How to Make a Cat Scratch Post for RVs and Small Spaces

A cat scratch post is a must have when you have cats in your house. But, because they take up space, trying to find the right one in an RV or small space can be a challenge. Anyone who owns a cat knows if you don’t provide a place for your kitties to scratch, your furniture and carpets will suffer the consequences.

Personally, we’re not proponents of declawing cats. It’s painful for them. Think of it this way. Declawing cats is like cutting the first digit off of each of your fingers.

But cats need to scratch something to release anxiety, stress and shed their old nails. But also, it’s a way for cats to mark their territory.

It’s important that cat owners provide a comfortable place for them to scratch. So, let’s get to it!

How to Make a Cat Scratch Post - Always On Liberty

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How to Make a Cat Scratch Post for RVs and Small Spaces

Now, I don’t know if it’s just luck or that we’ve just been good caring cat parents that we’ve not had furniture issues. It might be because we’ve always had the biggest, most badass cat climbing tower known to man (or cat!).

Okay, maybe not that badass but our resident mousers sure loved it.

However, when we packed up our RV with our two Maine Coons (Krissie and Kandi), their cat tower worked well in the garage space our fifth wheel toy hauler.

But then, two years later, we traded in for a different fifth wheel but with no garage. So, we lost that precious space for their big badass cat condo anymore. Which also meant, they lost their favorite place to scratch their nails.

Well, considering our RV furniture was made of that cheap pleather (plastic leather), we had to think fast in finding a solution for a cat scratching area.

So, we thought the answer was to downsize to just a regular scratching post. You know, the one that has a natural fiber rope wound around a post secured to a carpeted wood platform about the size of a dinner plate.

But then, we kind of ran into some issues with that kind of scratching area for our girls.

Why a regular cat scratch post wouldn’t work in our RV

The problem we ran into with getting them a regular cat scratching post made for a perplexing complication.

First, every time one of our girls would scratch their post, it would flop over on them. And if you knew Krissie, none of us faired well after her little tirade of losing the battle of scratch pad Hoth. She would would get super pissed and run over anything or anybody that was in her way. I don’t know if it scared her, hurt her or she was just plain frustrated.

Even so, that thing got to be a royal pain in the cat’s ass because every time we would pack up our RV and bring in the slide outs on travel days, we’d have to put the scratch post somewhere; usually on one of the recliners.

But, that almost ended up a costly mistake. It became a projectile during our drive. Thus, sending it just millimeters from the glass front of our fireplace.

The final straw of frustration was we were having to move it every time we wanted to get into the cabinet where it sat.

This scratch post had…to…GO! We had to come up with a more feasible solution of a place for our cats to scratch their little hearts out. Either that, or they would plot to scratch our eyes out in our sleep. We certainly couldn’t have that.

Finding a cat scratch post solution for our small space

When we remodeled the inside of our fifth wheel, we removed the sofa in the back of our coach and replaced it with a office workspace.

Our two office chairs were on wheels and the cat scratch post was c to always be in the way.

Well, one day while I was looking for small rugs at Home Depot, an empty cardboard tube that used to have carpet runner rolled onto it caught my eye.

Immediately, I went over and saw how rugged it was and eyeballed the diameter of the end of the tube. My brain marbles were just rolling around when I thought of something genius! Okay, maybe not ‘genius’ but hey, let me have my moment.

Now, being I’m an honest person, I wasn’t just going to snatch it up. So, I asked the nice elderly man in the orange vest if I may have it for ‘a project’.

“What kind of project, Miss?” he asked.

“I’d like to make my kitty cats a cat scratch post out of it”, I told him.

“They sell those cat scratch post thingies, you know?”, he snapped back.

Then I heard him mumble under his breath about hating cats blah blah blah. He told me he had to go ask his manager; something about they roll the new carpet runners over them.

He came back a couple minutes later and again, grumbled “I guess I’m making a command decision. Since I can’t find the head honcho, you can have it. I hope I don’t lose my job over this!”

“Seriously? Loose your job over giving a piece of trash to a customer?”, I thought but hey, I was a happy and my cats were going to be happy, so oh well.

Ingenuity Meets Creativity

When I got home, I had Dan tilt our workspace table slightly enough for me to slide this sucker over one of the table legs.

