Build your own cat tree
Cats love vertical spaces. It gives them a chance to exercise, stretch, scratch, play and generally ponder the world below them. In addition, in a multi-cat household or a home with children, the tree gives your feline friend a chance to have some “alone” time in his or her own space. Most importantly, you can add to the quality of your cat(s) life with this simple addition to your home.
You can customize the tree to better suit your home or cat’s preferences. You can make it shorter or wider or add a level. Be careful not to design a tree that is top heavy. It needs to be stable enough to withstand several adult cats scampering up one side without tipping over. Don’t make the tree taller than 5 feet unless you attach it to the wall to prevent it tipping.
This is for a five foot high tree with four carpeted platform levels: a top flat platform, an enclosed house, a rounded bed and a tube. It also has three legs that are 2 feet high with sisal rope wrapped around each leg.
Heavy duty glue gun with glue sticks
The Base: 24″ x 18″ x 4″ piece of wood
The Legs: Three – 5 foot long 2″ x 4″ pieces of lumber
The Top Platform: One 22″ long x 25″ wide x 1″ thick piece of wood
Carpet: 1 piece of rug 9 ‘x 7’ any color
Quik-Tube: 4 feet of 12 inch diameter Quik-tube building form
Sisal Rope: three 50 feet rolls of sisal rope
Nails: 18 – 3″-4″ long nails
Corner Brackets (five): 3 for the house, 1 for the bed & 1 for the Quik tube
Screws: Four – 3″ long wood screws to attach the round tube and bed to the legs.
Plywood or MDF Wood: Enough to build a “house” measuring 13″ wide x 16″ deep & 10″ high with one side open at the front.
Preparing the 3 Legs: Wrap the bottom 21″ of each leg with sisal rope. Begin by nailing the end of the rope to the bottom of 2×4 then begin wrapping the rest around the 2×4 using your hammer and nail to fix it in position at 21″.
Adding Carpet: Glue carpet to the rest of each 2×4 making sure to cover the top nail holding the sisal rope in position with carpet .
Carpet the Platform for the base and for the top.
Connect the Legs and Bottom: Nail the 2×4’s onto base platform placing the two side legs about 4 1/2″ in from the edge of the platforms and centering the middle leg against the back of the platform.
Connect the Legs and Top: Put the top in place on the legs and hold it in place with lightly tapped nails. Making sure the legs are level and perpendicular, nail the top to each leg firmly.
Making the House: For the house at the top of the tree you can use any sturdy box (a drawer) with one side opened or you can make it yourself by simply creating a wooden square box with one open side.
Carpet the House: Carpet the house inside and outside.
Attach the House: Hold the house into place using corner brackets. Glue the top of the brackets to the bottom of house so the screws would not go through bottom and hurt cat. Then use screws to attach the brackets to the 2×4 legs.
Quik-Tube: Measure a length of tube from one edge to 24″ back and mark all around. Using the utility knife, cut along the markings then cut that the piece in half lengthwise to make half a bed.
The Bed: Cover the half tube bed with carpet.
The Tube: Cut another length of Quick-tube about 19″ long. Cut that tube down the center to make it easier to cover the entire tube with carpet. Once both sides are carpeted, overlap the carpet and glue the two pieces of tube back together.
Connect the Bed: Position the bed where you want it and using a power drill put screws into the sides through bed and into 2×4 legs.
Support Bracket: Put 1 corner bracket in the back leg to support the back half of bed.
Connect the Tube: Use glue to put a bracket on bottom of the tube. Then put the round tube in position and drill through tube and into 2×4’s
Finish: Glue small carpet pieces over brackets and you are done!
You can also add hanging toys on short strings or a catnip toy as an added bonus for your cat’s enjoyment!