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Cat climbing playground

Updated on October 23, 2013

Eagle Scout project and cats. What are we building now?

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. This lens shows my son's Eagle Scout project. He built three cat climbing playground pieces for an animal shelter Cats Haven - check them out here: Cats Haven Cats Haven is a great place run by some neat people.

I have been helping Spencer work on his Eagle project. It has morphed to a project within a project. I wasn't born with an iPad in my hand so I built things - lots of things. Working with him I have discovered a building deficiency. He is building cat play ground equipment, so to speak, at a cat shelter / rescue. So I subjected him to this video From Earth to the Moon - Capsule problem solved - If your a Wood Badger you'll know where its from.

What do cats look for in playground units?

Buy a cat tree and they play with the bag. Before any wood was cut and money spent Spence interviewed some cat experts to find out what was needed. Ledges, places to hide, places to sleep, and we want to to be up high. Rope - cats like to climb rope. The cats at Cats Haven are older cats with disabilities such as three legs, missing an eye, or suffer from seizures. Many at one time were one owner cats. With knowledge in hand, Spence set off to design the playground. We were working in an enclosed space with limited room. The photo gallery below is what Spence and I built to show Cat's Haven as well as his Eagle project approval board. It helped him as well as Cat's Haven see his thinking.

The Model - Concept for the climbing units. Model is in scale to the plastic cats.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is the corner unit.  Complete with climbing rope.Corner and box unit.Tower unit.  Alternating shelves with a hole at the top for the ultimate viewing experience.A different perspective.
This is the corner unit.  Complete with climbing rope.
This is the corner unit. Complete with climbing rope.
Corner and box unit.
Corner and box unit.
Tower unit.  Alternating shelves with a hole at the top for the ultimate viewing experience.
Tower unit. Alternating shelves with a hole at the top for the ultimate viewing experience.
A different perspective.
A different perspective.

Material and work crew.

Where are we getting all this stuff from?

Once the project was approved by the cats and the Eagle board it was time to collect material and people to get this project built. 90% of the material was donated. Reduce, reuse and recycle.

The lumber used was skid material that was going to end up in the landfill. Once taken apart and sanded it became very useful. The rope was in friends garage who just didn't have the motivation to throw it out. Now its going to a good use.

The cat hammocks as we call them is broken tie down straps from truckers. When the straps become unusable they throw them out and we re-purpose them.

The work crew was made up of scouts and adult volunteers.

Material preparation.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Removing nails.Lots of nails.More nails.Removing nails.  These just don't end.Sanding the wood.More sanding.
Removing nails.
Removing nails.
Lots of nails.
Lots of nails.
More nails.
More nails.
Removing nails.  These just don't end.
Removing nails. These just don't end.
Sanding the wood.
Sanding the wood.
More sanding.
More sanding.

Lets get it all cut to size.

Cutting to size.
Cutting to size.

Working from drawings and the model the components are cut and sanded.

Sealing, assembly, bringing it to life.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sealing the cut pieces of wood.Laid out and ready to assemble.Assembly of uprights.Base of the box unit.Corner unit coming together.
Sealing the cut pieces of wood.
Sealing the cut pieces of wood.
Laid out and ready to assemble.
Laid out and ready to assemble.
Assembly of uprights.
Assembly of uprights.
Base of the box unit.
Base of the box unit.
Corner unit coming together.
Corner unit coming together.

Completed units ready for delivery.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Completed box unit.  There is an opening in the bottom of the box as well as the top for the cats to get in and out.You can see the model prototype on the front ledge of the box.Finished corner unit with climbing rope and shelves / stepsFinished corner unit with climbing rope and shelves / steps
Completed box unit.  There is an opening in the bottom of the box as well as the top for the cats to get in and out.
Completed box unit. There is an opening in the bottom of the box as well as the top for the cats to get in and out.
You can see the model prototype on the front ledge of the box.
You can see the model prototype on the front ledge of the box.
Finished corner unit with climbing rope and shelves / steps
Finished corner unit with climbing rope and shelves / steps
Finished corner unit with climbing rope and shelves / steps
Finished corner unit with climbing rope and shelves / steps

Project features

The rope and the cat hammocks

Two of our favorite parts are the rope and the cat hammocks.

The rope is three pieces folded in half giving us six strands which we then braided. Turned out really well. The rope diameter went from 5/8" to about 2 1/4".

Cat hammocks are 2" X 2" frames with the truck strapping woven and attached at the bottom. We need to get a picture of a cat sitting or sleeping on them, but we are told that they are a hit among the cats. Three hammocks were made.

The rope and cat hammocks. - These were fun to work on.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Braiding the rope.This is the completion of the braided rope.Completed cat hammock.Three hammocks all put together to support the cat run.  The run is an 88" shelf.
Braiding the rope.
Braiding the rope.
This is the completion of the braided rope.
This is the completion of the braided rope.
Completed cat hammock.
Completed cat hammock.
Three hammocks all put together to support the cat run.  The run is an 88" shelf.
Three hammocks all put together to support the cat run. The run is an 88" shelf.

Grab a book and go build something! - Nothing says pet love like building it yourself.

Just a few books to get your creative juices flowing. I like to build stuff so I am always promoting it. During this project our scouts had fun being involved with something other than an inflated ball or an electronic device.

Delivery and setup

Delivery was accomplished with the use of a friends truck and trailer. The project was built at work where we had lots of room. Setup went very quickly and smoothly. Many hands make light work.

Delivery and setup. - Setup was done over two different weekends

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Box unit in place.Corn unit.Tower assembly.  All parts marked with a stamped number to make reassembly easier.Tower assembly.Tower unit ready to go!
Box unit in place.
Box unit in place.
Corn unit.
Corn unit.
Tower assembly.  All parts marked with a stamped number to make reassembly easier.
Tower assembly. All parts marked with a stamped number to make reassembly easier.
Tower assembly.
Tower assembly.
Tower unit ready to go!
Tower unit ready to go!

Professional inspection.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This was the first customer to check out the tower unit.No idea on this cats name.  Just came right out of the window, up through the tower to the top.Ceiling height is a little low but is got a great view.
This was the first customer to check out the tower unit.
This was the first customer to check out the tower unit.
No idea on this cats name.  Just came right out of the window, up through the tower to the top.
No idea on this cats name. Just came right out of the window, up through the tower to the top.
Ceiling height is a little low but is got a great view.
Ceiling height is a little low but is got a great view.

Project complete!

Spence putting in the final screw!
Spence putting in the final screw!

It was a fun project. Watching my son take the beneficiaries requests to completion was great. Spence learned more about leadership as well as project planning - bringing his vision to life.

More pictures to follow. The last time we were there it was raining and no cats were in the playground area.

Please check out Cats Haven

Thanks for stopping by and looking at Spence's project. We hope that it gives you some inspiration for an Eagle Scout, 4H, school club project or any project that can benefit our furry friends.

Tell us what you think. - Feedback is a gift!

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Awesome! Congratulations, Spence, on a great project and a job well done!

    working

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