If you have a cat or two, they've most likely used some part of your home -- such as a piece of furniture or your carpet -- as a scratching post. The good news is that you can repair a small section of damaged carpet by plugging it with a new piece. If you have a cat tree and its carpet is worn and ripped, you can replace the damaged portion, which is a wallet- and earth-friendly alternative to buying a new one.
Removing Damaged Carpet
To removed the cat-scratched carpeting, part the fibers about 1/2 inch out from the damaged area and cut around it using a carpet knife with replaceable blades. You can also use the round carpet cutter that comes in a patch kit if the damaged area is the size of a hockey puck or smaller. The carpet cutter works best on plush, tufted pile with no patterns, while you can use the carpet knife on any type of pile or pattern.
Replacing Damaged Carpet
If you removed the damaged carpet section with a carpet knife, use the cut-out piece as a template. For the replacement, use carpeting that is in a concealed area, such as in a closet. Set the template piece down on the replacement carpet, and cut around it with the knife, using a straightedge as a guide. Make sure the fabric naps -- and patterns, if the carpet has one -- are running in the same direction so that the new piece of carpet fits seamlessly into the cut-out spot. If you used a carpet cutter to remove the damaged piece, use it again to cut a replacement in the exact size and shape. Use either carpet glue or tape to hold the new carpet piece into place. After inserting the carpet plug into the hole, trim any loose fibers with scissors.
Replacing Cat Tree Carpet
Instead of throwing away a cat tree with damaged carpet, do the wallet- and eco-friendly thing by simply replacing the carpet. Use a sharp carpet knife to remove the damaged section in one piece. Use the old piece as a template when cutting the new piece of carpeting. Use carpet from an inconspicuous place in your home, or from a leftover roll. Use a nail gun to nail the new carpet into place on the cat tree. Place a nail about every 2 inches for a secure hold.
Preventing Future Carpet Damage
Prevent future carpet damage by buying a carpeted cat tree or scratching post, so that your pets have a place to stretch and mark their territories. If the cats don't seem interested in their new toys, encourage them to use them with a little catnip. If your cat continues to scratch your carpet, let it know that it's a bad behavior by clapping your hands and saying "No" before redirecting the pet to the tree or post.
Josh Arnold has been a residential and commercial carpenter for 15 years and likes to share his knowledge and experience through writing. He is a certified journeyman carpenter and took college-accredited courses through the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters training center. As a Los Angeles-based union carpenter, Arnold builds everything from highrises to bridges, parking structures and homes.