Oh my garsh! We could literally hear baby angels singing in five-part harmony! That cardboard tube fit perfectly and we didn’t even need to shorten it!

So, I made my list of supplies to get us started on our project. The sooner we’d get this done, the sooner our cats would be happy.

Wouldn’t you know the damn thing took me two hours to wrap and glue, wrap and glue, wrap and glue.

However, as painstaking as it was, once I got it finished and we slid it back up on the table leg, baby angels were singing again; this time in ten-part harmony.

And, it didn’t take our tortie Maine Coon, Krissie, to take an instant liking to it because it didn’t flop down on her. She was such a happy cat sharpening her nails. Best of all, we’re a happy cat parents because she wasn’t scratching our furniture.

Homemade Cat Scratch Post

Shortly after, while giving tours of our fifth wheel,  everyone noticed it saying it was the most clever invention everrrrrr!

They pointed out that it looked like a rope wrapped piling that you would see on a harbor piling on a pier. It went perfectly with our Key West beach-theme decor.

So, that was my queue to go back to the Home Depot again to see if I could score another tube. This time at a different store location (I didn’t want to wear out our welcome or get the poor elderly man fired from his important job!), there was one just laying on the floor with the trash in the corner of the store. That sorta gave me permission to pick take that piece of trash.

So, we took it home and this time, I let Dan have the joy of making the other one.

How to make a cat scratch post out of a mailing tube!

First, you need to measure the circumference of the table or chair leg that you want for your cat’s post. After which, you need to find your tubes.

We actually found some on Amazon in every size.

While these tubes are not cheap, its one of those things you just suck up and buy. Because really, there are no other options unless you are lucky to find them elsewhere.

But remember, timing is everything so you might as well buy tubes to save the headache and traipsing all over tarnation looking for a free one. Besides, your fluffy perfect little angels deserve the best, right?

List of Supplies:

Construction of Our Cat Scratch Post ‘Sleeves’

Dan started the end by securing it well onto what would be the bottom…or top. I really doesn’t matter. Once he got that, he would slowly glue every six inches.

Cat Scratch Post Tutorial

When he reached the point of two ends to be connected, instead of splicing them together like an old sea salt, we just glued the heck out of the ends and matched them up.

Cat Scratch Post Construction

So, once you have it all wrapped and glued, you’re finally finished! Your hands may be sore but Fluffy will be indebted to you for…..a minute. But, on the other hand, you’ll save your furniture.

Finished Cat Scratch Post

Doesn’t that look COOL? And, here are the two of them; my ‘pier pilings’

Fifth Wheel Workspace

Wrapping up the ultimate cat scratching post for your small space

We hope this little cat scratch post project is something to consider if you and your cat live in a tiny space. When the scratching post looks like it needs replacing, either rip off the old rope remnants or start with all new supplies. Either way, your kitty will be happy and so will you and your furniture!

As you see now, no scratch posts to put away or trip over in the RV or your tiny home! Oh and psssssst, you don’t have to have an RV to do this!’ This will work in any size home! They are perfect for RVs, boats, apartments, tiny homes, cabins or cottages and other small spaces.

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4 Replies to “How to Make a Cat Scratch Post for RVs and Small Spaces”

  1. Great idea! We recently were adopted by a little black cat who showed up at our back door. Best guess, it was a ‘drop off’. Anyway, she’s gone glamping with us a couple of times now, and we’ve hauled her scratching post back and forth between the house and the Clone. I’ve been trying to figure a better scratch pad/post that will fit in the smaller confines of the RV. This’ll definitely give me some ideas!

    Sorry we couldn’t get together in Elkhart, too many things popped up that needed immediate attention. Hopefully next time …

    Safe travels, hope you unit was properly taken care of!

    1. Hi Lyle & Pam, you know, that little kitty showed up for a reason and who better to take care of it than you guys. You have huge and loving hearts! I noticed at Menards, they have shipping tubes that would perhaps fit over one of your table poles. Just make sure you get the right diameter that will fit over the pole(s).

      Yes, Heartland is taking great care of our Landmark. Learning new things too! Hope to see you guys at the Rally next June! -Dan & Lisa

    1. Hi Shannon, we’re so glad you enjoyed our post about the Cat Scratch Post for Small Spaces! Equally happy that you found our idea useful. Hug your kitty for us! Thank you for reading. -Dan & Lisa

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