I love DIY pet projects—here are some of my favorites. Cat trees, condos, and scratching posts can be some of the most expensive items you'll ever buy for your cat, yet they really enrich the lives of our feline friends. They give cats places to play, areas to claw, and perches from which to view their territories. Cats without these things are really missing out, and you are too, since watching them enjoy their trees and condos is great fun. Plus, it saves your furniture from being abused instead.
Store-bought cat structures can be pretty expensive. Depending on quality and size, they can run up to hundreds of dollars.
19 Adorable Free Cat Tree Plans For Your Furry Friend - Homesthetics
But it's not necessary to spend that much. With even the barest of carpentry skills, you can build your own and custom design them with your house and cat in mind. It's not hard at all to make a cat tree. You just need a solid base, some posts, and a few platforms. Things to consider in your design:. To make this cat tree, you will need the items listed below, though you may want to alter the design to fit your cat and home. Perhaps you want it shorter or wider, bigger or smaller platforms, whatever— simply adjust the sizes to fit.
In the wild, cats use their claws quite often to catch food, protect themselves, and defend their territory. Being kept in the house does not cause a cat's claws to grow less. Physically and psychologically, cats need to use their claws and use them often. Without cat trees and scratching posts, cats will scratch your furniture and anything else that satisfies their natural need to claw. It is something that you will have to deal with if you decide to have a cat: their claws and their need to use them are just part of what makes them cats and there's no way to prevent this behavior.
Even "declawing" them by removing their fingertips cutting of the section that grows their claws does not remove their obsession with clawing, it just makes it irritating to painful for them. That's why it is so important to have at least a few scratching posts around. This gives them a healthy and harmless outlet for their natural behavior and may prevent them from scratching your furniture. For a really easy scratching post, take a small board, cover it with rope, then hang it on the wall. All you need is board, rope, a staple gun, and a nail to hang it.
Since cats like to stretch up as far as possible to mark their territory with their claws, place this scratch so that your cat's paws reach about the middle of the pad when he or she is fully stretched out. The scratching post shown in the video above isn't homemade, it's actually just a modified cat tree, but if you think your cats might like to climb as well as scratch, it wouldn't be that difficult to make your own.
Customizing Options: You can play with this idea and customize your own structure. For example, for the cat who likes to climb up and then sit to survey the scene, instead of one long post you could have several shelves covered in rope and staggered up the wall. If you already have posts in your house as part of the design, I've seen people wrap those posts with rope so their cats can use them.
If you're lucky enough to have a random post in your house, you might do the same. This is one of the simplest ways to create a cat scratcher: Simply find a nice log to use. Most cats actually prefer real wood logs over anything else. They don't care about fancy or pretty, all they care about is if it is scratchable. A nice log, about eight inches wide or more and a couple of feet long, that is still pretty fresh is the ultimate in their eyes.
Build A Cat Tree
You can easily find some nice-looking ones in the woods or even go to a place that sells firewood. It is cheap, easy, and popular, though the shredded pieces of wood can make a bit of a mess. If you bring a log into your house, make sure there are no uninvited guests like termites or beetles coming with it.
Get a fresh log, then wrap it tight inside a plastic trash bag and leave it outside for a week or so. This should kill any insects. Customization Options: You could include a little platform at the top of the tepee. You could also use hinges instead of brackets so that it folds down. If you do this, you'll have to think of some way to secure each hinge so that it doesn't fold when you don't want it to. You might consider installing the hinges or brackets so that they go under the carpet to make it look a little bit nicer.
With some plywood, carpet, wood, a cardboard box, and some nails, you can get creative when building a condo or castle for your cat. Scroll down for design ideas. You don't have to have any carpentry skills to put something together, all you need is some sturdy boxes and tape. Kitties don't care what their play structure looks like. Many people who live in cold areas worry about stray or feral cats when it gets cold out. This heated cat house is a great way to deal with that problem.
Rain will follow any cords, so make sure you hang the cord so water won't follow it into the box. Or even better, place the entire thing in a sheltered location such as the garage or under your porch. A pretty easy scratching and playing item for your cats is a tunnel made out of a cardboard tube covered in carpet. It is extremely easy:. These are just some more great ideas to make your cat structures better. Putting shelves on the walls for them, ladders to areas they like to go, and just generally adding stuff you know they will like will all make your cats happier and more content.
