Introduction: How to Replace the Sisal Rope on a Cat Scratcher

About: Kinda crafty on occasion. Sorry that some of the pictures in my instructable are sideways. ><

Scratching posts for cats are expensive! Wouldn't it be nice if you could simply replace the old worn out rope instead of having to buy a brand new scratching post? Well now you can! And I am going to show you how!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 package twisted sisal rope, 1/4" wide (about $4 - $7 at Lowes)
  • 1 hot glue gun
  • 1 package of glue sticks (I went through about 5 standard size glue sticks doing this project)
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 old scratching post

Optional items (depending on situation):

  • Knife
  • Staple remover
  • Box cutter

Step 1: Remove the Old Sisal Rope

Because my cat had used this scratching post so often, and the sisal was already falling off of the post, it was actually very easy for me to remove. I just had to cut the rope with scissors and pull it off. Once I got to the bottom, I found that the rope was embedded into the base. No matter! I just used my scissors to cut the rope right near the bottom of the scratching post.

If the old sisal rope isn't falling off and there isn't an easy place for you to cut the rope with scissors, I would slice the rope at the top of the scratching post with a box cutter and remove it from there. Watch out for staples: Some companies may use staples to periodically reinforce the glue. If you run into a staple, either pull on the rope until the staple pops out or pry it out using a knife or a staple remover.

Step 2: Wind and Glue

Starting at the bottom of the scratching post, find where the old rope leaves off. Put a dab of hot glue right by the old rope and place the new rope right on top so that the two ends become as seamless as possible. Place a small line of glue (about 1/2" to 3/4" long) on the bare post about 2" away from where you last glued. Pull the rope tight and place it on top of the glue.

Wind the rope around the post, gluing every 2" or so. Make sure that as you go, the rope is being pulled tight and is being glued so that it sits right on top of the layer of rope below. Continue doing this step, over and over again, until you get to the top of the post.

Step 3: Cut Your Rope

When you get to the end, figure out where the rope is going to need to be cut. It should sit snugly in the gap between the last layer of rope and the top of the scratching post. When you have determined where the rope needs to be cut, cut it.

Step 4: Glue the End of the Rope

Place a big glob of glue in the gap and push the end of the rope into it. Be careful, the glue is hot! You may need to press the rope into the gap with scissors and hold it there for a moment until the glue sets.

Once the glue sets, place more glue on top of the rope and into the gap so that it is secured into place.

Step 5: You Are Done! Congratulations!

Congratulations! You did it! Now all you need to do is let the scratching post sit for about 20 minutes to allow the glue to harden and then it can be given back to your cat (or cats) to use. Great job!