Sep 1, 2015
25¢ Cat Rope Scratchers for Shelters
Every cat in a shelter should have a scratcher.
Having something to scratch is important for cats' psychological and physical health as scratching is an instinctive behavior and depriving a cat of scratching is detrimental to them.
I've come up with a scratcher that only costs 25 CENTS EACH (plus sales tax, if you aren't a sales-tax exempt non-profit).
Yes, you read that correctly. No, I'm not kidding.
25 CENTS EACH
That's the price if you get the sisal rope from Wal-Mart where it's $4.97 which is the cheapest I've found it. (The building supply stores like Lowe's and Home Depot charge more.) Sisal rope is the same natural rope used on cat scratchers sold in stores. The rope is available retail in different lengths and widths.
From there you have to make the scratchers yourself. But plenty of people like to do crafts. This is crafts for a very good cause.
The resulting scratchers are tough and the cats absolutely love them. I've been making and putting them out at the local shelter for a year and a half. When I hang a scratcher, there will be a curious paw reaching out for it. (Some of the bolder cats don't even wait for me to hang them, but reach through the bars to try to grab the scratcher away from me.) Now how long the rope scratchers survive depends upon how hard they're played with. Usually they last as long as the cat is there.
SEE THE CAT ROPE SCRATCHER IN ACTION
Part 1 -- The scratcher has just been placed in a cage
If you have problems with the embedded video, here's the direct link for Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkMVmXyxwpQ&feature=youtu.be
Part 2 -- The kittens have figured out that the scratcher is a toy
If you have problems with the embedded video, here's the direct link for Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZwWqk6TCBE&feature=youtu.be
I know that there are mini-cardboard scratchers available. Just one time I saw a site offering them on special at $1.00 each. Normal prices are from $1.38 each [50 for $68.95] all the way up to $4.32 each [6 for $25.90]. The reality is that many shelters on a tight budget who get thousands of cats a year can't afford that.
My cat rope scratchers are $250 per 1000 cats.
I actually prefer my design of free-hanging rope scratchers to the mini-cardboard scratchers............
My Rope Scratcher Design:
Allows a better view into the cage. (Important if you only have small cages as people need to be able to see the cats.)
Doubles as a toy.
The free end can be batted and swung.
The rope can be caught and pulled up if within reach of a ledge.
Cats can dig their claws in and tug on the rope to their hearts' content.
Really amuses people when they see the cats playing with them. (As I put them out at the shelter, I couldn't tell you how many positive comments I've gotten on them after people have seen the cats use them.)
So share this information with your local shelter or anyone you know who works with shelter cats. And if you'd like to help yourself, then instructions are below..............
INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE 20 CAT ROPE SCRATCHERS
SISAL ROPE - 1 coil of 100 feet by 1/4 inch
I suggest doing this either outside or over something like an old sheet or a tablecloth as bits of the rope make a small mess.
How long it takes is up to you. I've made so many of these that working at a normal pace without trying to hurry, I can make a batch of 20 in under half an hour. Of course that depends on how much time I spend chasing the cat or getting the rope away from the cats or convincing someone to move off the pile of rope which is apparently a nice, comfy spot for a stretch. Then sometimes they decide this newly made scratcher is the exact toy they want to play with, so, of course, Momma has to play with them. That's life with cats...........if you're lucky.
When I started going to the Escambia County animal shelter looking for my beloved Trilby Kitty, things were in pretty sad shape there. (This was under previous management. It's improved under new management.) Only kittens were kept in the nice room where they could come out to play and had a few toys. All the adult cats were kept in cramped cages and had no toys.
It was such a sad situation that I resolved to do something about it. I couldn't save them all. I couldn't make the cages bigger*. But I could make their lives better while they were in those cages. I decided I was going to make toys for those cats. And I have, thousands of them. (Which isn't easy, not just to make them but to buy the supplies as I'm unemployed and eat a lot of ramen.)
The shelter now calls me "The Cat Toy Lady."
* The shelter plans to cut portholes between cages, thus, doubling the amount of space and giving the cats separate bathroom and bedding areas. (Right now the cats sleep on a shelf over their litter boxes.) It will mean less capacity, but the new manager believes he'll be able to get cats adopted faster so it won't mean having to put more cats down because of the reduced capacity.
For more about cats, there's
"The Devotion of a Cat"
"In the Mind of a Sleeping Cat"
"Attachment in Cats Feline Versions of the Strange Situation Test"
"Cat Thinking -- The Day My Legs Turned Blue"
"His Person's Voice or A Cat Who Will Come When Called"
"The Tree and the Cat"
"10 Reasons Why the Best "Boyfriend" I've Ever Had Is My Cat"
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