch on for a snooze now. It's completely torn up too...the carpet has really not held up well against my girls claws.

The big tree the girls got for Christmas, has all sisal posts and is carpeted with like a fleecy-type material. I love the sisal, and the girls are almost exclusively using the big tree for scratching now. The fleecy stuff is really soft and keeps the girls warm when they sleep on the platforms.

So I vote for something non-carpet (at least the posts)...sisal is great! The fleecy material is really nice for keeping the heat close to my kitties to that, or something similar, gets my vote too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really only used the carpet because I already had it on hand, and it did not involve me putting any money toward the project.

I am now the proud owner of a giant cardboard tube from the carpet section of Lowes. I was given one with no fight, but when I asked for a second was told I couldn't have it. They had like 6 empty ones in plain sight, but I wasn't going to put up a fuss... free is free. I'll check in another week or so to see if I can get another one. Had the guy cut it roughly in half to help get it home and I plan on cutting it into 6 foot sections.

I have just purchased ~20 sq ft of sisal fabric remnants (should be 12" wide sections" on ebay for $31. I hope to use them to cover the cardboard tubes.

The closest I found in any local stores was burlap, but it was just way too thin and felt like it would shred way too easily. So hopefully this sisal fabric is as good as I hope it will be! I haven't exactly figured out what I'm going to do with all of this stuff but hope inspiration strikes soon!
 
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