Make Your Own Cat Trees, Towers, and other Cat Structures

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Why Homemade Cat Structures?

Cat trees, condos, and scratching posts can be some of the most expensive items you ever buy for your cat, yet they really enrich the lives of our feline friends. They give them 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 used instead.

Though cat structures are pretty expensive, depending on quality and size they can run up to hundreds of dollars, it's not always necessary to spend that much on them. With even the barest of carpentry skills you can build your own, and make them designed with your house and cat in mind.

Picture from Paul-W

Making Cat Scratching Posts

Making Cat Scratching Posts

Picture from ambienttraffic
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Picture from ambienttraffic

Cats Need to Scratch

Cats have to scratch

Cats are designed to use their claws quite often in the wild to catch food, defend themselves, and defend their territory. Being housepets does not make a cat's claws grow any less or need to be used any less. Cats, physically and psychologically need to use their claws and use them often.

If they don't have cat trees and scratching posts that they like, they will scratch up your furniture and anything else that satisfies their natural need to claw. It is something that you just have to deal with if you decide to have a cat, it's part of what makes them a cat and there's no way to prevent them from it, even "declawing" them by removing their fingertips (cutting of the section that grows their claws) does not remove the obsession to claw, 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, it gives them something else to redirect their scratching urge toward and may prevent them from scratching your furniture up in the first place.

Picture from swanksalot
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Picture from swanksalot

Simplest of Scratching Posts

A really easy scratching post, is just to take a small board, cover it with rope, then hang it on the wall.

Since cats like to stretch up as far as possible to mark their territory by scratching, place this and other scratch pads so that your cat's paws will just reach about the middle when he or she is fully stretched out.

Tall Kitty Scratching Post

Tall Kitty Scratching Post

The cat scratching post shown in the video below isn't homemade, it's actually just a hugely modified cat tree, but if you think your cats might like to climb as well as scratch, it wouldn't be that difficult to cover a tall 2x4 or 4x4 board with sisal rope. You would just attach the end of the rope at the bottom of the pole, then keep wrapping it until you reach the top and attach the rope to that end and cut off the excess. You might also want to drill a few screws into the wood at various places to secure the rope and make sure it won't come loose when kitty is climbing on it. Staples could also work, though you'd want to be very careful to ensure none of them would work loose over time since they don't always stay embedded well.

The hardest part of this entire thing would be to connect it to the floor and the ceiling. On the floor you'd want a nice steady base since if the post moves around the cat won't use it. You could attach the post to the floor using L-brackets such as those used to hold up shelves, if you used one on each side of the post it would make it pretty sturdy. Using L-brackets again to affix it to the ceiling would be a good idea as well. The post would have to be within inches of the ceiling though for the brackets to be able to connect to both the post and the ceiling. Another option, and I think the simplest and best, would be to attach the post to the wall. That would give it a lot of stability as well as making it much easier to attach, you could even attach it to the wall in several places to make it really sturdy.

Shelves hanging on the wall at a few points might make it more fun as well. Whatever you do though, make sure the post doesn't have a chance of tipping over, it could really hurt your furry one if it did.

I also saw where someone had a random post in the middle of their house, since it was there, they wrapped the post with rope and had a cat scratching post. If you're lucky enough to have a random post in your house, you might be able to do the same thing.

House Cat: How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane and Sound

House Cat: How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane and Sound
House Cat: How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane and Sound

A wonderful and interesting book about making sure your cat is healthy and happy indoors.


Make a Homemade Scratch Pad

Create a Quick and Simple Cat Scratcher

Create a Quick and Simple Cat Scratcher

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 8 inches wide or more and about a couple of feet long, that is still pretty fresh and not punky is the ultimate in their eyes. You can easily find some nice looking ones in the woods or even go to a place that sells firewood to get something. It is cheap and easy and popular, though the shredded pieces of tree can make a bit of a mess.

If you do find a nice looking log, make sure there will be no uninvited guests brought inside with it. Use a fresher log that doesn't have any occupants, then set it inside a plastic trash bag on the lawn, preferably a clear or black bag. The tree will get a bit cooked inside the bag when it gets hot out, and it will kill anything that might be inside it. Try to make sure there isn't anything in it to begin with of course, the bag trick is just to make sure.

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Tepee Cat Scratching Post

This cat scratching post would be quite simple to make at home. All you would need to do is take two pieces of wood that are the same size, one piece of wood that is about four inches bigger on all sides, cover them with carpet, then attach the two smaller boards to the larger one. You could do this fairly simply by just using some brackets from the hardware store. Two V-shaped brackets would secure the two same-sized boards to each other at the top of the peak, another two would secure the left board to the base, and two more to secure the right board to the base. So, three sturdy boards, carpet, and six brackets would make this hand little, tepee-shaped scratching post. You could also make it with hinges at the peak and one of the bases, so that it would fold down, but that would be a bit more complicated since you'd need to make a way to prevent it folding down when you didn't want it to. Installing the hinges or brackets so that they go under the carpet would make it look a little bit nicer, but may not be worth the trouble since they would be on the inside of the tepee anyway and not readily visible. Picture via Creative Commons from apollonia666

Making Cat Condos

Making Cat Condos

Picture from Technically Nina
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Picture from Technically Nina

Kitty Castle

This adorable kitty castle is said to be homemade, but did not have instructions on how they did it. It is super cute though, and as everyone knows, cats rule the house, so it would make a perfect kitty plaything.

It looks as though it was made from fabric-covered tubes from the hardware store with a platform on the top. Perhaps something like this:

Make a Kitty Castle

Cardboard Cat Condo

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Sturdy apple boxes can make a super easy cat hide-outCutting a hole through both the lid and bottom of the boxHole cut through the boxCut off pieces taped to the top for supportTaping the two boxes togetherTaping them together really wellFinished cat condo already with an occupantChecking it outEveryone wants inCat condo cruiser
Sturdy apple boxes can make a super easy cat hide-out
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Sturdy apple boxes can make a super easy cat hide-out
Cutting a hole through both the lid and bottom of the box
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Cutting a hole through both the lid and bottom of the box
Hole cut through the box
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Hole cut through the box
Cut off pieces taped to the top for support
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Cut off pieces taped to the top for support
Taping the two boxes together
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Taping the two boxes together
Taping them together really well
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Taping them together really well
Finished cat condo already with an occupant
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Finished cat condo already with an occupant
Checking it out
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Checking it out
Everyone wants in
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Everyone wants in
Cat condo cruiser
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Cat condo cruiser

Making Cat Trees

Making Cat Trees

Siamese Cat on Crossing Branches

Picture of Siamese Cat on Handmade Cat Tree by OblivousOne
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Picture of Siamese Cat on Handmade Cat Tree by OblivousOne

Picture via Creative Commons from OblivousOne

Picture from Feral Indeed!
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Picture from Feral Indeed!

Simple Three Platform Tree

It wouldn't be very hard at all to make a cat tree like this one. Just need a solid base, posts, and a few platforms.

I would most likely use a 4x4 post for the shorter, left pole, another 4x4 post for the tallest right post, then a shorter length of 4x4 or a 2x4 for the shorter right post. That would adequately support everything, and if you attached the two right posts together, which it looks like they did in the picture, it would make it fairly sturdy.

Though the shortest post is on the left-hand-side, it would be more comfortable for the cats to get to and from the levels if they went in stair-step fashion. Putting both the shortest and tallest levels on the right and the medium-height one on the left would make it easy for the cats to go from shortest to tallest without having to go to the one directly on top of their level.

I would also cover the posts with rope instead of carpeting. Carpet wears out pretty fast and is hard to replace, while rope is pretty easy. Also, it seems that most cats prefer the rope on the posts.

To make this cat tree you would need the items listed below, though you may want to alter the design to fit your cat and area. Perhaps you want it shorter, wider, bigger platforms, smaller ones, whatever, just adjust the sizes to fit.

  • 3- 4"x4" posts, 2' long, 3' long, and 4' long
  • 3-Round or square shelves around 1 1/2' square
  • 19-L-Brackets
  • Large, heavy piece of wood for the base. Needs to be fairly thick, 3/4" is good. 3' square
  • Bolts with matching nuts to connect the platforms to the posts with the brackets and the posts to the base with the brackets. Make sure they are fairly short, but long enough to go through the wood and still have room to put a bolt on the other side.
  • Really short wood screws about 1/2" if you can find them
  • 1" Wood screws
  • Drill
  • Staples and staple gun
  • Carpet
  • Rope

Have all the wood cut before you start. Often your neighborhood home improvement store can do this for you for free or cheap. You may want to alter the post size a little so that one 8' 4x4 post will be enough or try looking in the cut bin at the store, sometimes there are some great usable pieces there. You can also use scrap wood if you want, it's an easy way to reuse wood.

Mark out where you will want the posts, try to get them fairly close to center on the base so it will be steadier. Mark their outlines on the base, so you'll have a little 4x4 square and a 4x8 square visible on the board (just a tip, make sure you actually use one of the posts as a stencil, since 4x4s are not actually exactly 4"x4"). Arrange one of the L-brackets along one of the sides of the post outline and mark where you need to drill the holes. Move the bracket out of the way and drill holes for the bolts all the way through the base. Do this for each of the four L-brackets that are going around that post to support it. Then do it for the other posts. You may also want to countersink the area around each hole on the bottom of the base to prevent the bolts from being in contact with the floor and scratching it up.

Homemade Cat Tree Diagram

Homemade Cat Tree Diagram
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Homemade Cat Tree Diagram

Feed a bolt up from the bottom of the base to the top and then through the hole in the bracket, and put a nut on it. This should leave the end of the bolt with the nut on top of the base. Do this for each of the bolts until all of the brackets are in place. Test the post to make sure it fits in there and make adjustments if necessary so that they will fit.

Now that all the brackets are in place, you will want to carpet the base. Get a piece of carpet big enough to cover the entire top of the base with several inches left over on all sides. You'll need to set the carpet on top of the base, then mark it where you will need to cut holes out for the posts. Cut just an X where the post will go at first, then make sure the carpet is in the exact right place so that the brackets can come through the hole and push the carpet all the way down to where it will sit, this will leave the brackets uncovered and the carpet in place. Trim off the edges of the carpet, so there is one bare 4x4 square and one bare 4x8 square in the carpet with the brackets all sticking up through them.

Attach the edges of the carpet around under the base using the short wood screws. When you drill them in make sure they don't come out the top of the board by pushing on the carpet where they would come through. If your wood screws aren't short enough to not come out the other side you will need to use the staple gun instead.

After the carpet is secured to the base, set a post in its spot and attach to the brackets using the 1" wood screws. Set the other two posts in their spot and attach them to the brackets as well. You may also want to toenail the two posts together on both sides near the top where they touch, to make it steadier. The posts are now attached to the base.

Attach the rest of the L-brackets to the tops of the posts, four on the freestanding post, three on the shorter paired post, and four on the top of the taller paired post.

Attach the end of the rope to the near the bottom of a post using a wood screw. By not having it at the exact bottom you can overlap the rope over it and cover the end plus make the rope more secure. Wrap the rope around and around the post, covering up the end and then working your way all the way to the top. Secure at the top with a few more wood screws so it won't come undone. Do the other post. Make sure you treat the double post as one, wrapping the rope all the way around both posts, securing them together.

After the posts are both wrapped, secure the platforms to the brackets at the top of the posts. Do this by setting the platforms on top of their posts, marking where the holes need to be, then drilling holes for the bolts to go through. Putting the bolts through the holes in the shelves first, then through the brackets will make the bigger, bulkier ends be underneath the shelves and not visible.

In the photograph, all of the shelves are round, including the one part way up the post. You can do that if you choose, but making the side that is up against the post flat will make it sturdier and better attached. You can also simply choose to make all the platforms square or rectangles, and this may be your only choice if you don't have a saw to cut them into circles since most places will not cut circles for you, though they often have some pre-cut circles, they can be fairly expensive. Also, the picture shows the shelves having sides on them. I'm not putting them in the instructions because they can be fairly difficult to make, the sides can be fairly complex and out of the range of the ability of many people and really your cat will like it just fine without them, though if you want an easy replacement simply add some strong Velcro to the top of the platform as well as to the bottom of a kitty bed with sides and place the kitty bed on top of the shelf. It will add some more padding and give your kitty a nice place to lay, plus make it easier to keep the tree clean, you can just toss many cat beds into the washer.

After the platforms are attached to the posts, simply cover each one with carpet, wrapping the edges down underneath the platform and attaching with either wood screws or staples just as you did with the base.

That's it! A fairly simple, nice little cat tree.

Sphynx on a Simple Tree Branch Cat Tree

Spynx Cat on a Homemade Cat Tree
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Spynx Cat on a Homemade Cat Tree

Picture via Creative Commons from The Pug Father

Anyone can do a cat tree like this one! All you need is to find the exact right branch that will work, then use a little ingenuity to attach it to a solid base and add a couple shelves.

Animal House Style - Designing a Home to Share With Your Pets

Animal House Style : Designing a Home to Share With Your Pets
Animal House Style : Designing a Home to Share With Your Pets

This book is full of beautiful shots of people and their pets living in beautiful homes often with furniture designed for the animals, whether they are cat trees or dog beds, they are all beautiful designer pieces it is a joy to look at.


Cat Tree Attached to the Wall

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Made out of scrap wood and recycled materialsDiagram of the cat treeScrap wood covered in carpet with trim on edgeThe carpet is glued on, the edging is done with glue and a staple gunSlot made in a plotter roll which will eventually be a supportTesting out types of string to see which is betterPlastic plugs that come with the roll of paper for the plotter at workString wrapped around the tube, even around the cutout slotsPlatforms wedged in the slots on the rolls and attached to the wallPictures from Daveybot
Made out of scrap wood and recycled materials
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Made out of scrap wood and recycled materials
Diagram of the cat tree
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Diagram of the cat tree
Scrap wood covered in carpet with trim on edge
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Scrap wood covered in carpet with trim on edge
The carpet is glued on, the edging is done with glue and a staple gun
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The carpet is glued on, the edging is done with glue and a staple gun
Slot made in a plotter roll which will eventually be a support
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Slot made in a plotter roll which will eventually be a support
Testing out types of string to see which is better
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Testing out types of string to see which is better
Plastic plugs that come with the roll of paper for the plotter at work
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Plastic plugs that come with the roll of paper for the plotter at work
String wrapped around the tube, even around the cutout slots
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String wrapped around the tube, even around the cutout slots
Platforms wedged in the slots on the rolls and attached to the wall
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Platforms wedged in the slots on the rolls and attached to the wall
Pictures from Daveybot
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Pictures from Daveybot

Tall and Basic Cat Tower

This is a nice looking cat tower that looks fairly simple to recreate.

