How to ENLARGE a Cat Tower Platform DIY Step by Step with Photos
New Platform for Growing Cats
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.
Cats Like to Climb
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
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
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
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
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
Older arthritic cats love these
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
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
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
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 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.
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.