Great project to do with the kids.
Go to local hardware store (I call them toy shops).
- Buy your self a piece of 3mm ply, 600 x 1200mm. This will only cost a few dollars, may need to saw off 200mm to suit height of pipe you buy or find.
- You can make your wall as tall as you want and pipe if you want. Old real estate signs can be used for this as well.
- Buy a piece of 12mm ply 300 x 600 -900mm or pine depends on how big you want to make it.
- If you have timber or tiled floors, buy a stick of maple timber 10 x 20 mm x 1 mtr . (1 mtr lengths are a standard size at hardware stores). This is to support the bottom of the cat pole so it doesn’t move on the floor.
Now to the plumbing section.
- Grab a piece of PVC drainage pipe 100mm or 150mm x 1000mm as this is the size they usually sell at 1mtr lengths, sizes are also stronger and suitable for larger cats.
- Get some max bond, as this is very strong and does last, it is also cheap and a well known brand.
- Buy some 10mm x 10 metre rope (you can buy different colours) only cost about $5.00.
- You should also buy a pack of 20 x 20 mm right angle brackets. They cost $2.50 a packet. You get about four in a pack, you will need 2 pack’s (you need 6 brackets for job).
- Ask your local carpet dealer for any off-cuts, thick pile or shag carpet, 1.2mtr x 2mtr (1000mm x 2000mm), they have piece’s stitched all around as mats as well. Very cheap. If you have brought a mat, you need a small piece of carpet for the cat perch. You need a piece 1 metre x 1 metre, depends on the size of timber you brought. We will be wrapping the carpet around the timber on all side’s.
READY TO BUILD YOUR CAT SCRATCHER & LOOKOUT FOR THAT CURIOUS FELINE!
Things you need for the job:
1) One fake mouse,the one’s with the pull out string that makes the mouse move. You screw this to the cat lookout (tie knot around screw before tightening screw). Our cat used to go nuts and hang upside down trying to get the mouse. Local supermarkets sell them or pet shops.
2) Pencil or pen.
3) Stanley knife. (Parents only to use as very sharp)
4) Tape measure
5) Carpenter’s square or level
6) Newspaper – So there is no mess and keep your project clean. Butcher paper is good as well, as it comes in big pieces.
7) Silicon gun for Max bond . You may need two tubes as you need it for carpet and rope.
8) 6-12 x 10 mm wood screws, (gal or stainless steel) these won’t rust. The screws are to screw rope to the pipe and also for the lookout perch with your brackets.
9) 1 x wood saw. (Cut timber to size before gluing carpet, or ask your local hardware assistant to cut to the size you need) sometimes they may ask you to pay $1.00 to cut it for you.
TIP: Cut on a 45 degree angle when sawing and don’t use force on the saw, this will reduce splintering.
If you don’t have a file, use the top side of the saw and run across the cut on a 45 degree angle with little pressure. You can also use sandstone rock, same as sandpaper, just in rock form. Use sandstone lightly across cut to sand off any splinters that may occur.
10) 1 x Stanley knife (this is to trim the carpet after glue has dried. give the glue a good eight hours to dry, leave in a dry area (garage or laundry). If you use scissors the carpet will make them blunt, due to the fibres in the carpet.
HINT: If you brought carpet with stitching, trace out on ply and cut out ply before gluing.
11) 1 x broom ( This is for your pipe to be wrapped in rope). Slide pipe over broom handle and place between two chairs so the pipe can spin free, put a couple of bricks on broom to stop moving around.
12) 4-6 x bricks or heavy books. (These are to weight down the timber pieces on top of your carpet while glue drying)
LETS GET BUILDING:
1) Cover area with paper where you plan to do the job, to keep thing’s clean.
2) Lay out carpet strip upside down on paper.
3) Grab your silicon gun with the max bond. (Cut about 20 mm off the nozzle for a thicker flow)
4) Run a bead around the edge’s of your carpet, 5 – 10 mm in from the edge. This is so no excess glue leaks out the side’s. Run a bead up and down the carpet, length ways with about 50 – 100 mm gap’s between your glue lines. This prevents the carpet from lifting off, as your cat goes commando and nuts on the wall climber!
5) Lay your piece of ply down on top of the carpet, line up with two corners before laying down as the glue is sticky.
6) Place brick’s on all corners and one or two in the middle and let it dry for at least 4 – 6 hours.
7) Get your other piece of timber for perch on top of poll for cat (spy) lookout.
NOTE: When gluing carpet, measure the timber on all sides, add the sizes together. Grab tape measure and mark out the length you just calculated. Draw a line, this is where you stop gluing, so you don’t get glue on the carpet when you over lap it.
