Building Cat Condos and Houses: Furniture Plans

Cat condo photo

Many pet owners have faced the high costs of buying pet furniture from pet stores. Therefore, many do-it-yourself carpenters choose to make their own pet furniture. This includes building cat condos, cat houses, towers and scratching posts. A cat condo, or kitty habitat, is one of the easiest pieces of cat furniture for the home carpenter to make, and can even be made out of scraps left from other projects.

These plans will teach you how to make a cat house that will provide a new play area for your pet.

You will need:

  • excess lumber
  • carpet remnants
  • rope
  • angle brackets
  • nails, screws, etc.

The easiest of the kitty condos to make is the one that has three support poles with a large platform on the top. You may have to purchase some pieces for this. The poles should be at least 4x4 for strength and stability, so buy a suitable length at a home store if you can't find it in your scavenging.

A cat habitat needs a wide base and three wooden poles as well as a small piece for the bed. Due to the fact that you are working with large pieces of wood you will need to make sure you have a large enough area in your home for a habitat of this size.

The following directions will teach you how to build one, step-by-step:

  • Attach two of the poles to the base with a long bolt and use angle brackets on all sides of the poles to provide stability. The first two poles should be placed at the edge of one side of the base to your cat condo, about 2 feet apart. You may want to carpet the base before attaching the poles, then cut holes in the carpet so that the poles sit directly on the wood.
  • The platform should be placed on top of these poles. The platform should be placed so that one edge rests on top of the poles and the remainder of the platform hangs over the base. Place two nails through the platform where it attaches to each of the poles.
  • With this in place attach the third pole to the base. It should be placed opposite of these 2 poles. It should be positioned so that it is exactly in between the other wooden poles. Now attach the pole to the bottom of the platform and the base.
  • It is easier to carpet the platform before it is attached to the poles than afterward. Use regular carpet tacks and cover the entire wood surface, top and bottom, cutting out the pieces where the wood is attached to the poles.
  • When the platform is in place, wrap the lone pole completely in a good thick rope (see the note below on sisal rope). Get rope at least a half-inch thick, anything less than that and your cat furniture won't last long when attacked by kitty claws. Start from the bottom and wrap up. Secure the rope to the pole periodically with nails. Don't use tacks because cats will pull them right out of the wood. Use regular carpenter's nails with a head to hold the rope in place. Put a nail in the rope every few turns around the post. Then when the cats wear through the rope in places, you will only have to replace from nail to nail instead of the whole length.
  • It is important to note that these plans are not etched in stone and you can vary them in several different ways. Depending on your supply of wood, you may want to make one or more floors. Also, you can add a box for the cats to play in. It can either be opened on both ends or just one end, but make sure there's room for a cat to turn around if it has only one side open or you'll have to periodically rescue a trapped cat.
  • If you need to lure your cats to their new 'high-rise' condo once it is constructed (and in my experience, you will have to keep pulling them off the uncompleted habitat during construction), rub some catnip into the rope and carpeting and they will be investigating it in no time. Your cats will have hours of enjoyment in their new play area.

It is important to only use sisal rope for the completion of the vertical parts of your cat condo. This substance will last longer than carpet under the stress of cat claws due to its thickness, and it is not as unforgiving as wood. The rope should be wrapped around the cat furniture tightly to avoid having it come loose when the pet starts to scratch the post. However, if your cat is not used to this material, a combination of carpet and sisal rope should be used to allow for a transition as well as avoid the possibility of the feline rejecting the new furniture.

If you want to build your own cat furniture and you don't have a supply of odd bits of wood from your own projects, scout the local yard sales and moving sales. Moving sales are your best bet, as many home enthusiasts are reluctant to part with their excess building supplies unless they are relocating. Garage and yard sales are also a great source of carpet remnants.


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