Easy How To Enlarge The Top Platform On Cat Tower
New Platform for Growing Cats
Kitties Grow Bigger
Many families with cats have purchased or made a carpet-covered cat tower for the little darlings to scratch and climb. Often, it includes nooks for hiding and a platform on top for sleeping. If you have a small tower that worked well when your cat was a kitten, the top may become too small for the full-grown feline.
Fortunately, with a wide board (it can even be composite material), old carpet, and a few tools, the condo or tower top can be super-sized. Everyone - human and feline - benefits.
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 or larger – whatever measurement suits you
Carpet which is 8 inches wider and 8 inches longer than the board
Possibly screws and bolts, if you cannot reuse the hardware on your current tower
Possibly a heavy brick
I was fortunate that my tower's top came off easily. Pliers were all I needed to unscrew the bolt. I was further fortunate that the carriage bolt and washer were reusable and the platform top lifted off easily.
De-Constructing the Small Tower
When doing this project, I had a piece of scrap composition board which was exactly the size I desired for the new platform top. Therefore, I did not need to saw it to make adjustments. You may need to saw if you are buying lumber or using scrap wood which is larger than your intended replacement top.
Composition Board or Lumber
I measured length and width to be able to mark the place for a hole for the bolt in dead center of the top. I drilled the hole for the carriage bolt I was using.
Drill a Hole
Prepare Carpet Remnant
I didn’t have my physics brain fully plugged in when I cut the carpet remnant for the top. I made mine a little too small for the folding over and securing. 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.
You should cut a rectangle of carpet with the dimensions described: width plus 4 inches plus 4 inches by length plus 4 inches plus 4 inches.
A carpet knife does a much better, faster job than an all-purpose utility knife.
Trial Carpet Preparation
After that, I placed the carpet right side down on my work surface. I centered the board on the carpet (its back side) and did a trial folding over of the sides. When it seemed workable, I cut the corners from the carpet. The reason for this step is that carpeting is too thick to allow for overlapping on the underside of the corners. You need to do your best to trim the corners the way sewers do at a 90 degree turn..
Attaching the Carpet May Take Time
Now I stapled 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 or 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 vigorously!
Staple Gun Time
Once all four sides were stapled down, I made a hole in the carpeting to allow the attaching bolt to pass through it. I found the right spot on the carpeting by nailing one long 2-inch nail through the center hole in the back of the board. When it pierced through the front, I marked that spot on the carpet with a marker and removed the nail. Then, I made the hole big enough for the carriage bolt by punching with scissors, pliers, and screwdrivers.
Finding Where to Punch A Hole In The Top Carpet
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
My cats happily gave the new top on their cat tower, thorough jumping and testing. I noticed some wobbling of the entire structure as they explored, so I placed a heavy landscaping brick 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.
Green Gift Idea
It feels like an early Christmas at my household. The curious cats look right at home with a new-sized lounging platform. Cost to me: nothing. Value of the entire family’s enjoyment: fantastic!
If you have a cat owner person on your 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. - I also placed my larger-topped platform against a wall to fight potential wobbling. This wall has a picture window. 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?
© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan