How to ENLARGE a Cat Tower Platform DIY Step by Step with Photos

New Platform for Growing Cats

Supersized cat tower platform
Supersized cat tower platform | Source

Many of we families with cats have purchased or made a carpet-covered cat tower for our little darlings to scratch and climb all over. Often, it includes nooks for hiding and a platform on top for sleeping. If you have the “econobuy” sized tower, it worked best when your cat was a kitten. Once the feline gets full-bodied and long – in our household this is about 17 inches from nose to rump and about ten pounds or more – the tower is just too small.

Fortunately, if you have a wide board (it can even be composite material), old carpet, and a few tools, you can be on your way to spoiling your fat cats even more than you have to this point. (You softie, you!) Everyone - human and feline - benefits.

Supplies

Adjustable wrench, pliers, drill, staple gun, carpet knife, hammer, 2-inch nail, measuring tape, scissors

One flat strong board about 13 inches by 14 inches – whatever measurement suits you

Carpet which is 8 inches wider and 8 inches longer than the board

Possibly screws and bolts, if you cannot re-sue the hardware on your current tower

Possibly a heavy brick

Procedure

I was fortunate that our tower dis-assembled easily. The pliers were all I needed to take it apart. I was further fortunate that the platform top connected to the rest of the tower with a re-usable carriage bolt and washer.

De-Constructing a Fine Small Tower

Starting to unscrew the top of the old cat tower.
Starting to unscrew the top of the old cat tower. | Source
A close-up of the washer and hex bolt on the cat tower.
A close-up of the washer and hex bolt on the cat tower. | Source
The cat tower with platform removed.
The cat tower with platform removed. | Source
The underside of the too-small platform.  Note the way the carpeting is mitered.
The underside of the too-small platform. Note the way the carpeting is mitered. | Source

We lucked out by having a piece of scrap composition board which was just the correct size for our desired finished SUPERSIZE platform. Therefore, no sawing was needed to make adjustments.

Composition Board or Lumber

It is straight, flat and strong.  No one will know it isn't pine or oak.
It is straight, flat and strong. No one will know it isn't pine or oak. | Source

I measured length and width to be able to place the hole for the bolt in dead center. The hole was drilled.

Drill a Hole

The carriage bolt was a standard size.   It was easy to match up a bit for the drill.
The carriage bolt was a standard size. It was easy to match up a bit for the drill. | Source


I didn’t have my physics brain fully plugged in when I cut the carpet remnant for the top. That is why I now advise you above to have an extra 4 inches (beyond the area of the board) on every side of the carpet piece. This gives enough room to fold over the edge and have a decent margin for stapling.

So cut a rectangle of carpet with the dimensions described.

The Carpet Step

Measure twice, think it through.
Measure twice, think it through. | Source
A real carpet knife is handy.
A real carpet knife is handy. | Source

After that, place the carpet right side down on your work surface. Center the board on it and do a trial folding up of the sides. If it seems like it is workable, then cut the corners from the carpet. The reason for this step is that carpeting is too thick to allow for overlapping. You need to do your best to get the corners off.

Attaching the Carpet May Take Time

Folding carpet is a full body-weight sport.
Folding carpet is a full body-weight sport. | Source
In this photo, the side carpet is much too narrow.  It was hard to fold it up and over the board and have enough to staple into the board.
In this photo, the side carpet is much too narrow. It was hard to fold it up and over the board and have enough to staple into the board. | Source
This shows one correctly mitered corner.
This shows one correctly mitered corner. | Source


Now staple one side at a time. The picture below cautions “do not staple so close to the corner. If you cut the carpeting correctly, it will be impossible to be at the edge. I found it necessary to take time before stapling a next side – I folded the carpeting under and propped the board so that its weight pressed on the new fold. I let this rest for 6 ofr more hours to help bend the carpet. It made the stapling much easier, because I didn’t need to fight with and press the carpeting down onto the board quite as rigorously!

Staple Gun Time

A staple gun beats the old-fashioned carpet tack and hammer system.
A staple gun beats the old-fashioned carpet tack and hammer system. | Source


Once all four sides are stapled down, a hole must be made in the carpeting to allow the bolt to pass through. I found the spot on the carpeting by nailing one long 2-inch nail through the hole in the back. When it pierced through the front, I marked it and made a hole with scissors, pliers, and more nail punching.

Finding Where to Punch A Hole In The Top Carpet

Hammer a nail from the back to punch through the top carpet.
Hammer a nail from the back to punch through the top carpet. | Source
See the nail?
See the nail? | Source

Happily, when I could pound the bolt with washer through the right side of the carpet, it was very simple to re-tighten it into the original tower.

Modified, Supersized Cat Platform

The finished super-sized cat tower product.
The finished super-sized cat tower product. | Source


My cats created some wobbling as they explored, so I placed a heavy landscaping brink inside the bottom of the tower. My tower had a hiding nook with a floor, so this was easy for me. If your SUPERSIZED tower needs stabilizing, I trust you will figure out a similarly easy fix.

Skeeter, our most adventurous cat, puts the new large platform through its paces.
Skeeter, our most adventurous cat, puts the new large platform through its paces. | Source

Green Gift Idea

It is an early Christmas at our household. The curious cats look right at home with a new-sized lounging platform. Cost to us: nothing. Value of the entire family’s enjoyment: fantastic!

If you have a cat owner person on your holiday gift list, perhaps an offer to perform this service would be greatly appreciated. Just make out a gift certificate entitling the bearer to a supersized cat platform and include this Hub (to explain what in the world it means!)

P.S. - because the cats did not like the slight wobble they make when they leap onto the platform, we have placed it against a window wall. Now the felines are in heaven for three reasons: they can monitor the activity outdoors, the perch feels secure, and the tower is next to a baseboard heater, so they are all toasty and comfortable. What more could a cat want?

All photos and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.

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Comments 10 comments

princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago

Maren

Awesome hub! The pictures and your narrative make for an easy to understand DIY hub. I hope this hub reaches out to everyone who has a cat in their house.

Princesswithapen


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Hey, princesswithapen! Rebuilding cat towers and other DIY keeps us feeling like we are contributing to our family. :)


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

Great detail and pics, my cats love these climbing tree houses. Thanks for the info looks very doable. Voted up!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, carco. We are finding the wobble factor to be a challenge, so in addition to the heavy brick inside we have it placed against a wall (over a deliciously warm heating vent!) The cats just adore it now.


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

That's a great idea, I know our cats love the heat, whether from a heating vent or fireplace, they like to sit in front or on top of the heat...


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very useful hub, Maren Morgan! My cats love their cat towers, but if I need to make changes to them your instructions will be very helpful.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wow great tutorial! This is such a creative idea.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

@ carcro - Do we spoil our cats, or what? hahaha

@AliciaC - Thanks, glad your towers are still working.

@randomcreative - Thanks. Necessity is the mother of invention.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, exactly, what more could a cat want? lol! this is a fantastic idea, why didn't I think of it? we spoil our cats too, so I will have to tell my brother who loves making things like this, thanks!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Nell Rose, yes - our cats have us well trained! You are lucky to have a handyman brother. Now he can add this project to his list. Happy Holidays!

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