A Building Shortcut

A Building Shortcut

There is a way to build cat trees without having to build as much. Simply use furniture as a starting point. Whether you use something you've been thinking of getting rid of, been storing in the garage, or even pick up something from a thrift store, a solid bookcase, entertainment center, or other piece of furniture can be a great starting point for your new cat tree. It's simple to cover it in carpet or rope and can make a wonderful area for your cats to claw on and play with. Running by a few thrift stores can find you the perfect piece that your cats will love, and will probably be cheaper than even getting the wood at the home improvement store. You simply need to look at them with eyes that are open to the possibilities.

Large Cat Tree

Picture via Creative Commons from Spiritualmonkey
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Picture via Creative Commons from Spiritualmonkey

This cat tree looks nicely balanced and very solid. It looks like it would be quite difficult to tip over. Sturdiness is the most important consideration when making cat trees.

Assembling a Purchased Cat Tree

Though this is instructions on how to assemble a purchased cat tree, it should give you some ideas on putting together your own. Picture the pieces as nicely carpeted boards and roped tubes that you have put together, it's easy to see how you can make it all fit together. Also, you'll be able to cover the boards with nice carpet that matches your house, and not the slippery, unpopular fakey-fabric that they used. You will also want to design your cat tree to be less likely to tip over, that one either needs to be attached to the wall or have a wider, heavier base to prevent injuries to the cats. I'm not sure how to make the legs so easy to attach, so if you have any tips, please leave a comment in the comment box at the end of the lens.

Making Cat Houses

Making Cat Houses

Make a Cat Castle

Kitty Hideout Made Out of Boxes

You don't have to have any carpentry skills to put something like this together. All you need is some sturdy boxes and tape. Kitties love to play peekaboo in places like this, they don't care how it looks. You could make something like this for a temporary plaything, or even put it in the closet so you could close the door and hide it if you have company. You could even cover it with pretty sticky paper or fabric to match your walls and make it look better. Imagine this one covered in a lovely cream colored fabric, it wouldn't look bad at all. Just realize, something like this won't last very long, a well-made one for a gentle cat could last for years, but for hyper kitties it would be lucky to last 6 months.

Making a Cat House

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House framework set on the carpeted baseArched door cutCarpeted top set on the basePictures from lancefisher
House framework set on the carpeted base
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House framework set on the carpeted base
Arched door cut
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Arched door cut
Carpeted top set on the base
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Carpeted top set on the base
Pictures from lancefisher
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Pictures from lancefisher

Pads for Pets

Pads for Pets
Pads for Pets

This book is full of fun dog houses, cat scratchers, and even stuff for mice, all cute and stuff you can build


Heated Cat House

Many people who live in cold areas worry about their stray or feral cats when it gets cold out. This is a great way to deal with that problem. It's a nice heated cat house. It does cost quite a bit, about $100 due to the heating mechanism and thermostat, but even the basic box without the heating mechanism would be a nice treat for stray kitties and I'm sure if you look around you might be able to find a thermostat -controlled heating pad or heating blanket that would work well and cost less, maybe even at a thrift store, though as always, be cautious of fire, old wiring, and the weather. 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.

Multi Cat House

Multi Cat House by Kasia/flickr
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Multi Cat House by Kasia/flickr

This wouldn't be hard to make. It's a basic box construction, presumably subdivided inside, with holes cut out for doors and a peaked roof set in place.

Picture via Creative Commons from Kasia/flickr

Making Outdoor Cat Play Areas

Making Outdoor Cat Play Areas

Outdoor Cabinet for Kitty

This setup uses a kitty door as a way in and out of the house for the cat. Many people use a window in order to avoid cutting a hole in their wall, but it depends on your situation. Just beware, a big door like that into the enclosure might make it very easy for kitty to get loose if you open it.

A Cat Enclosure

If planning to make an enclosed outdoor area for your cats, use what you have. These people obviously needed to be able to have their cats safely go along a hallway from their house to an old, unused building to the rear, which they had turned into a cat play area. They did it in a simple, yet perfect way, attaching netting from a stone wall to the building. Now it's a nice, secure kitty hideout, as is the extra building they enclosed and put cat trees in. They used what they had to make their kitties the perfect setup.

Making Other Cat Items

Making Other Cat Items

Cat Tunnel

Cat Tunnel

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, just take a cardboard tube such as a Quik-tube for concrete pilings and some scrap carpet, cut the tube to the length you want, place the carpet against the tube and measure to fit. Trim the carpet so that it will fit securely around the tube, with a little hanging over on each end, then cover the tube with a strong glue that will work on both the carpet and the cardboard. You may want to do a little at a time, add some glue, push the carpet onto that area, then coat another bit of area. Once the carpet is completely covering the outside of the tube, put some glue around the inside edge and press the carpet onto it so that all the carpet is attached. If you want you can also line the inside of the tube with carpet.

You can also use sturdy fabric in place of the carpet, and just attach it the same way.

Let the tube dry thoroughly, then lay this down on the ground and kitty will love to run around inside.

Window Perch

Though this is an assembly video for a purchased cat window perch, it wouldn't be hard to come up with a version of it that you could make since it is just basically a wire shelf attached to the windowsill using strong Velcro and a brace underneath.

Simple and Easy Cat Clawer

Simple and Easy Cat Clawer

Cats have far more fun with this idea than you would think just to look at it. Simply take a board, whatever you have lying around, a 2' by 4' piece of plywood works great. Cover the piece of plywood front and back with a piece of carpet, just take a piece that is twice the size of the board and wrap it all around the board, then use staples or small screws to affix it. You can lean this board against a wall and the cats love to climb up on it and some will even play underneath it. There's nothing like the sight of a cat climbing upside down along the bottom of the board! Try changing the angle of the board regularly to keep it interesting to the cats, some cats prefer the board almost vertical, some prefer it more horizontal.

Black & Decker 24 Weekend Projects for Pets - Dog Houses, Cat Trees, Rabbit Hutches & More

Black & Decker 24 Weekend Projects for Pets: Dog Houses, Cat Trees, Rabbit Hutches & More
Black & Decker 24 Weekend Projects for Pets: Dog Houses, Cat Trees, Rabbit Hutches & More

Make cat trees, rabbit hutches and more with the directions in this book


Ideas for Cat Structures

These are just some 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.

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

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Source: mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

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Source: mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

Kitty Cat Playroom

Kitty Cat Playroom by mi2starsfan
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Kitty Cat Playroom by mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

Cat Room Ideas

Cat Room Ideas by mi2starsfan
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Cat Room Ideas by mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

Fun Kitty Cat Room

Fun Cat Room Ideas by mi2starsfan
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Fun Cat Room Ideas by mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

Picture via Creative Commons from mi2starsfan

Fenced Cat Play Area

Fenced Cat Play Area
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Fenced Cat Play Area
Source: mi2starsfan

Building Basics

Building Basics

Keep It Safe

Keep It Safe

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. Simply follow these tips:

Design the cat tree or other items to be structurally sound.

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 and seem to somehow get heavier than what they actually weight, add as much support as possible. You can never have too much support, but you can have too little.

Ensure that everything is going to be balanced.

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 the tree, 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 cat 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 cat tree steadier.

Attach everything well.

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. Anything used to attach anything, you REALLY don't want coming loose. Nails and tacks and staples tend to work their way out over time as the cats claw and pull on the carpet and rope, 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. They don't work out and can later be easily removed to replace the carpet or rope as it gets used up. 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.

Building Terms

Some common building terms that you might not know as well as their definitions are listed below.

Countersink: To countersink means to drill a hole for a bolt or screw, then drill a slightly larger one part way through over top of the first hole. This enables you to put a bolt through something such as the base of a cat tree, and then have the head of the bolt flush with the wood, instead of having it stick out above the surface. There are drill bits that are designed to do this automatically, or you can just use two bits, one right after the other.

