Cats, by nature, love to climb and explore. They also have a need to scratch, both to sharpen their claws, and to communicate their territory. A cat tree house is the perfect place for your cat to satisfy these needs. Purchasing a tree house can be expensive; you can save money by constructing one yourself. You can either find blueprints online, or build a basic one as outlined below.
- Decide where the cat tree will be placed and whether or not it will be free-standing, attached to a wall, or will lean up against a corner.
- Select a piece of 1” thick plywood to serve as the base of the cat tree. The dimensions of the base should be roughly one third the size of the longest span (for example, if the longest width of the tree is 12 feet, the base should measure 4 feet x 4 feet). This will prevent the cat tree from tipping while in use.
- Determine what type of cat tree you want to build. You can either have a center pillar with platforms shooting off the main trunk, or you can place pillars in each of the corners of the base, forming more of a tower design.
- Determine the height you want your cat tree and cut 4×4”s to size. Attach pillar(s) to plywood base using 2-inch long, ¼ inch diameter wood screws.
- Determine the number of platforms (how many stories) you would like your tree house to have, and where you want them located. You will want to ensure that they are at least 16 to 18 inches apart from each other, so that an adult cat can easily move from floor to floor. You may also want one platform to be wide and long enough for multiple cats to lie on. This will allow room for your cats to walk past each other and minimize any territorial disputes that may arise. Make sure that your cat tree has enough platforms to accommodate all of your cats at the same time.
- Platforms should be made from plywood that is at least ½” thick. These platforms will be supported by 2×2 pieces of wood that will be screwed into the main pillar with ¼” diameter wood screws.
- Cover platforms with carpet remnants either using carpet glue or staples. If using staples, make sure that the staples are hammered completely into the wood to prevent claws from getting stuck.
- Pillars can either be covered with carpet remnants or sisal rope. If using sisal, wrap the rope around the pillar and secure with a staple gun.
- For maximum stability and safety attach the cat tree to the wall with metal straps or L-shaped wall mounts.