Cat trees are amazing but the really gorgeous ones are costly. You may want a cat house which will show off your personality or one which will fit into the decor of your home. But sometimes, even if you’ve looked through different products, you can’t seem to find one which you really adore.
If you really don’t want to buy a cat tree house but then you can try building one yourself. It doesn’t take much effort and it costs a lot less. The best part is that you can customize it all you want to match your style and your home.
When building a cat tree house, you’ll need some basic woodworking skills. Aside from that, you will also need some materials and tools.
If you don’t have the materials in your home, you can purchase them at hardware stores or craft stores. This article will help you learn how to build a cat tree house. Read on and let these steps and tips guide you.
Table of Contents
Come up with a design for your cat tree
Coming up with a design is fun, especially if you’re good at designing. This is the very first thing you need to do. Do this before you start planning the materials and tools you will need for building.
On a piece of paper, sketch out a plan for what you want the cat tree to look like. When you’re happy with what you’ve come up with, you can move on to the next steps. Here are some design tips for you to think about:
Consider the space you have
Think about the placement of the cat tree so you can design one which fits into the space. A good tip is to measure the space to guarantee that the cat tree will fit into it.
Consider the personality of your cat
You can design a multi-level cat-tree if your cat loves to climb on your furniture. If your cat loves curling up and sleeping, you can incorporate a hideaway in the design. Since you will be building the cat tree yourself, the possibilities are endless!
Also, consider your own woodworking skills when making your design
Come up with a plan which you will be able to build based on your skills. Otherwise, you might get overwhelmed with the design. When this happens, you won’t be able to construct it successfully.
Finally, consider online resources
If you’re a beginner at designing things from scratch, you can find ideas and patterns online. These can be helpful when you use them as a basis for the design.
Purchase and prepare the materials
When you’re done with your design, make a list of all the materials and tools you need. The materials will depend on the plan you’ve come up with. Typically you will need plywood for the base and the perches.
For the supports, you can use PVC pipes or dimensional lumber. It’s also great to cover the wood with carpet or similar materials.
Here are some tools you may need when building the tree:
- Electric drill
- Hammer, nails, and wood screws
- Table saw or handsaw
- Electric stapler or staple gun
- Utility or carpet knife
- Wood glue or any kind of strong adhesive
Cut all the wood materials
Based on your measurements, cut out all the pieces of wood and lumber. Make sure you cut the correct measurements so you don’t end up wasting materials.
You can use the table saw or handsaw for cutting the materials for the base, the perches, and the other elements. If you need to, sand down the rough edges.
Construct the base of your cat tree
The base of the tree has to be very sturdy. This is because it will hold all the other elements. So it should be wider than all the platforms, perches and other components.
Do this so it doesn’t tip over easily. To make a thicker and sturdier base, you can glue together 2 pieces of plywood.
The taller you plan to make your tree, the larger the base should be. To make the base look more appealing, cover it with carpet or some kind of thick fabric. This also makes the base comfortable for your cat.
To attach the carpet or fabric, cut out a piece which is a bit bigger than the base. Then wrap it over the top of the base and use the electric stapler to secure the material on the underside. You can also use a staple gun to secure the fabric.
Add in the supports of the cat tree
The first thing to do is attach any vertical supports. Attach these supports to the base of the tree. These vertical supports will hold any platforms or perches in your design.
You can attach the vertical supports using nails, screws, wood glue or any other kind of adhesive. It’s a good idea to cover the supports with fabric or carpet first before attaching them to the base. This is a lot easier than covering them when they are already secured to the base.
If you want your tree to serve as a scratching post too, you can cover the posts in sisal rope. This is a good material for scratching.
Secure the ends of the rope with staples or wire brads. Make sure the ends are not seen and are inaccessible to your cat.
Next, attach any horizontal platforms or perches to the supports. You can make these from plywood. You can attach these using screws. Secure the perches you attach on the top of vertical supports using wood glue.
After you’ve attached them, cover them with carpet or fabric. Do this so you cover up any screws used to attach the perches.
Apply the finishing touches
When you’re done with the basic steps, then you can apply the finishing touches. Continue building your cat tree until you’ve added all the elements in your design. Keep on referring back to your plan, especially if you’re looking at measurements.
Make adjustments as needed, especially if you discover issues in the tree’s stability. If you want, you can even add on hanging toys and accessories to make the tree more enjoyable for your cat. Happy building!