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How To Build Your Own Cat Tree


Before you shudder or become too excited at the idea of how to build your own cat tree, you must take into account the kind of skills you have. If you are fairly well experienced with making things and are acquainted with different tools, hardware materials such as wood, rugs and nails, then you can certainly build your own cat tree. If you have no experience with handheld tools or making something tangible, then STOP. For real. You should ideally buy a cat tree and not try to invest in building your own.

Before you begin to work on your own cat tree, you must consider two factors in addition to budget

  • the space you have available at your home
  • age, size and breed of your cat.

diy 4 in 1 cat tree 2[2]

Your design of the cat tree must adhere to the space available, the height of the ceiling and what kind of elaborate or limited planning you can conveniently place. All these attributes will also be influenced by the age and size of your cat. If you have a small cat which is very young then your cat tree should be less daunting and more easygoing. If you have a large cat, then a small cat tree will be futile. Instead, you will need a tall, spacious and sturdy cat tree. Likewise, if you have a cat that is seldom very active then you need to account for considerable resting spaces on the cat tree but if you don’t have a lazy cat then you need to have plenty of activity to offer in the cat tree, else the cat will be bored and will not use the tree at all. If you have many cats then you need a design that provides for different levels and perches as this is how cats can hide or assert their dominance.

Getting Started With How To Build Your Own Cat Tree

  • The first step is quite simple. You need to design the cat tree. Measure the dimensions of the space available and then draw a large rectangle or square on some paint or designing software. Make sure there is some relevance in regards to scale. This square or rectangle on your desktop or laptop screen will be the ultimate peripheries of the cat tree. Now, you have to decide how many levels you would have, if you should have stairs or would perches be enough and the cat would jump from one to another. You should also work on the structural layout, which will include the number of supports or pillars you would use at every step and accordingly make the first diagram.
  • The second step will involve considering the features that you want in the cat tree. For instance, you may want a cat condo, some hiding places, some perches, some scratching posts or ropes, a hammock, a few stairs and some other attributes that may capture your fancy. Imagine your cat playing on the cat tree and think of unique elements which you can add. Since you are not being limited or confined to the choices at a store, you can actually come up with your own exclusive cat tree features.
  • Once you have a design, work on it again to make it perfect. Trim parts that are tricky, upgrade the design to make it more practical if it already isn’t and make all necessary changes that you think are obvious. Once you have frozen the design of your own cat tree, make a list of the materials. You will need wood, carpets, paint, a drill, a stapler, hammer, nails, a table saw, wood glue, sisal rope and any other material which is necessary for your design.

Here are 6 free cat tree plans for you to get started.


Building A Cat Tree

Buy all the materials, get all the tools and prepare yourself for the building process. You should be patient and have someone to help, just in case you need an extra pair of hands.

  • Prepare all the base materials. Cut the wood or the plies in size, as required. Keep the panels separate which would be used as podiums or different levels. Stairs will have certain dimensions and so would the supports or pillars. The first level panels and supports or pillars can be wrapped in the carpet pieces. The subsequent levels can be wrapped in the carpets later, after they have been fixed by the nails. That would also conceal the nails. Repeat the process of drilling and hammering the nails and setting up all the wooden panels and carpet pieces according to your design.
  • Once you have set the base up, you can paint the carpet, tie up a rope onto a perch or wooden plank and hang the hammock. You can wrap the base posts with sisal rope for them to become scratching posts. You can deck up the shelters or condos on the cat tree with small bedding and other stuffs that your cat likes.

You can have a wonderful cat tree built in no time with this approach.

As you can see, building a cat tree is quite an involved process, if you have $50, you can check out our cat tree post that shows the best cat trees you can buy under $50.

If you’re more a picture person, here’s a Reddit post of the same topic.

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