DIY Scratching Post Desk Legs





Introduction: DIY Scratching Post Desk Legs

About: Part MacGyver, part Martha, creator, host and producer of Engineer Your Space, an award winning DIY home design show dedicated to clever, affordable and stylish solutions for common challenges faced by rente...

Living with a cat has meant that I've always had a not so attractive scratching post around my apartment. Not only are they not pretty to look at, but they take up precious floor space too. So I came up with this idea to convert the legs of my inexpensive IKEA desk into built-in scratching posts. With these scratching post legs, there's no need to have stand alone scratching posts that take up floor space so they are perfect for small apartments and they make boring desk legs look a bit more interesting.

Step 1: Materials

I built my IKEA desk with a GALANT top and ADILS legs ($3.50 each) and used 1" pre-slit pipe insulation, sisal rope (100 ft per leg) and foam double sided tape to convert the legs into a scratching posts. You can see the scratching post leg project and the rest of my IKEA desk hacks in the video but I'll explain the steps here as well.

Step 2: Cut Insulation

Cut the pipe insulation to fit the length of the leg and wrap around the leg. I used pre-slit self sealing pipe insulation and stuck the edges of the insulation to the leg to prevent it from moving. You could also use insulation without the adhesive and use double sided tape secure it to the leg. By placing the gap on the inside of the desk, it's not noticeable. The insulation makes the legs closer in diameter to a scratching post you would buy at the store.

Step 3: Attach Double Sided Tape to Insulation

Step 2: Attach strips of double-sided foam tape around the top and bottom, and along the length of the insulation.

Step 4: Wrap Sisal Rope

Wrap the sisal rope around the insulation, pulling tightly as you go along and wrap white tape at the bottom of the legs to secure the rope.

I love the natural color and texture that the sisal rope adds to my office and the legs have been a hit with my cat Lia. She does tend to use the front legs more than the back legs but the nice thing with the IKEA legs is that they are easy to take off to rotate the back legs to the front, so it will be a while before I have to replace the sisal rope.

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20 Discussions

using the double sided tape to secure the sisal rope was an excellent idea. I like this idea better than the use of staples to secure the ropes as suggested on several other plans.

1 reply

Glad you like the idea, thanks!


2 years ago

This is such a clever solution. I'll be experimenting with this idea ?

What size sisal rope did you use? 3/8", 1/4"? I'm definitely making this as my new cat needs all the scratch posts she can get it seems!

1 reply

I used 1/4" sisal rope - you can see a full list of materials, tools, etc. here:

Hope your cat loves this as much as mine does!

wow its a great idea I wonder how you thought of it

This! This is life changing. It's such a simple solution and can change the whole relationship between a feline and a human. I will put this on all my furniture and it might become a new interior design thing.

3 replies

I'm always looking for cool thing to do for my cats. (Not the local cat lady) I have 4 and like each of them to have things of their own. During the cold winters a budget and limited space, it's a challenge. This is an awesome space and money saving idea. Great project to do with the kiddo's as well. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

1 reply

What an epic ible!!! I wish I thought of it!! smart girl.

1 reply

I'd be somewhat hesitant about doing this to a desk that is intended to have a computer or any wires hanging from it. While caught up in the enthusiasm, the cat might pull the wire down or worse yet, bite or claw into a live AC cord.

1 reply

Thank you for your comment - my cat has never shown any interest in bitting down on electrical cables, and all my electrical wires are secured under the desk away from the legs so I haven't had any issues with this set up.

That's cool, I've thought about something similar in the past. It looks good. I have to ask, though; is that really what you floor looks like? I've never seen anything like that before; I think I'd get dizzy. :)

1 reply

Thank you! It's called a chevron pattern and I can't say it's made me dizzy so far :)