Use these pictures to spark your own ideas about what might work in your house. There is a way to build a cat structure without having to do much construction: Simply use furniture as a starting point. Is there some old chair or shelf you've been storing in the garage for years, thinking of getting rid of? It's simple to cover it in carpet or rope and it can make a wonderful area for your cats to claw on and play with.
Run by a few thrift stores to find the perfect piece that your cats will love— it will probably be cheaper than buying supplies at the home improvement store. You simply need to look at them with eyes that are open to the possibilities. When making anything for the kitties, it's always important to keep the stuff as safe as possible. Whether homemade or store-bought, cat items can be dangerous, but if you're making them yourself, you can make it safer than anything you'd find in the store.
The DIY Cat Tower
Simply follow these tips:. Don't make something that isn't going to handle the weight of your kitty jumping on it. Since cats can weigh quite a bit, add as much support as possible. You can never have too much support, but you can have too little. I've seen cats leap five feet through the air to land on top of a cat tower, sending it rocking. If it didn't have a wide enough base, the tower and the cat would have tipped right over. Think of the cat tree you want and imagine a crazed beast launching itself straight at it: Is it going to hold up to the onslaught?
The wider the base the better, and if possible, it's always nice to attach the structure to the wall. Water-heater earthquake straps work well for this. Also, put heavier sections down lower, and smaller platforms up higher. The added weight at the base will keep the structure steadier. Nails are better than tacks, and screws are better than nails. Whatever you attach, whether it is carpet or rope or whatever, you don't want it easily coming loose.
8 Free DIY Cat Tree Plans
Nails and tacks and staples tend to work their way out over time, and a loose nail is a dangerous nail. Make sure anything is pounded into the wood really well, and if possible use screws where you can. If you use staples anywhere, give them an extra tap with a hammer to make sure they're seated deeply in the wood since most staple guns do not sink them fully. Sonotubes or Quik-tubes are brand-name sturdy cardboard tubes used as molds for wet cement. They are essential for building cat condos and other cat structures.
Covered with carpet or rope, cats love to lay in them and play inside them. They come in several different sizes, including 8", 10", and 12" in diameter, and different lengths as well. They are usually available in the concrete or masonry section of your local home improvement store. Cardboard barrels are used to hold food and other bulk items in many big stores. If you can find them, these make great cat condos and tree bases since sometimes the cardboard cement tubes are not big enough. Cardboard barrels come in several sizes, and are most likely to be found at places that stock bulk food or at some army surplus stores.
It's important to use natural ropes such as sisal or hemp to wrap the cat tower since slippery, plasticky-feeling synthetic materials like nylon aren't good. Sisal is cheap and readily available. Hemp is a bit more expensive but it is sturdier. Since you will need quite a lot of it and it is supposed to be torn up by your cats, most people get the cheaper sisal. If you have scrap carpet, that's just fine, especially if you had your house carpeted and have some leftover since the cat structure will match your house. If you have to purchase carpet, try to get a good kind that is stain-resistant as well as sturdy since it will endure some heavy wear and tear and you want it to last.
Most cats prefer short-napped, Berber-type carpets, though if you are going to buy something you may want to bring a sample home to see if your kitty likes it since cats have very definite opinions about what they like and don't like. When you purchase wood for your cat structures, you will most likely be getting things like plywood and 2x4 posts.
It's often best to have the store cut the wood to the size you need since then you don't have to use a saw or deal with large sheets of lumber. As long as your cat isn't one that tends to eat common household items it should be fine. Some cats will nibble on the edges of their perches, and as long as they aren't actually trying to ingest pieces, it will be okay. You'll find most carpets, and cat trees nowadays have nylon in them. I prefer a combination to attach the carpet or sisal. Some strong glue to hold it to the post, then staples or tacks along any loose edges.
Staples or tacks on their own can work their way out with repeated tugging by the cat, so the glue keeps it all a bit more sturdy. But be aware the glue can be a pain if you have to replace the carpet or sisal in the future. Small screws can be helpful to attach the pieces as they are unlikely to work loose.
Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. If you are struggling for connectors to go between sections of a tree, try "t-nuts' or a flanged screw in threaded insert for wood. These are normally available in m8 or m10, from places like amazon or climbing shops as they are used on climbing walls. I just use the little L angles they make for putting up shelves. I haven't seen a source for the connections themselves, though you could always find an old cat tree that was being thrown away and take them off of that.
Great tips, but I am going crazy trying to find what and where to get the part that will go inside the "tubes" that allows you to put a bolt or screw threw into the platforms. You have links to all the various types of tubes, but nothing on how to attach "hollow tubes". Little help please! I have 5 cats, and they always need new playthings to keep them busy. I'm going to build them something right now!
We have been thinking about making some of these lately. I appreicate you including videos and links. Gives us a lot to consider in constructing the right one for the kitties. This is very thorough. I have tons of scratchers, but I've never made my own. I love the photos of the cat rooms just for cats! I really need to try to make some of these items. They can be very expensive and I am in need of cat scratches, houses and trees quite often and it might be a great way to raise money as well for my organization!
Thanks for the great info! My little cats would love a few posts like these.. Maybe one rainy weekend i will attempt to build one myself! I have to replace their cat climbing trees every few months. So this lens has been very helpful to me.
Thank you for sharing the instructions on how to go about doing this! What a great and super informative lens! I have been meaning to buy or build a cat condo for the longest time now, especially since my two felines STILL prefer to shred my roommate's furniture over the four scratching posts they have I firmly believe it's more of a behavioral "how dare you work full time, human?!
You have inspired me to finally move onto this new project! What a fantastic lens. I can see that my two cats have been missing out on a lot in life. Just as well they can't read your lens or I would busy jumping to their orders! So many great ideas here! One of the more successful "adventures" I had with building cat furniture was wrapping sisal rope tightly around the hard fiberboard core from industrial rolls of carpeting.
Those are VERY tough, and long enough that we could put it floor-to-ceiling in a part of our house with foot ceilings. The cats loved that! May have to try some of your other ideas here Some very interesting ideas. I love cats and all animals for that matter. I have a ginger cat and she simply loves boxes! Congratulations on the Purple Star for this lens.
Even though I'm a doggie owner, I love cats, too. But they turn me into a sneeze machine indoors You've offered a lot of useful suggestions, here, and anyone considering declawing a pet cat should take special notice of your point that declawing does not remove the urge to claw, but makes it more likely that the cat will injure her paws while attempting to do so.
I'm guessing that any resulting lacerations could also become infected. We have a very playful cat. We looked into buying a cat tree for him, but they were expensive and looked and felt like they would be knocked over by the force of his run-and-jump. Now I'm looking into making a more stable one for him. Thanks for the lens. Great lens! As the owner of several indoor kitties, one of which is deaf, I would love to try some of these ideas!
Great information and ideas about Cat Trees! The photos are very beautiful. Would love to have one soon. Nice lens! Thank you for sharing. I'm glad it's helpful! Having made outside cats indoors only, I'd recommend you get him some cat grass regularly and just ignore his initial whining to go out. He'll be grumpy about it, but will get over it soon.
So helpful for me. So I plan to make our indoors as appealing to him as the outdoors! Thanks for all the great ideas! As the owner of an indoor Abby who is energetic and intelligent, I found this lens chock full of information. I might have even got an idea or two for the "games" section of my new TV show that raises money for dogs and cats. A big thanks for your time and expertise.
This is an awesome lens! I think I might make some of these for my cats. The cardboard condo is a great idea. Why have I never thought to do that?! My cats love their trees. Purchased trees are so expensive.
I love these ideas for building your own. This is a great lens. We have not made anything from scratch, but have recovered several cat posts with fresh sisal. Thanks for this. A wealth of information, and loads of ideas. My cats would be in heaven if they had half of these things. Great article! Good information here - showing some appreciation and i'm quite impressed you took the time to write this tutorial! This is great. I've spent hundreds of dollars buying cat towers, all over priced, and all fall apart within 2 years if I'm lucky. Look forward to trying some of the ideas here - whatever i do needs to be able to withstand five cats so that is a challenge.
Great lens, i feal quite silky bow i have read it for not attaching the cat tree to the wall, like the one you show. In celebration of Friendship Day , I am returning to some of my favorite lenses for fun, sharing and renewed blessings : Friends Still Make it All Worthwhile! Interesting ideas.
