Make Cat Tree Furniture: Towers, Scratching Posts and Cat Beds

Build a Playground for Your Pet Cat

Photo of playful kitten

Cat furniture can be great for your home, especially if you have multiple cats. Unfortunately, many people don't buy it because of the cost. While it is wonderful to have a place for your cats to play, perch, and claw without worrying about them destroying some of your prized possessions, many people simply can't afford to spend $100 or more on an area for their pets to play.

Luckily, cat furniture of similar quality can often be made for a fraction of the cost; the furniture can even be made out of spare lumber and materials that you might have lying around the shop or garage.

In order to make furniture of your own, you're going to need some basic tools. Here are the items that you will need:

  • Hammer
  • Nails (at least 2" long)
  • Lumber (2"x4" for columns, plywood or other panels for feet and platforms)
  • Carpet
  • Finishing Nails
  • Sisal Rope
  • Craft Glue

The hammer, nails and lumber of the appropriate size and shape can most likely be found around the house. Enough carpet to cover all of the wood can be purchased at a local supplier. The natural rope (not nylon) to make cat scratching posts can be purchased at a local hardware store.

When you're ready to start on your cat furniture, you should do the following:

  1. Begin laying out the various pieces of wood. You need to have at least one large cylindrical piece for the central column, a large flat piece for the base, and several smaller pieces to make platforms and supports out of. Place them in this order so that you can tell what sort of shape your finished cat condo will take.
  2. First you will need to assemble the supports for your platforms. You will need 2 square pieces and 2 small right triangle-shaped pieces. Attach the small triangles to one edge of the square platform. The triangle should be positioned vertically in the middle of that edge of the square. Make 2 of these platforms.
  3. The next step is to cut holes in the to build cat furniture This will allow the cats to go in and out of the cylinder to add to their play. One hole should be made right in front of one of the platforms as well as at the bottom. This will allow your pets to climb in the tube as well as on it.
  4. When the supports are ready, begin attaching them to your platforms. Nail through the cylinder and into the support, using at least 2 or 3 nails so as to make sure that the support is well attached. 
  5. Go ahead and attach carpet to all of your platforms, using glue and finishing nails. Though you still need to attach the support to the central column and attach any secondary columns that you plan on using, this can be done through the carpet provided you drive the nail all the way through.
  6. Take your larger panel and attach it to the central column board, nailing through the bottom of the panel. Go ahead and begin applying carpet to this piece as well. Wrap the lower portion of the column in rope, using nails and glue to attach it.
  7. Nailing through the carpet, attach your platform supports to the central column, making sure that you use 2 or 3 nails on both sides of the support. At this point you should have a large platform that contains a large cylindrical column as well as 2 small platforms. If you have additional lumber you can add sides and a bottom to the base. This will make it more of a box and the cat tree will be more steady.
  8. Once you've completed your main piece, you might also want to take a few moments to attach the pieces of rope to the bottom of the platforms and then tie various toys to them. This will give your cats an additional way to enjoy the furniture that you've built for them. The toys you choose should be those that your cat already enjoys.

Sisal Rope. One thing that your cat will most certainly enjoy about the new furniture is the use of sisal rope. This product is an excellent material to use when building cat furniture due to its consistency. Sisal rope is much stronger than carpet, which will shred over time. But it is not as hard as wood, which impedes the cat's scratching. This makes it great because they can use it to scratch and it will not tear apart.

When purchasing sisal rope please make note that there are two types: natural and oil coated. The oil coated rope will yield more product as well as stand up to those sharp claws a little longer. On the other hand, this type of rope is not digested well and may cause digestive issues. If your cat tends to bite the furniture, it is best to use natural sisal rope.

Ideally, you'll be able to make a cat furniture tree with at least a few platforms or towers for beds. Your cat can perch on these as well as a central vertical column. And don't forget to attach some toys to make a playground.

Good luck building a furniture playground for your pet cat!


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