8) No need to cut carpet to size if it’s a off cut, do this after glue has dried. Lay out carpet upside down and run glue around piece the same as your first piece.
9) Line up your piece of timber, length ways with two corner’s. Lay the timber down about 200 – 250 mm in from the edge, press down on the timber.
10) Now wrap edge of carpet over and use a couple of screw’s to hold in place. Then fold over timber piece to wrap the carpet around the timber (put pressure on the timber as you fold over on each side), this helps the glue too spread. Once wrapped, overlap carpet and use a couple of screws to hold.
11) Place on top of ply in middle, and put the brick’s back on top to way down both job’s you have done and let them dry.
12) Now with the pipe, get the rope, silicon and screw’s. Have the pipe set up on the broom handle, measure about 300 mm from one end of the pipe and mark. Run a line around pipe with pencil (this is where you glue too to avoid mess).
13) Lay out the rope on the floor (if outside use a dry area). Screw one end of the rope too the bottom of the pipe (screw 5 mm in from the end of rope, don’t cut it, as it may fray), grab the silicon gun and run lines of glue across pipe length ways too the line you drew around pipe. Have a 50 mm gap between glue lines (turn the pipe as you go around, don’t let the rope touch the pipe as you do this, keep to the side).
14) Best to have two people for this, but can do yourself as well. Doing this on your own for a surprise for the kids. As you roll pipe hold tight on the rope with other hand. Or lay out rope around a corner of a door or hall way (use a towel as not to scratch or mark the wall or skirting boards). Have your helper hold the rope a couple of meters away from you and hold taught. Now start turning the pipe while the other person lets it slip through hands, keep rope taught as you keep rolling (garden gloves will stop hands from hurting).
15) Once you have turned around to the spot you first screwed the rope, screw another screw through rope next to the other one. Screw back and forth to let the screw too get through rope, as the rope can catch and twist on the screw. Now keep turning pipe and keep rope bunching against itself as you turn, don’t stop till you get to pencil mark. Grab another screw and fix to the pipe.
16) Repeat process. Mark out 300 mm, glue and roll rope around till you reach the end. When at end screw off and screw another one halfway around to hold rope in place, do the same to the other end.
17) Let it dry the same period as the carpet jobs.
18) When pole is dry add a few more screws on the opposite side and add extras, as cats have strong legs and this is just extra holding points for the rope.
PROJECT ALL DRY AND READY TO PUT TOGETHER:
1) Lay your cat rest (look out ) with the carpet joins facing up. Use your Stanley knife and trim the carpet with a little overlap. Screw down overlap every 75mm along join area.
2) Get your brackets and screw them into the cat rest at each end, four will do. At one end measure 50mm in from each side and screw on two brackets flush with end. You can use a brick at the end of your timber to keep the bracket flush while screwing in the bracket.
3) Other end measure the width of your cat rest, halve that measurement to get centre mark . Mark and measure 10mm each side of your mark. Screw on two brackets flush with the end.
4) Stand up your scratch wall and poll, lean scratch wall against something to hold up (wall or chair). With the cat rest lay on top of both pieces with the post holding the rest in the middle.
5) You line up the cat rest with the cat wall and screw the brackets to it (make sure it is at a right angle as much as possible). Use a rag if you are near a wall as not to scratch while screwing brackets in. If post and scratch wall same height, screw cat rest with the brackets hanging over other side and screw in other way.
6) Slide post back towards opposite end of cat rest. Measure the length from the corner of bracket to the screw holes and length between the brackets and note the length.
7) Slide post back with cat rest covering hole, find a gap where the rope isn’t glued on and tuck in the bracket’s in between the rope and pipe. With your measurements screw between the rope. This will hide the screws a bit. Ready to use.
8) If not kept on carpet, I recommend that you brace bottom of pipe to scratch wall. Measure from the inside of the post to the wall, cut the piece of timber and screw two screw’s in each end from behind the wall. If you turn on side screw from the inside of the pipe or just use bracket’s if you want.
NOTE: If using against a wall. Use a wall plug’s and screw cat wall at top with two of each.
Good luck and enjoy. Should keep the cat away from scratching the timber around your house and also the couch.
If you have timber or tile floors, place a mat or rug underneath so you don’t scratch it.
I built one years ago using two plumbing pipes and the cat never scratched the couches in our unit. With this basic principle you can design your own with more levels and different size scratching poles.
TIP: For your couch’s you can buy cheap couch cover’s or use a sheet if you are worried about the cat wrecking them.
If you have any questions shoot us a question in the comments below.