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Cat Scratch Filter
February 13, 2009 10:44 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I have built a cat condo, and we'd like to wrap part of it in sisal rope to serve as a scratching post. All sisal rope found in stores (near as I can tell) has been treated with something that gives it a reek similar to vaseline, probably to keep it supple. We have found a couple of online sources of untreated sisal, but they are A) about 10x the price, and B) out of sisal right now anyhow. We are wondering if the regular stinky store-bought stuff would pose a health hazard to our cats. The cat condo stays on our screened-in porch, so the odor isn't a great concern. I haven't found any MSDSs for sisal rope so far.
posted by adamrice to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
if you can find it, woven sisal may be a better option. i used to have a sisal rope scratching post, and then i tried one of these and the cats now ignore the rope post and all of the furniture in favor of the woven sisal. maybe you could buy woven sisal placemats. i doubt they'd have the strong smell you're having problems wth.
posted by TrialByMedia at 11:23 AM on February 13, 2009


TBM's link is incorrect, but I'm assuming the suggestion is just to get a sisal or jute mat. I got one at the hardware store, nailed it around a post — happy cats.
posted by beagle at 11:44 AM on February 13, 2009


oh damnit. let me try that again. top cat scratching post
posted by TrialByMedia at 12:01 PM on February 13, 2009


3.99 for 100 feet seams reasonable. Oh, wait. Shipping is seven bucks. A little less reasonable.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2009


I've had good luck scrounging kitty-condo materials out of dumpsters behind carpet stores. Have a look behind those big box stores, in particular. There are often lots of off-cuts of all kinds of materials. A berber carpet isn't exactly the same as sisal mat, but cats seem to love it.
posted by bonehead at 1:26 PM on February 13, 2009


I don't know what it is they put on sisal but I can still remember the smell fter many years. I would bet it is a petroleum product, surely not a good thing for the kitties to ingest.

I assume you are checking the small local hardware stores as well as the big box guys. You might check out feed stores too.
posted by pointilist at 3:32 PM on February 13, 2009


I suggest using carpet from remnants stores, really cheap, variety of styles, easy to replace.
posted by iamabot at 4:51 PM on February 13, 2009


My wife did some research on this for a blog post she did a while ago. Bottom line, any sisal rope is going to be oiled so it won't burn from friction during the manufacturing process. She found a suggestion here to look for "brazilian sisal" because it tends not to be too heavily oiled.
posted by Good Brain at 5:58 PM on February 13, 2009


Good searching by oneirodynia—we missed that. Even $11 w/ shipping isn't bad compared to some of the other prices we saw.

We're also considering using sisal mats instead. Carpet remnants (which we've already collected from a carpet store to cover the horizontal surfaces) aren't quite what he had in mind. Thanks.
posted by adamrice at 9:47 AM on February 14, 2009


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