Pilot Hole: Pilot holes are holes you drill into wood using a drill bit, that you will later drive a nail into or screw a screw into. Some wood splits apart very easily, but by first using a slightly smaller drill bit and then screwing the screw into the hole makes it less likely to split or crack.

Toenail: Toenailing is used to join two pieces of wood together, when your nails or screws are too short to go through the first piece and into the second. Basically you go to the edge of one board and drive the nail or screw in at an angle so that it will go through the edge of one board and into the other. Since the top of the nail or screw isn't completely flush with the wood's surface since it's angled, it is best to only do this in an area that won't really show.

Items You Might Need

Items You Might Need

Though what tools and other items you might need to build your cat structure will vary by project, some of the more common items are listed below. Do not feel intimidated if you are not used to them or don't know what they are. Everyone has to start somewhere, and making some of the simpler cat trees, towers, condos, etc are a great place to begin. And there are several plans that only need bare essentials such as screwdrivers and hammers. If you use scrap wood or can have the store cut the wood when you buy it, you will need a lot fewer tools and can easily get by without doing any major carpentry.

Types of Fasteners


Nails are small pegs of metal that are used to join pieces of wood together. They are indispensable when it comes to building, and a variety of sizes are often necessary. Nails come in different lengths, different widths, and different head types, for different applications.

Wood Screws

Screws are similar to nails, in that they are small pieces of metal that are used to join things together, but screws are often better than nails because they are designed to not pull out of the material as easily, making them great for when you don't want things to come apart after you put them together, though screws are also better to use where you might want to remove them and put them back in later since they can be removed with a screwdriver fairly easily. Wood screws are screws that are specially designed for wood. They have a sharp, pointed tip to go right into wood without having to drill a pilot hole first, though many people do that anyway.

Nuts and Bolts

Bolts are another type of fastener used in building and are similar to screws, and in some cases the two terms may be used interchangeably. Bolts typically are designed to go through an already drilled hole in wood or metal and be capped by a nut, or a ring that is made to screw onto the bolt, on the other side so they have a non-pointed tip and do not change in diameter down their shafts. There are different types of bolts, and it is important to make sure to get nuts that match the bolts you are going to use since they can have different thread patterns that prevent the nut from screwing onto the bolt or make it too easy for it to slip off. Always make sure the bolts and nuts you buy at the store match before starting your project, the bins at the stores often get mixed up and confused.


Staples are another common type of fastener, and are basically horseshoe-shaped small pieces of metal. Though some larger ones may be hammered into place, most are applied to the surface with a staple gun, that shoots them into the material with great force. The type of staples used need to match the application as well as needing to match the gun, since not all staples are the same. Staples are typically used to attach thin items together, and you will most likely use them to attach carpet or very thin pieces of wood to your cat condos and other cat structures.

Angle Brackets

Angle brackets are pieces of metal that are used to join pieces of wood where just regular fasteners won't work. Often this is when you are trying to put shelves on a wall or put two pieces of wood at an angle to each other, such as putting a cat condo on a base. There are different names for the different types of angle brackets, most commonly used is the L-bracket since it is shaped like a capital L, and it is used to affix things at right angles to each other. These have different ways of being affixed, so have different size holes and it is important to get one with holes for bolts if you are using bolts, or one with holes sized right for nails or screws if you are using it with that. Some brackets have a variety of holes to enable you to use more than one of type of fastener with them.


There are many types of glues or adhesives available and it is extremely important to get the right variety so that it sticks well. Glues are all dangerous to pets if ingested, even "safe" glues, but some wood glues are even more dangerous, read up on it here so you know how to handle it. Some people use glue to attach the carpet to their cat condos, etc, but just make sure no animals get near it until it is completely dry.

Tools You Might Need


Having a normal hammer around is often important in building anything, many times you'll need to use it to pry at stuff or pound it in more. When building cat structures you'll use it often to drive nails in to hold the pieces of wood together and to put carpet on and to make sure the staples are embedded well.

Staple Gun

Many people attach the carpet to the cat trees, etc using a staple gun. Staple guns are super simple to use, they're similar to a desk stapler, but don't close on anything, instead they are pressed straight against the surface of whatever you are using it on and then kept pressed tightly to that surface as you squeeze the trigger sending a staple straight into it. Most people can easily use a staple gun, though those with extreme hand weakness might need to use both hands to squeeze and those with small hands can have some trouble wrapping their hands all the way around them. They are wonderfully handy to have though. Each staple gun will use only certain varieties of staples so it's important to read the label, and some staple guns also shoot nails as well.

Hot Glue Gun

Hot glue guns are one of the most useful items to have around the house. They are basically little plastic guns that heat sticks of glue which you can then apply to surfaces to stick them together. There are low-temp ones, which don't get as hot, and high-temp ones, which get really hot and are usually better for bigger projects like attaching carpet. You have to work quickly to get the materials together before the glue cools off, but hot glue sticks really well as long as you get the items together in time. While using them it is important to work carefully because them and the glue get hot enough to burn and it's easy to get sticky, molten threads of glue dragging from the tip of the gun and getting stuck on stuff. Be extra careful with the glue gun if using near cats or kids. Try to use it in another room if possible.


Screwdrivers come in two major kinds, flathead and phillips. Flathead screwdrivers just have a simple flat tip, while phillips head screwdrivers have a cross-like tip. Most of the time you will want to use a phillips head screwdriver and the matching screws since the flathead ones frequently ruin the tops of the screw by ripping at the metal while you are twisting it on top of the screw. This is called stripping the screw and often makes the screws nearly impossible to remove. You will occasionally need a screwdriver to screw in a screw, though most often it is better to use a drill since it can be hard to make the screws go into the wood.


Drills are basically powered screwdrivers. They use either a plug-in or a battery pack to rotate the different tips (called bits) that are available to screw in screws, unscrew screws, as well as bore holes in wood. You will likely need a drill to add holes to your cat items so that you can put bolts through to hold them together, and also to screw in screws so that you can make stuff stick together.

Carpet Knife

Carpet knives are actually sort of like razor blades with handles. They are designed to be easy to hold and to cut through the backside of carpet (cutting the front side usually does a bad job and makes a mess). It's often handy to have a carpet knife when making cat structures because often areas on the cat structures are covered in carpet and it is easiest and best to cut the carpet with a carpet knife though if you need to you can carefully cut the carpet with a regular knife or even a sturdy pair of scissors.

Hand Saw

Hand saws are usually small, human-powered saws that you move in a back and forth motion to cut through wood. They have different kinds of teeth on them to be able to cut different things, and there are different designs as well so some saws will cut through metal easier and others will cut through wood easier. They can be tiring to use if cutting through lots of stuff.


A jigsaw is a small, hand-held power saw that has a blade that very quickly moves up and down to cut through wood. It is small enough and easy enough to use that it makes it the best power saw to have in the household if you only have one. Because the blade is so small and fine, it is not very good at cutting long lengths through wood or through thick pieces, though some people carefully use them for that and just try not to damage the blades (the blades are replaceable) but jigsaws are most useful cutting out small details and curved lines. If you want to have a door in a cat house or cut circles for platforms for a cat tree, a jigsaw is likely to be necessary.

Circular Saw

Circular saws are large, heavy, hand-held power saws (usually) that have a circular, rotating blade that is rimmed by teeth. It is pressed to the edge of the wood and gently guided forward as it cuts a line into the wood. Though circular saws are not that difficult to use, their heaviness and power make them awkward and dangerous for those without enough strength. They also tend to kick if they reach a rough spot in the wood, making a steady and firm grip necessary. They excel at cutting large lengths of plywood and other straight lines, but are poor when it comes to being used to make curves.

