Let’s admit it—buying a cat tree house can be expensive. A DIY cat tree is the cheaper option, but making it may feel overwhelming for others. However, it can indeed be beneficial for your cat’s health. Unlike humans, cats typically depend on elevated spaces for fun and safety.
“Cats love to be up high where they have a great view of everything going on in the home. Most cat trees have high perches where your cat can curl up, feel safe and get away from that horrible dog! Having the structure near a window also gives them a great nature channel to watch while home alone,” says Natalie Sacks, RVT.
Furthermore, cats want to have a vast space to play around. Instead of buying a cat tree, why not build an additional space for your cats? Nothing matches the feeling of knowing they’ll be safe and comfy the way you want them to be. In this article, The Furry Companion will guide you through the process of building your DIY cat tree tower.
Step by Step Guide in Building a DIY Cat Tree
There are multiple designs and construction for a DIY cat tree tower. Nonetheless, the number and sizes of your cats are your number one priority. Getting ideas from others might be good too. What do you think of this?
Prepare the Materials and Tools
In preparation for the construction of the DIY cat tree, make sure you have the materials needed. Check your house if you have the equipment and items essential to start building the tower. If not, make sure to buy the other necessary materials prior to beginning with the project for a smooth process. Preparing things ahead of time will make the job much easier.
You will be needing different sizes of wood, wooden rods, jigsaw, screwdriver, screws, nails, staples, cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, primer and paint for the wood, paintbrush, glue, cutter, drill, scissors, and sandpapers. If you want to add other decorations, feel free to do so. The sky’s the limit, after all.
Cut and Create the Base and Middle Pieces
Through the use of a jigsaw, cut the wood in different shapes. You can cut the wood in rectangular, square, and round shapes to make a diverse setup for your DIY cat tree. Next, you need to sand the wood after cutting them to smoothen the edges. Lastly, ensure that the base is wide enough for the cats.
Trim a Disc-Shaped Wood for the Top
Draw a round shape on a piece of wood and cut it using a jigsaw. Although cutting them can be challenging, make sure to follow your drawing and sand them.
Connect the Rods with the Base
Rods are vital. It provides the DIY cat tree its structure and stability. The rods must be firm enough to hold the weight of the cats. Make a hole in your base where you can attach the rods.
Upholster the Wooden Pieces
Trim a natural fabric, such as seagrass or jute, and attach it to the wooden pieces. You can also add foams for added comfort for your DIY cat tree. Finally, you connect them all by laying the selected fabric above the wooden pieces. The excess parts must be stable at the bottom of the wood.
Make a Scratching Post
Use different tubes that can fit the height of your cat. After cutting the tube for your desired size, wrap the rope around it. The stands will serve as scratching posts for your feline friends. Roll the strings and apply glue to secure them to the tube. Keep rolling the twines until you cover every inch of the pipes.
“Provide multiple scratching posts in the home. Marking is one of the functions of scratching and some cats may not want to share a scratching post. You may also notice that each cat has a particular preference when it comes to where, when or how they scratch. One cat may prefer horizontal scratching, one might do vertical scratching, another may like to scratch just after waking from a nap,” shares Pam Johnson-Bennett, IAABC.
Cut a Cat Hiding Place
If you opt to create a haven for your cats, you can build them a house. To do this, cut wooden pieces with the design you want. The cat house should have a roof, base, and walls. Don’t forget to sand the woods to create a smooth surface. Plus, a little paint can go a long way.
Attach the Cat House and Connect with the Rods
After cutting the cat house pieces, you can put them together. Use a nail to finish building the house. Connect all the wooden pieces you have cut to the rod. If you opt to make a cat tree condo with more dynamics, you can also add ladders wrapped with twines.
We’re not done yet! Do not forget to add color and design! These might give your DIY cat tree the pop it needs to stand out. You can also add a pillow where your cats can rest. If you want to make a more natural-looking space for your cats, integrating stones and greenery can make it look fresh and vibrant.
Benefits of a DIY Cat Tree Tower
Not only does a DIY cat tree tower provide fun for your cats, but it also delivers excellent health benefits for them. Plus, the pet owners can gain multiple benefits in creating cat tree towers. Without further ado, here is the list of functions of a cat tree tower for the cats and the owners.
Maintain Peace in a Multicat Household
If you own more than one cat inside your home, it would be best to establish a vertical territory within them. The higher-ranking cats can display their authority through their position. Instead of physical fights between the cats, they can show their status by taking the higher perch. This way, you can maintain harmony in a multicat environment.
Security for Timid Cats
If you own a faint-hearted cat, building a DIY cat tree tower for them can create a safe space to stay. Being on the high perch helps the cats to track their opponents. It is also a strategy for the cats to release their animal instincts, such as scratching and jumping.
This tree also provides comfortability and a hiding place to get away from others. There’s so much security in having their scent there. Having a place that’s exclusively theirs makes all the difference.
Save Your Home Furniture
Cats need a place to scratch. That’s just their nature. To save your poor furniture, providing them with an alternative through these cat tree condos can help. Integrating a scratching post for the cats allows them to let out their instincts, which includes clawing.
Cats can be territorial. They feel stress inside a home because of the lack of space to let out their normal behavior. Providing your cats with a safe hiding place that a DIY cat tree provides can also reduce their stress and vulnerability to depression. They won’t even feel lonely when you are out for work because they can play around their course.
Save Your Pennies
Buying your cat its own tree tower can be quite costly. Especially, when you own a lot of kitties. If you have spare wood and other materials, you can definitely save a significant amount of money. All you need are the required skills, some creativity, and you are good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
What materials are used for DIY cat trees?
The materials needed to create DIY cat trees include different wood sizes, wooden rods, a screwdriver, screws, nails, staples, cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, primer, and paint for the wood paintbrush, glue, cutter, drill, scissors, and sandpapers. If you want to incorporate other designs, you can add other materials. Make sure to buy durable and high-quality materials to ensure the cat tree tower’s safety and lastingness.
How do you stabilize a cat tree?
Make your cat tree more stable by broadening the base. A common problem among DIY cat trees is that their bases aren’t wide enough. It can make it uncomfortable for the cats and leave them restless. Moreover, increasing the base minimizes the wobbling of your cat tree.
How tall should a cat tree be?
Always consider the size of your cat, as well as their age. A 5-foot tall cat tree might be enough for your feline friend. What’s important is that it’s enough to climb, and the space must be substantial enough to be slept on.
Where should I put my cat tree?
The ideal place to install your DIY cat tree is in a spacious room. Make sure there’s enough space to play, rest, and watch their property.
What carpet is used for cat trees?
For the carpet, natural fibers, such as sisal rope, seagrass, and jute, can be the most comfortable for your cats.
How do you attach a rope to a DIY cat tree?
Start wrapping the rope at the bottom of your cat tree post and nail the end of the new strand of string to it. Tightly cover the post and tamp it through the hammer. This way, you can ensure that the coils are steadily pressed together.
How many cat trees do I need for two cats?
One huge sized cat tree can be adequate for two cats. It can provide them enough space to share with each other.
Do cats prefer open or closed beds?
Cat’s preference for beds depends on their personality. But an open bed can be ideal if your cat is usually alone. They can quickly search and access your company if their space is more relaxed. However, some cats tend to avoid noise. It would be best to provide them with a closed bed to give them more comfort.
What materials do cats like to sleep on?
Many cats prefer to sleep on cardboard boxes and a freshly-laundered cloth. You can also choose a natural material, such as wool or cotton.
Are cat trees safe for kittens?
If you have a kitten, consider its size in building or buying a cat tree. Check the materials used in the cat tree condo to ensure their safety.