How to Replace the Sisal Rope on a Cat Tree

Sisal rope should be wound tightly on the scratching post.

Sisal rope should be wound tightly on the scratching post.

Cats love digging their claws in and shredding the sisal rope on their cat tree. After a few months, they can damage it so much that they may turn to your furniture and carpets for fresh targets. Replacing the sisal rope is the cheapest option to make you both happy again.

Remove the old, ragged sisal rope from the tree using scissors and pliers. Check whether it is attached to the tree with nails, staples or glue. Nails and staples can be removed with pliers, while glue will have to be scraped off. Dispose of the old rope.

Start at the bottom of the cat tree post and nail one end of the new coil of rope to it. Drive the nail in hard, so that there is no edge where a cat can catch a claw. Wrap the rope around the post tightly, and every four to six winds, tamp it down using the hammer so that the coils are pressed firmly together.

Cut the rope once you have reached the top of the scratching post and have tamped down the top coils with a hammer. Use a nail to secure it to the top of the post and drive it in firmly so there are no edges that could catch a stray claw.

Items you will need

  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Sisal rope
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Scraper (optional)
  • Glue (optional)
  • Tape (optional)


  • Draw the rope from the inside of the coil so that it runs smoothly. If it is kinking, turn the coil upside down and draw the rope from the opening at the other end.
  • With long posts, you may want to take a break from rope winding. Drive a nail into the rope where you want to stop, so that it does not loosen. When you are ready to go again, you can pull the nail out and continue winding the rope around without losing any tension.
  • Some cat furniture makers sell replaceable sisal posts, so you don't have to do the work yourself.


  • Cats can be badly injured if they get a claw caught behind the head of a nail that has not been driven in far enough. Check your cat post regularly for loose nails. You can glue the top two coils of rope instead of using a nail and use tape to hold it in place until the glue sets. This way, no nail injuries will ever occur.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Cuteness
Brought to you by Cuteness

Photo Credits