Tools to Build With

KR Tools 95580 Pro Series 15-Piece Utility Drawer Tool Kit
KR Tools 95580 Pro Series 15-Piece Utility Drawer Tool Kit

A simple handy tool kit with hammer, screwdrivers, and other normal tools that are handy to have around the house.

Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple/Brad Nail Gun
Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple/Brad Nail Gun

A nice heavy-duty staple gun that's easy to hold and easy to use.

Makita BDF452HW 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Driver-Drill Kit
Makita BDF452HW 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Driver-Drill Kit

A cordless drill kit with battery and charger and carrying case. This is a very nice drill, has plenty of power which is nice for a cordless drill, and is also well-balanced and the right size for even those like me with small hands to be able to use it.

Kawasaki 840067 3.5-Amp Variable Speed Jig Saw, Black
Kawasaki 840067 3.5-Amp Variable Speed Jig Saw, Black

A nice, simple jig saw. Just about anyone can use a jig saw, they're very easy to use and are light enough to easily hold.

SKIL HD5510 6.5 Amp 5-1/2-Inch Circular Saw
SKIL HD5510 6.5 Amp 5-1/2-Inch Circular Saw

Circular saws should be left to those who can handle the power and weight. This is a very nice one and is easier to use than some of the others though.


Odds and Ends You Might Need


People with soft hands will want to wear gloves when wrapping rope around the cat scratching posts and cat trees since the rope most commonly used, sisal rope, is coarse and can hurt your hands.

Tape Measure

It is extremely important to measure everything thoroughly when building, as one of the most common reasons things don't turn out is because there was a misjudgment in size. There's a reason everyone repeats "measure twice, cut once" and that's because it's true and should be what you do as well.


Rulers are handy for marking where to cut on boards since it is very difficult to get a straight cut on a board without marking out the line you are going to cut.

Pencil or Marker

You'll need a pencil or marker to mark where you are going to cut or drill holes.


It's handy to have a notepad with you since you may need to write down measurements or notes, and it's a good idea to do several drawings of what the cat structure should look like as well as make sure you understand the design since that is the most important part of building anything.

Items Useful for Cat Structures

Sonotubes or Quik-Tubes

Sonotubes or Quik-tubes are brand-name sturdy cardboard tubes used as molds for filling with wet cement, then the cardboard is ripped away after the concrete has hardened. 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" in diameter, 10" in diameter, 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

Cardboard barrels are barrels used to hold food and other bulk items, as well as the sweeping compound in many big stores. They are as they sound, barrels made out of really sturdy cardboard, with lids made out of cardboard as well and held on by metal rims. 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, from small 2' high ones to barrel sized, and are most likely to be found at places that stock bulk food or at some army surplus stores.

Sisal Rope

It's important to use natural ropes such as sisal or hemp to wrap the cat tower since ones like nylon aren't good. Sisal is the most common. It is cheap and readily available, though hemp is another popular variety. Hemp is a bit more expensive though 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. 3/8" is the best size to use for cat items.


Since most cat items are carpeted, it's an important part of building cat items. If you have scrap carpet you can use that's just fine, especially if you had your house carpeted and have some leftover since the cat tree will then 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 be under some heavy wear and tear and you want it to last, and not need to be replaced right away. Most cats prefer shorter, Berber carpet, though if you are going to buy the carpet you may want to bring a patch home to see if your kitty likes it since cats have very definite opinions on what kinds they like and don't like.


When you purchase wood for your cat trees you will most likely be getting things like plywood and 2x4 posts. It's often best to have the store cut the wood for you to the size you need since then you don't have to have a saw or deal with large sheets of lumber. Do not get treated wood, the poisons used in those are harmful to breathe, and don't worry too much about the looks of the wood since it will be covered with carpet and rope.

Stuff to Help You Build

Ace Sisal Rope (71274)
Ace Sisal Rope (71274)

3/8" x 50' sisal rope 87 lb. load limit

Twisted Sisal Rope, 3/8"X365'TWST SISAL ROPE
Twisted Sisal Rope, 3/8"X365'TWST SISAL ROPE

3/8" x 365' sisal rope 48 lb. working load limit


Buy a Cat Tree

If you still aren't sure that you want to make your own cat tree, pick one up from Amazon, they have some very nice ones that sell for about what you could build them for.

Build Cat Houses for Ferals

If you know of or care for a feral cat colony, consider giving them housing. Keeping them warm and safe during the winter is the most important thing you can do.

What do you think of this lens? Have any hints on making cat trees or other cat structures? Or just leave a comment and let me know you came by :-)

More in this Series

Recommended Hubs

Reader Feedback 194 comments

Sylvestermouse profile image

Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States Level 2 Commenter

This is absolutely wonderful and so creative! It never occurred to me to make my grandkitties play or scratch areas. Great Lens

anonymous 6 years ago

Wow, I think you covered it all! Nice job.

KOrazem profile image

KOrazem 6 years ago

Wow... this is an excellent lens. Really nice presentation.

makingamark profile image

makingamark 5 years ago from London

Really excellent lens - a definite 5*. I've added it into my cat lensography - All About Cats

Sylvestermouse profile image

Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States Level 2 Commenter

This is such an excellent lens! I just had to return on my first day as a Squid Angel and leave my Blessings!

admiralglass lm profile image

admiralglass lm 5 years ago

Hi there great lens loved it 5xxxxx

poptastic profile image

poptastic 5 years ago from Quezon City

So many great ideas on this well-crafted lens - I don't know where to begin! definitely bookmarking for future reference. (: *blessed by an angel*

muddy10 5 years ago

My cat Schultz would absolutely cut his 17 hours sleeping regimen if he could climb all over your furniture. This activity would probably distract him from conspiring to take over my life.. My home his castle. No wonder cats won't go back to the jungle. Cat condos are more convenient. Great work.

The-Java-Gal profile image

The-Java-Gal 5 years ago

My kitty can't climb high enough. So much good info here, have bookmarked for future reference. I am torn between constructing or purchasing a high rise for her, Great job on a very informative and helpful lens. 5*

Airinka profile image

Airinka 5 years ago

Especially useful information!

anonymous 5 years ago

I really like this information. Did you do this one too Make a Cat Tree? If so I like it too! Great job!

makingamark profile image

makingamark 5 years ago from London

What a great lens! I really like the way you highlight the fact that some of the simplest ideas can be really enthralling from the cats' perspective. Who hasn't made a cats' condo from a cardboard box? ;)

I've just added it and you to my cat lensography "All About Cats" and also nominated it for further recognition

modz profile image

modz 5 years ago

I have a cat, and this is very helpful information for me :) Congratulations on LOTD!

anonymous 5 years ago

Congrats on your LOTD! You were nominated by makingamark and this is definitely a helpful lens. I never had cat condos or related homes because the cats preferred the windowsills and my pillow for their napping, but I'm tempted to try one and see how they like it this time. Thanks for all the great photos and instructions!

Heather426 profile image

Heather426 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

fantastic cat trees! congrats on LOTD!

junecampbell profile image

junecampbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Wow! I have to keep my spoiled cat away from this lens or he'll be wanting some of those fancy cat condos! LOL He already has a cat tree, purchased at considerable expense. Great lens.

Franksterk profile image

Franksterk 5 years ago from California

Absolutely fabulous lens and well deserved LOTD. It comes at a great time for me. I just got FIV Cat Rescue a 501(c)(3) and became a Squidoo Charity AND... we are moving and will be building structures and more cat trees inside and when we get funding an outdoor area as well. I Like this lens; it's a Favorite, and I Lenrolled it to my cat lenses. Thank you for sharing. Bear hugs, Frankster aka Cat-Woman

Joan4 5 years ago

Congratulations on LOTD!