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These should keep me busy for a while. I can't wait to see how my kitty will react. Never thought about making our own cat trees. But it should be a good project for a month. At least, a weekend. We bought our cat tree, but my husband modified it quite a bit. It fits much better in our room and cat also have more fun. This is an exceptional lens. I have been shopping for a new cat tree and the expense of these trees are really overwhelming.
Being someone that is not afraid to build just about anything I have been sketching ideas on different sheets of paper in between writing my own lens. I just happened to put in a search for cat trees and wham bam boom here I am in amazement of your lens. Awesome job on your collection! I couldn't help myself but read from top to bottom and watch each video. You really did great and I can't wait to share it with family and friends who are cat lovers. I love your lens. We have "several" cats and this gave me some great ideas. Customers noted in their reviews that the fuzzy faux fleece covering was super soft and comfortable for their pet, and that the condo was fairly sturdy and easy to assemble.
It has a rating of 3. Any home with a cat should consider a cat tree for their feline friend. Cats might be indoor pets, but they still require exercise and mental stimulation just like any other pet. Taking your cat for a daily walk might not make sense for your pet or your family, and so a cat tree offers a more practical solution to provide them with the daily exercise they need.
A cat tree is also a must for those who have kitties that like to scratch furniture, as it provides a safe, dedicated space for them to take this urge out on. If you have a dog in the home, chances are your cat will also like having a cat tree as a space to get up and away from the canine. As they are natural climbers, most cats will appreciate having a cat tree to climb regardless if there are other pets in the home.
A cat tree should provide your pet with multiple levels to climb and perch from, plenty of scratching surface, and even a fun toy to swat at. A cat tree is a piece of furniture that allows cats to climb and perch upon it. Like anything new, your cat may be hesitant to approach or accept their new cat tree. But, with a little patience, and a lot of treats, you can teach her to love her new plaything. The cat tree should be placed in an area your feline spends most of its time. There are so many different types of cat trees available today, everything from modern to tall to small, and even those that look like real trees.
There are even cat trees that can be used outdoors! Which one you choose for your pet will depend on a few factors. First, consider how much space you have for a cat tree, and how many cats you have in the home. Sometimes, cats like to change up their sleeping spot. Other times, they might be put off by a new smell in the condo such as from a new cat. Some people find that if they can warm the area below the bed or somehow get their smell into the cat condo, that the cat will be more inclined to sleep there. We looked at 20 other cat trees. With plenty of hammocks, hidey holes, and ledges to perch from, this cat tree will keep your feline off your furniture.
Thanks to its unique shape, this cat tree is perfect for tucking into a corner to provide your pet with their own space, without taking up a ton of yours. This cat tree boast luxurious fabrics sure to please even the pickiest of felines. There are 2 cushioned platform beds, 2 spacious hideaway houses, and a cozy hammock for resting. This cat tree offers a multi-level playground for felines, and features plush fabric padding for added comfort. SmartCat Cat Climber. Perfect for those who are tight on space, this over-the-door option provides felines with a selection of 5 carpeted levels to climb and perch on.
Armarkat Cat Tree. This cat tree is suitable for use in multi-cat homes as it features a lb weight capacity, and provides plenty of space for your feline to relax. This cat condo features 2 spacious hideaway houses, with a plush, padded bed on top, to provide your feline companion with ample cozy space to rest. Suitable for single- or multi-cat homes, this cat condo offers two hidey holes as well as a plush elevated bed for lounging. This cat condo offers three levels for your feline to watch from, and comes fully assembled so all you have to do is put it in its place.
Suitable for use outdoors, this cat condo is made from durable cedar wood and has been painted with a pet-friendly paint that is weather-resistant. This two-story cat condo is suitable for use outdoors, and features a top-opening design that is easy to clean. Another great option for those who are tight on space, this over-the-door cat condo provides felines with a choice of 7 peepholes to cozy up in, with complete interior access for all levels. This very affordable cat tree is wrapped all over with soft, plush fabric, and features a hideaway house, two lounging platforms, and a pom pom toy.
Go Pet Club 23 in. Cat Tree. This cat tree offers a choice of two beds with raised edges that are perfect for felines who love to lounge.