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Cat Climbing Toy Furniture to Build
The finished climbing toy.
How to Build Cat Furniture
I had built this cat climbing toy for our cats. We had wanted some cat furniture that was as high as the windowsill, that the cats could climb on, etc.
We checked around for cat condo furniture in our local area; most were either too high, or not quite sturdy or steady enough, etc.
So I decided to build one myself!
Everything was already pre-cut except for the hole in the top piece, and the angled edges on the ramp. Then it was a matter of measuring, stapling, gluing, and adding screws. If I can do it, you probably can DIY too.
Our cats liked it and hope that yours do too.
Image credit for the cat on the climbing toy, is to the author of this page.
What is your experience so far?
Have you built a cat climbing structure before?
When buying one, I've learn to look for a wider base. - You can purchase one and assemble it, or you can check below for instructions to build one.
I think this one is cute with the hammock and stairs.
Make Your Own Cat Furniture - The Supplies
If basics are what you're looking for, then let's get started.
I started out by getting:
* Three pieces of smooth indoor lumber, 18" by 36" and 3/4" thick,
* Four posts of the same material 28" long by 1-1/2" wide, and
* Four legs with attachment screws already mounted in them.
* Eight wood screws that are long enough to go in through the top piece and to anchor into the post.
* Five wood screws that will hold the slanted piece in place.
As you can see from the picture, there is the top wood piece, the slanted wood piece (ramp), and the base wood piece.
The assembled wood structure.
Pet Cat Furniture - Adding the Posts and Legs
Using wood furniture legs with screws already attached saves time.
The ones that I purchased were made of wood. When updating this, there weren't too many short wood ones to choose from. I would think that the plastic ones should work fine too.
The screws in the legs makes the assembly easier.
You can also add felt pads to the bottoms if you are placing the climbing unit on a hard smooth surface.
I first lined up the posts in between the top and bottom pieces. I pre-drilled the holes with a slightly smaller hole than what the screw width was, and then screwed the top and bottom wood pieces to the tops and bottoms of the posts.
Next, I decided where to make the holes for the legs. I moved in a bit from where the center of the posts were, but still in enough that the screws from the legs could also go into the wood of the posts, but not in line with their centers to avoid hitting the first screws. I didn't want to go in too much towards the center of the base, as I wanted the cat climbing toy to be stable. I made sure that I measured the same for all four legs so that they all looked the same. Then I screwed the legs on.
Once everything was lined up and working, then I slightly unscrewed, added wood glue, and screwed them back together.
Cutting the hole in the top piece of furniture for cat
Cats like to climb through things, and they need a way to get to the top.
In the top wood piece, I cut a hole that is house shaped with the peak going towards the middle. The end cut is 10" long and is set in 3" from the edge. The two side cuts are 8" long and are set in 4" from the long side edges. From the end of the 8" cuts (going towards the center of the board) I cut two diagonal lines approximately 5-1/2" long each, with them meeting to make a point. Think of a basic house or barn shape.
All three boards were the same size to begin with.
Cat Climbing Toy - Cutting and Attaching the Middle Piece
I cut 1" off of each end of the middle piece, each at a 45 degree angle, with the angles both facing down on the same side. The tops of this board should then measure 34" and the bottom will be closer to 32".
I then placed the angled cut middle board inside the glued structure. The top of the middle board is approximately 9" below the bottom of the top board, and 6-1/2" in from the edge of the bottom base board. The top of the middle board is to be under the precut hole in the top board. This middle board becomes the ramp to the top hole.
Once everything was lined up, I marked, pre-drilled, screwed, and glued. I screwed the middle board down from the top into the two posts, and the lower part into the bottom base board.
At this point, the basic structure was done.
If you don't have the means to easily cut the angles on your middle ramp piece, ask your local lumber store where you purchase the wood if they can do that for you. : )
Covering the Cat Furniture Condo
I took the measurements of the top, bottom, and ramp, and allowed to have enough to cover both the top and bottoms of the top piece and the middle ramp piece. I allowed to have enough to go under the bottom piece without covering the whole underside of the bottom piece.
I went to a local upholstery shop to make my purchase. For the top and bottom pieces, I purchased softer material; what I thought the cats would like to lay on. For the middle ramp piece, I purchased a roughter material that they might prefer to scratch and be sturdy enough to use for climbing.
I also purchased batting for extra cushion for the top and bottom wider areas for the cats to lay on.
Once I had my covering materials and precut them, I first stapled the undersides of the top piece and the middle ramp piece.
Next, I laid the batting down on the top and bottom pieces. I laid the fabric over the top piece, allowing enough to cover the edges and to be stapled up underneath. I trimmed what I didn't need and began stapling. Once stapled all the way around on the underneath side, I made slits in the fabric from the center of the hole area to the points I had cut in the top wooden piece. Then I brought those pieces of fabric to the underside, and stapled them.
I continued in this fashion, covering the reamining pieces.
For added fun and cat pleasure, you can also wrap some rope around one of the posts and safely secure it in place, keeping any staples away from where they would scratch.
I placed padding under the bottom piece of fabric.
Presenting the Cat Furniture Condo
The best part is giving the present of the cat climbing toy. Here is Susie getting used to the ramp to the climb through hole.
Susie was checking it out.
Queen of the World
Sugar on top of the cat condo furniture
Here is Sugar, enjoying being Queen of the World, watching TV from the cat climbing toy.
Sugar liked watching TV from up here.
Since building the cat climbing toy, which we still have, - we've purchased the model shown below.
It was so fun, the cats just seemed to know that I was building something for them. Both of them came running and eagerly checked out the various items that I was laying on the floor.
They were busy playing with things and purring even before I had started it putting it together.
I left the top level and its supporting post off, to better fit the height of our window sill.
Pre built cat tower.
Our cats now easily have two windows to look out of.
This unit does need assembly.
Do you wish for a taller one?
The kit to the right looks like a pretty awesome idea. It comes with four supporting legs that can be attached to a lower piece, and then the upper shelf that is shown, can be attached on top.
If you've already got a base built, you can make it 16 inches taller with this - add on kit.
It can also be added to any of the Kitty'scape structures.