Lee Hansen profile image

Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont Level 1 Commenter

Meow-velous cat tree lens of the day! One of our cats has no front claws but he still loves to climb and scratch. He's fun to watch when he discovers a ladder in the house ... I often find him sitting on top of the refrigerator, just so he can be majestic and look down on the rest of us. Saving for the outdoor structure ideas, faved and all that jazz.

PromptWriter profile image

PromptWriter 5 years ago from Eastern Ontario

Best cat tower lens I've seen so far. Blessed with whisker kisses!

sheilamarie78 profile image

sheilamarie78 5 years ago Level 3 Commenter

Wow! This lens is so comprehensive. You've offered so many great ideas! Well done!

squid-pinkchic18 profile image

squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

Cute ideas! I love the cat tree attached to the wall. My cat might be too lazy to climb it, but it looks great ;)

makingamark profile image

makingamark 5 years ago from London

Hi - glad to see you got LOTD. I must nominate more! :D

norma-holt profile image

norma-holt 5 years ago

Wow, what a lens. Its very timely for me as I have been looking at the expensive trees in pet shops and decided not to invest but have now got lots of ideas. Congrats on LOTD, well deserved. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and also on Pets Health.

Mart903 5 years ago

I have always loved cats! Congratulations, AlishaV, on this caring Lens of the Day full of creativity and wonderful images!!!

SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA Level 5 Commenter

Wow, very comprehensive! I'm glad my cats weren't watching as I perused this information, though. They think they have it pretty easy now (and they do) but they'd probably insist on having one of these cat platforms or scratchers or condominiums if they saw them here! Congratulations on your LOTD award!

anonymous 5 years ago

What a great lens! My cats would love these items. I especially liked the cardboard box tree! Many good ideas, though!

anonymous 5 years ago

I remember how much I loved reading this lens the first time that I visited it. You have made some wonderful changes since my last visit. Congrats on LOTD! Oh...I'll just give it an Angel Blessing while I'm here.

AlishaV profile image

AlishaV 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Hub Author

Thanks for all the wonderful comments and blessings everyone! And thank you especially @makingamark for the nomination! What a wonderful birthday surprise this was!

pedrosa lm profile image

pedrosa lm 5 years ago

superb lens

calconcrete profile image

calconcrete 5 years ago

Incredible page! You certainly put in a HUGE amount of research and effort into creating it.

A hint: Carpet scraps can usually be obtained from carpet stores for free. They have samples and leftover pieces from jobs that they just toss into the dumpster. Just ask and I'm sure you will have more carpet pieces for your cat furniture than you could possibly use.


eclecticeducati1 profile image

eclecticeducati1 5 years ago

Lots of great information here. Very well done lens. Blessed by an Angel.

webmasterkarlina 5 years ago

Wow this lens is quite innovative and informative ...

DebMartin 5 years ago

Wow. I had no idea. What a wonderful lens you've created for cat lovers. Thanks.

nukemdomis lm profile image

nukemdomis lm 5 years ago

I love this lens. My only hint for cat structures would be to look on Craigslist. Very cheap.

pylemountain1 profile image

pylemountain1 5 years ago

Great lens! My sister has 3 (inside only) cats and she plans to build one of these cat structures for them. I'll share the lens with her.

Fran Tollett profile image

Fran Tollett 5 years ago

I'll have to see if I can get my son to build my furry critters a condo! thanks for all the great ideas!

Rita-K profile image

Rita-K 5 years ago

This was amazing! I had no idea of the creative aspirations of cat owners! I am going to have my kitties write to Santa immediately! Thanks for an enjoyable read!

dustytoes profile image

dustytoes 5 years ago

From simple to complex, you have covered it all! I plan to use some of these ideas for the winter months when they can't get outside as much.

jodijoyous profile image

jodijoyous 5 years ago from New York

Wow! My kitty is making up his shopping list as I type this.

imaginemdd lm profile image

imaginemdd lm 5 years ago

This is a great lens. Thanks for all the info on building cat trees and cat enclosures, good to have help with both indoor and outdoor structures. I'm lensrolling this to one of my cat lenses. My cats thank you. :)

anonymous 4 years ago

Awesome lens! I'm lensrolling it on my lens My Wonderful Cat Nicky!

Frugal Bride profile image

Frugal Bride 4 years ago

Awesome!! I'm going to save up for one of the outdoor enclosures. I have 11 cats and they would LOVE that! I added your lens to my lensroll for natural flea care for cats. Thanks :)

anonymous 4 years ago

I LIKE it! and I'll be in the construction phase soon. Thanks. I'm Puerdycat on Squidoo.

anonymous 4 years ago

I still love this lens and keep thinking, "One of these days...I'll make this." :)

Thanks for being a crazy cat person we love!

lilymom24 profile image

lilymom24 4 years ago

I love the cat trees and they look fairy easy to make. Its the motivation that I need though. lol. =)

ZenandChic profile image

ZenandChic 4 years ago

Congrats on LOTD!

MeggieMcFallon profile image

MeggieMcFallon 4 years ago

Really great lens. I have 4 little felines and they never use the really expensive cat trees I buy for them. They love this little cheap sisal mat I bought and go to town on it every day.

AnneVis profile image

AnneVis 4 years ago

What a great lens! :-)

Philippians468 profile image

Philippians468 4 years ago

this is something new to me! thank you for sharing this! cheers

Lady-in-Window profile image

Lady-in-Window 4 years ago

FANTASTIC LENS! I have 12 cats and TEN cat trees! Take a peek at my lens for pics of my cats. I did one on a multi-cat home, and how to avoid cat fights. I suggest cat trees as a way of giving them important vertical space. Thanks for an amazing lens!

BrahmM profile image

BrahmM 4 years ago

Nice lens, great ideas!

LisaMarieGabriel profile image

LisaMarieGabriel 4 years ago from United Kingdom Level 1 Commenter

Flying by to bless some kitty lenses today... =^@@^= 'Bout time say the Persimews.... :)

Blackspaniel1 profile image

Blackspaniel1 4 years ago Level 4 Commenter

Nice imagers

grannyann lm profile image

grannyann lm 4 years ago from Enid, OK

Great info and site. I placed your link on my cat name site: ( Have a great day.

Maggie749 profile image

Maggie749 4 years ago from Hurst,TX 76053

I never knew cats could have so much fun with tree houses and just plain boxes. This is a great lens.

pawpaw911 4 years ago

Just did a lens about our cat who died at 20, and thought I would check out some of the better cat lenses. Very nice. Loaded with Ideas.

Karenfitch1 4 years ago

I really enjoyed your site, it inspired me to try to make a cat tree myself. Thanks

oana_r 4 years ago

Fantastic job! I am a cat lover and I much appreciate people like you

Hip and Hot profile image

Hip and Hot 4 years ago

Nice lens! I like all the building instructions and videos.... Very Helpful!

anonymous 4 years ago

it's great, i always love a good read. thank you!


get the perfect DIY conservatory to improve the look and feel of your home!

benzwm021 lm profile image

benzwm021 lm 4 years ago

Hey great information, cat trees are very beneficial for cats and owners. If you want to look at some cat trees that actually look like real trees, check out our lens at

annieangel1 profile image

annieangel1 4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

an amazing lens I love it - angel blessed and featured on

kweni16 profile image

kweni16 4 years ago from London

i'm personally a dog person but your lens got me to read all the way through! i had no idea how tedious a cat can be as a pet...but come to think of it...seems like their much behaved compared to dogs!

anonymous 4 years ago

it's been a goal to make my own cat tree. thanks for the ideas

samsarah 4 years ago

wow, really sweet lens

PurplePansy LM profile image

PurplePansy LM 4 years ago

Wow, this is a really great resource. Lots of great ideas and information on how to do it. My cats may just love you for it!

miacarter profile image

miacarter 4 years ago from SW Florida

Great ideas! Great job with this lens.

hlkljgk profile image

hlkljgk 4 years ago from Western Mass

such a good idea. i imagine quite the money saver. Congratulations on being featured on the 50 Crafts I Want To Try MonsterBoard!

