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Sisal Rope for Cats

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  • Feb 23rd, 2018 5:13 pm
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[OP]
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Apr 13, 2015
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Sisal Rope for Cats

Hi everyone,
I've been looking at buying some Sisal Rope to rewrap a scratching post. I am reading that some of them are 'treated' and could be bad for cats, but not finding too much info on it.
Are the ones are the hardware stores bad? The one at home depot says "natural and biodegradable". The ones on amazon and pet stores that say safe for pets are crazy expensive. Any thoughts would be appreciated!! Here is the link I was looking at:
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.38-i ... 99685.html
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Aug 2, 2003
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It's interesting what you've said here. I always presumed sisal was just sisal, but it seems it's not unusual to coat sisal with linseed (flax) oil. This is non-toxic and is apparently used to help soften the rope fibers. I have an interesting link from the U.S. Home Depot because there are reviews and also a Q&A area. Most comments, etc. would apply to any sisal I think. The idea of using this for a scratching post is discussed quite a bit. Based on what I'm reading, if it's coated, it smells *awful* and so if you buy it in a store and take a sniff prior to purchase, it should be obvious if it's coated or not. Also, I doubt a cat would like to use it if it smelled awful anyhow, even if it's non-toxic:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Crown-Bolt- ... /203607368
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter post
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Reading the thread title, I thought your question would be about where to find Sisal rope. I had a heck of a time finding any period. But, the stuff I did find at Home Depot seemed to be odourless, and the cats don't mind scratching it.

I suppose for added safety you could always let the rope soak in a bucket of hot water.
[OP]
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It is interesting that the "non treated, safe for pets" sisal rope is so crazy expensive. I read on there that it could be harmful to get non treated.
In the reviews for the Everbilt Sisal Rope, on homedepot.com, someone stated it would not be safe for pets. Someone also stated it smelled like gasoline. But some others said it was safe, lol
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3- ... /206094360
[OP]
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I also read this, about how the Sisal Rope from Lowe's is not safe for pets: http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads. ... umber=4663
"Lehigh's sisal, jute & manila products are treated with a certain percentage
of mineral oil & insecticides for export purposes."

So makes me wonder about the Home Depot ones. One a pet forum somewhere, I had read that the cheap ones are treated. It may be non toxic, but like "TheHans" mentioned, the cat may not want to use it.
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I’d just use any non treated rope. How much is this stuff is your cats actually ingesting for that to be a concern?
I’d use hemp rope. Easier to find, as just as durable as sisal.
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How you guys wipe it? Wood glue?
[OP]
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Focus wrote: How you guys wipe it? Wood glue?
Do you mean wrap it?
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MrsPotato wrote: I’d just use any non treated rope. How much is this stuff is your cats actually ingesting for that to be a concern?
I’d use hemp rope. Easier to find, as just as durable as sisal.
Yeah, I won't be too concerned about the sisal rope. Linseed/flaxseed oil is harmless to cats.

Also if ingestion of the rope is a concern then just get rid of the rope once your cat claw through it.


Think about it this way, What are those low quality cat trees (which are the vast majority of them) using? Treated or untreated sisal rope?

Focus wrote: How you guys wipe it? Wood glue?
Wipe it with glue?
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sorry yes, "wrap"
[OP]
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Focus wrote: sorry yes, "wrap"

Here is a link, although I would probably use a screw instead of a nail. I received a free used scratching post from someone, and I've been cleaning it and going to wrap all the frayed posts with rope. The nails they used are all coming out, so I think a screw might be better.
https://pets.thenest.com/replace-sisal- ... -4974.html
Last edited by teqtoke on Feb 14th, 2018 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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joeyjoejoe wrote:
Think about it this way, What are those low quality cat trees (which are the vast majority of them) using? Treated or untreated sisal rope?

That's a good point
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nail/screw won't do in my case because I was planning to wrap one for the material supporting post in the basement for them to climb.
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joeyjoejoe wrote: Think about it this way, What are those low quality cat trees (which are the vast majority of them) using? Treated or untreated sisal rope?
....or in my case a brand new living room sofa, chair and loveseat treated with lol.
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Focus wrote: nail/screw won't do in my case because I was planning to wrap one for the material supporting post in the basement for them to climb.
My experience is this -- you wrap it *very* tightly on whatever post you have. There should be no spaces at all as you're wrapping it. The key (I think) is making the sisal damp prior to wrapping it -- not soaking wet, just damp. Use a spray bottle for instance. Once it's wrapped on the post and it dries, it will be somewhat tighter even. You won't need glue nor anything else to keep the sisal on the post. Good idea about the basement supporting post.
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter post
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joeyjoejoe wrote: Think about it this way, What are those low quality cat trees (which are the vast majority of them) using? Treated or untreated sisal rope?
So true. And if it stinks, the cat won't use it. The cat will make that hilarious sour face (as we call it) that cats make when they sniff another cat's behind or sniff orange juice or toothpaste.
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter post
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TheHans wrote:
My experience is this -- you wrap it *very* tightly on whatever post you have. There should be no spaces at all as you're wrapping it. The key (I think) is making the sisal damp prior to wrapping it -- not soaking wet, just damp. Use a spray bottle for instance. Once it's wrapped on the post and it dries, it will be somewhat tighter even. You won't need glue nor anything else to keep the sisal on the post. Good idea about the basement supporting post.


So true. And if it stinks, the cat won't use it. The cat will make that hilarious sour face (as we call it) that cats make when they sniff another cat's behind or sniff orange juice or toothpaste.
Thanks for the tip on installing sisal, I've been meaning to replace mine as well, would it hurt to just wrap over the existing thin rope? I have tried to remove it but it looks like its glued on and its the yellow type glue which is hard to remove so far, and I don't want to use chemicals.

Uhh, a little OT, but my two cats liberally go to town on each others buttholes quite often, so I assume this not normal then?

Often it starts with one walking in front of the other with their tail up, and the other cat walks a bit faster, starts licking the butthole and both will stop moving while the licking occurs.
[OP]
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Apr 13, 2015
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Hey all,
just an update in case anyone cares. I bought the "Everbilt" sisal from Home Depot. I smelled it in the store, and seemed okay. When I brought it home, it definitely reeks big time. Smells like gas, same as what others had said about other ones. I guess its just the oil they use. I soaked in warm water and aggitated. I did this a few times, and added some dish soap once. The water looked greasy, so definitely treated. Once the water was coming out a little better, I actually put it in the washing machine on delicate (I have a front load, don't put this in a top load washer with an agitator). It came out a little better, but smell not totally gone.
I started the wrapping at the bottom of the post, I used a couple screws with washers and sunk them in super deep so claws can't reach them. When wrapping around, I used a hammer to keep pushing the rope down to ensure it was really tight with the previous row. It is still drying, and my cats do not seem interested in it at all. I will know for sure once its totally dry if they'll use it or not. The colour is also different than the other scratchers I have with Sisal reinstalled.
Hope this helps :)
[OP]
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Apr 13, 2015
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It has dried now, and they are loving it :)

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