The goal: to make a scratching post all the way from floor to ceiling. I got the inspiration after a friend suggested I should cover one post of my loft bed with sisal rope. The cats went nuts without delay.
- About 40 meters of 14 mm sisal rope (131 feet)
- IKEA’s STOLMEN support pillar
- STOLMEN mounting fixtures
- A shelf with supports
- HESSUM door mat to cover the shelf
- Some short screws to attach the door mat to the shelf
These cost me about 60 euros.
- IKEA hex key (included in everything you buy from there)
- Screw driver
- some cable ties (for temporary fixing)
- gloves (the rope gets rough on your hands)
- lighter (to burn the edges of the mat)
- http://www.niksa.net/kiipeilypuu.html (in Finnish)
I calculated I needed 31 meters of rope. I bought 40 meters and ended up using 38, so it pays to buy more rope than you think you would need. (40 meter equals about 131 feet)
First thing to do was to join the four 10 meters rope coils to one 40 meter rope. I did this by splicing and got enormous help from this illustrated instruction. If you manage to find the rope in one 40 meters long stretch, good for you!
As an afterthought perhaps an easier method would have been buying more STOLMEN mounting fixtures and fixing each section of rope using them. That would also make possible to change just a one part of the rope.
The pole is tightened between the ceiling and the floor and secured to the ceiling with 3 screws. Use a level to get it straight.
On the bottom I fixed the rope to the mountig fixture as seen in the picture. This guide helped with securing the end of the rope. My rope was 14 mm wide and if I had used more narrow rope, it would have been possible to get it through the fixture’s eye without unraveling the rope.
The most laborous part was coiling the rope around the pillar. These steps will help you in the work:
- Use gloves, the rope is very coarse
- Put the whole rope to a bag and pull it out as needed
- Shut the cats to another room while you are working with the rope!
Coiling the rope took about an hour. Keep the rope tight and after ever 5-10 rounds hit the top of the rope coil with a hammer to pack it even tighter. If you are using a wooden pole you can add small nails to secure the rope every now and then.
When I reached the top I fixed the rope temporarily with a cable tie and then used another end fixture to secure the rope.
The top of the pillar is more narrow than the base. The end fixtures come with plastic inserts for both ends. I removed the inserts from the top fixture and got enough room to squeeze the rope in between the narrower top part of the pillar and the fixture.
For the shelf I cut the door mat to approriate size, burned the edges to prevent unraveling and attached it to the shelf with short screws. Now the cats can get a good grip on the shelf.
Done! The cats appreciated greatly.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below!
This post is also available in: Finnish