MustangHistory 4 years ago

Cats in a home make it cozy.

333ideas 4 years ago

Wow! Another GREAT page AlishaV!!! I especially love the large cat tree toward the top of the page! And the simple little scratching post on the side of the book shelf - great idea! I never thought of that. That's a good way to prevent cats from scratching their favorite "furniture scratch spots". Love it! From 333ideas @

SandraGahlinger profile image

SandraGahlinger 4 years ago

Hi Alisha, I Love, Love, Love your cat tree lens. I just sent this link to my hubs - with a big hint from our kitties that they'd really like a kitty castle (one each). Thanks for sharing all these great plans and ideas.

anonymous 3 years ago

great designs indeed, enjoyed what these look like and how one can make their own, here's a 'thumbs up' from one animal lover to another.

slotowngal 3 years ago

Great job showing a lot of cat perches! I like the one that is attached to the wall. angel blessed!

BudGallant LM profile image

BudGallant LM 3 years ago

Wow, another awesome lens dedicated to people creating their own items to enhance the lives of their pets. Wonderful. Some of these look fantastic. The ones in the stores are so over-priced. I think this is a great idea!

jadehorseshoe profile image

jadehorseshoe 3 years ago

MUCH better than store-bought structures. Fine lens!

cmadden 3 years ago

We haven't tried building a cat-tree yet, but we have an old one on the enclosed porch (that's "outside" for our indoor kitties), one upstairs, and one downstairs - and a cat-gym downstairs as well. Of course, there are also kitty perches at three windows. Great lens.

jeremykim2011 3 years ago

Thanks for the information. As much as I want to, I don't have the time to create cat trees. I'd rather buy one. Great lens, though!

Edutopia 3 years ago

Great lens, great advice. If you are making the tree for my cat all you'd need is some duct tape and cardboard boxes. Hours and hours of entertainment right there.

tebor79 3 years ago

I always wanted to build one o these for my cats

Helene-Malmsio 3 years ago

Wonderful lens - bookmarked it for future reference!

myamya 3 years ago

Thanks for posting nice lens!

squidoopets profile image

squidoopets 3 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

Really impressive cat trees, houses and other cat goodies. Especially loved the pictures and the how to diagrams :)

Dee Gallemore profile image

Dee Gallemore 3 years ago

A wealth of tips and how-to's . . . blessed!

mihgasper profile image

mihgasper 3 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

Wow! So many great ideas! Looks like pretty easy task with all the info you presented. Thank you very much:-)

miaponzo 3 years ago

I think Bibi needs one of those!!!!! She is far too in love with scratching the sofa!!! Blessed!

getopinion 3 years ago

my little Boni somehow prefers soft furniture to scratching structures:)))

wheresthekarma profile image

wheresthekarma 3 years ago

Weird, i was just thinking about making one of these. I bought at cheap one at walmart and it is falling apart, so i thought, maybe ill make my own, and then i find this today :)

Light-Life-Energy 3 years ago

Great article and very helpful to me just now, thank you. We inherited a kitty that produced 5 more and haven't figured out what to do with them when the weather turns cold (apartment too small for 6 altogether!). Looking forward to creating something from one of your suggestions. Feel free to visit my lens on the pets as well:

JessyGene profile image

JessyGene 3 years ago

i don't have a cat but i loved looking at this page anyway. Great ideas and tips

Johanna Eisler profile image

Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

It's so depressing when a pet destroys a special piece of furniture! This is such a good lens to help prevent that. :)

Congratulations on making the front page!

jimmyworldstar 3 years ago

Thanks for the lens, I hate it when my cats scratch up the furniture and carpet. Some of those cat structures in the above pictures have a lot of dedication and time to them.

BuddyBink profile image

BuddyBink 3 years ago

A great lens for cat lovers like me. Thanks

cajkovska lm profile image

cajkovska lm 3 years ago

I think my cat need one cat tree to... thx for nice tips

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 3 years ago

Great, great lens - cats really need these, and they are so esthetic. There is a room for entrepreneurs here!

nickirc lm profile image

nickirc lm 3 years ago

Fantastic ideas! Thanks.

Close2Art LM profile image

Close2Art LM 3 years ago

just got a new cat, Norman, and he's a bit of a scratcher, thanks for the great info, Blessed

greenmind profile image

greenmind 3 years ago

Great lens! We have four cats. I need to get busy.

peachplanet profile image

peachplanet 3 years ago

Lots of useful info! I don't have a cat, but I'm an aunt :)

R D Ramos profile image

R D Ramos 3 years ago

This is an amazing lens! Just what I was looking for! My cats will thank you.

drozer 3 years ago

very useful lens, for those love cats..bravo

michaelprosper profile image

michaelprosper 3 years ago

My Cat says thank you!

tjmaj1959 profile image

tjmaj1959 3 years ago

great ideas here, thanks

WhimsicalWatters profile image

WhimsicalWatters 3 years ago

Thanks! My father-in-law has made kitty towers before. I hope I can successfully make a huge one for my kitties.

brynimagire 3 years ago

Woe ! excellent lens ! I love cat. Thanks.

mlt89 profile image

mlt89 3 years ago

Great lens! I love the cat castle - thanks for the info :)

webmm100 3 years ago

Love it

webmm100 3 years ago

Love it

webmm100 3 years ago

love it

jordanmilesbask profile image

jordanmilesbask 3 years ago

Great work..thanks for sharing!

anonymous 3 years ago

Awesome and informative lens for all of us cat lovers!

anonymous 3 years ago

fantastic information !! Thank you so much !!

anonymous 3 years ago

Thank you so much for this article! I need to get my cat a cat tree but they're so expensive and they look terrible... So your article gave me a bunch of really good ideas. Here's a link to a cat tree that is sold on an american website, but that could totally be home made with wood or cardboard boxes :

Jo11 profile image

Jo11 3 years ago

Loads of great info here - adding it my favorites so I can make some of these items for my kittys, thanks so very much for your big effort!!

Vikki w profile image

Vikki w 3 years ago

Cats' Paradise, nice lense

gradientcat 3 years ago

This is a great lens, very interesting.

RuralFloridaLiving 3 years ago

Love all your ideas - Great lens

BeadCatz 3 years ago

I love your lens. We have "several" cats and this gave me some great ideas. We built our last cat tree out of an old speaker case that our neighbore threw away.

Something else to try (our cats love it): We go to yard sales and find kids play tunnels for our cats. They are bigger and better made than the actual pet tunnels you can buy. We bought a huge one a few years ago for $5 dollars.

nicole-young 3 years ago

My step dad and I made one of these when I was younger. The cats love it!

kstwrt13 3 years ago

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.

JenwithMisty profile image

JenwithMisty 3 years ago

Great lens!!! Thanks for sharing all the great info!

GeniePark 3 years ago

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.

poorwendy lm profile image

poorwendy lm 3 years ago

Never thought about making our own cat trees. But it should be a good project for a month. At least, a weekend.

ziggyzane profile image

ziggyzane 3 years ago

Great Lens. Lots of good ideas.

CristianStan 3 years ago

Interesting ideas. These should keep me busy for a while. I can't wait to see how my kitty will react.

Sylvestermouse profile image

Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States Level 2 Commenter

In celebration of Friendship Day 2012, I am returning to some of my favorite lenses for fun, sharing and renewed blessings :) Friends Still Make it All Worthwhile!

TheBeautifulLife 3 years ago

Great lense with full of very useful information...Thank you for share...

ATTHED LM profile image

ATTHED LM 3 years ago

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.

pinkgrey 3 years ago

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.

anonymous 2 years ago

I love the Cat Playhouse :)

anonymous 2 years ago

Nice lens with a lot of great ideas!

maherars45 profile image

maherars45 2 years ago

nice lens, i will ask my sister to visit it, she has a cat

softclaws profile image

softclaws 2 years ago

Good information here - showing some appreciation and i'm quite impressed you took the time to write this tutorial!

mistaben 2 years ago

A lot of great ideas here. Many thanks for sharing all the good information =)

mrdata profile image

mrdata 2 years ago

Valuable information here! Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Country-Sunshine profile image

Country-Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas Level 1 Commenter

A wealth of information, and loads of ideas. My cats would be in heaven if they had half of these things. Great article!

Sylvestermouse profile image

Sylvestermouse 2 years ago from United States Level 2 Commenter

Wishing you a year of many new blessings starting with this one! Happy New Year!

AlishaV profile image

AlishaV 2 years ago from Reno, Nevada Hub Author

@Sylvestermouse: Thank you so much! Happy New Year to you as well!

lionmom100 2 years ago

This is a great lens. We have not made anything from scratch, but have recovered several cat posts with fresh sisal. Thanks for this.

anonymous 2 years ago

Hi all. Great info on the site. FYI my company has recycled tubes. great for cat trees. You can make some real cool structures

SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

SilmarwenLinwelin 2 years ago

Great Lens! Very informative!

getmoreinfo 2 years ago

These are great tips about How to Make our Own Cat Trees

smaraymond profile image

smaraymond 2 years ago

My cats love their trees. Purchased trees are so expensive. I love these ideas for building your own.

UniversalCats profile image

UniversalCats 2 years ago

Well researched article. I think I might just give one of them a try!




imthepoet profile image

imthepoet 2 years ago

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?!

chickie99 2 years ago

cat condos! sweet!!!

SmokeybonesJr profile image

SmokeybonesJr 2 years ago

Love the lens, thank you :-)

anonymous 2 years ago

My 6 year old son has been nagging me for ages to get a cat.. I may just give into him!

AlishaV profile image

AlishaV 2 years ago from Reno, Nevada Hub Author

@anonymous: They make great pets, though you may want to foster a kitty for your local humane society, just to be sure it's for you.

Kumar P S profile image

Kumar P S 2 years ago

Great lens ! Thanks for sharing.

Kumar P S profile image

Kumar P S 2 years ago

Great lens ! Thanks for sharing.

victoriahaneveer profile image

victoriahaneveer 2 years ago

My cat Cleo would adore all these. Fantastic lens. Blessed!

Carpenter76 profile image

Carpenter76 2 years ago

Cool lens! I will have to make a Kitty Catle :D

elenagatita 2 years ago


Ted Bergman profile image

Ted Bergman 2 years ago

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. - Ted

sarasentor lm profile image

sarasentor lm 2 years ago

You have made such a great lens.

anonymous 2 years ago

Great lens! So helpful for me. My sweet boy was just diagnosed FIV+ and will now be a strictly indoor kitty. He is used to hanging out on our back patio and I know he is going to be BORED. So I plan to make our indoors as appealing to him as the outdoors! Thanks for all the great ideas!

AlishaV profile image

AlishaV 2 years ago from Reno, Nevada Hub Author

@anonymous: Thanks! I'm glad it's helpful! I'm sorry about your kitty, FIV+ kitties can live long and healthy lives though, and it sounds like you're doing a great job. 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.

AnimalHouse 2 years ago

Great information and ideas about Cat Trees! The photos are very beautiful. Would love to have one soon. Nice lens! Thank you for sharing

rbutler21 profile image

rbutler21 2 years ago

Great lens! As the owner of several indoor kitties, one of which is deaf, I would love to try some of these ideas!

Ana Dilber profile image

Ana Dilber 2 years ago

I am not really a cat-person, but these are really great advice...

drmork profile image

drmork 2 years ago

My cat would love these, for sure. Great lens! Thank you for sharing.

StrongMay 2 years ago

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.

pinkpia 2 years ago

thanks for sharing, i believe that also our dog would love it :)

Swisstoons profile image

Swisstoons 2 years ago from Michigan Level 1 Commenter

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.

BarbsSpot 2 years ago

Lensmaster...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...

BarbsSpot 2 years ago

Lensmaster...Also congratulations on this Lens being awarded LOTD!!

anonymous 2 years ago

lovely lens. Some very interesting ideas. I love cats and all animals for that matter. I have a ginger cat and she simply loves boxes!

Fridayonmymind LM profile image

Fridayonmymind LM 2 years ago

Some pretty lucky kitties here. I couldn't let my kitty see in case he felt unloved.

Arod17 profile image

Arod17 2 years ago

this is a great idea and better than over paying for one

HSP Connections profile image

HSP Connections 2 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

Wow! 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 10-foot ceilings. The cats loved that! May have to try some of your other ideas here...

lawyer-marketing 2 years ago

Cats will definitely love this. Great lens

SusanAston profile image

SusanAston 2 years ago

Wow - this is like wikipedia

ValerieJoy profile image

ValerieJoy 2 years ago from New Zealand

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!

Leigh Stratton profile image

Leigh Stratton 2 years ago

WOW! 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?!" thing than sub-par scratching posts). You have inspired me to finally move onto this new project!

sierradawn lm profile image

sierradawn lm 2 years ago

My Ragdoll cats weigh 15 pounds & they tear up their cat trees fast. I have to replace their cat climbing trees every few months. So this lens has been very helpful to me. I have always wanted to build cat trees strong & durable enough for big cats to jump on. Thank you for sharing the instructions on how to go about doing this!

mathew31 2 years ago

Very interesting lens to read! Great job.

Stephanie36 profile image

Stephanie36 2 years ago from Canada

This is a great lens! My little guy loves his cat tree.

anonymous 2 years ago

My little cats would love a few posts like these.. Maybe one rainy weekend i will attempt to build one myself!

jura 2 years ago

I do not have a cat but this lens have a lot of great ideas

shjn3006 2 years ago

It's very interested and I want to it now0

adoptionfirst 23 months ago

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!

dennispowens profile image

dennispowens 23 months ago

Nice job!

FrancescaBelluci 22 months ago

Must try it for my kitty! I'm pretty sure he will love it :D

Im2keys profile image

Im2keys 21 months ago

love the kitty shelves especially, great lens!

Victoria-Lynn 19 months ago

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!

teelover profile image

teelover 19 months ago

Great tips, thanks for sharing!!!

Radgrl profile image

Radgrl 19 months ago

Wow love your tips!

Gwondo profile image

Gwondo 19 months ago

Lots of good information. Love the videos.

favored profile image

favored 15 months ago from USA Level 3 Commenter

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.

Anka7 14 months ago

Awesome! I have 5 cats, and they always need new playthings to keep them busy. I'm going to build them something right now! Thanks!

nubieaff 11 months ago

great len - this is like wikipedia

Stephen 10 months ago

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!

AlishaV profile image

AlishaV 9 months ago from Reno, Nevada Hub Author

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.

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