DIY Cat Tree
If you rescue kittens, well…. things happen… from Merlin, our disabled cat, to our newest three kittens that were rescued and raised by my daughter, Erynn, well… yeah…. we have a…..few….cats.
Years ago, we turned our guest room into much needed storage. We lined the one wall with floor to ceiling wardrobes and this worked well. After Merlin came along, we needed to start keeping some litter boxes on the same level as the bedrooms because he wasn’t able to get up and down the stairs at first (he does now). The closet is now lined with litter boxes and the entire room is now considered “the cat room”. What does a cat room need? A cat tree….
I’ve said before that I have a lot of scrap material from other projects, and I’m always looking for a way to use them. I’m also fascinated by Ikea Hacks. While working on a different Ikea hack, I ended up with three chair seats left over. It would have been a shame to waste them. They were already smooth on the edges and what could I use them for? Of course – the ledges for a cat tree.
It has been a very busy holiday rush but Sunday, the weather was way too windy, and photo sessions had to be rescheduled so I had a much needed mental break. I needed to complete a project for my own sanity.
I bought an 8-foot 2×4 and wanted it to run floor to ceiling. However, I didn’t want to attach anything to the floor or ceiling, so I attached to the studs in the wall.
I also installed shelves above the window and above the closet door, making an L. Next, I started wrapping the bottom in sisal rope but then rethought and felt like I needed to put the platforms up first.
The platforms were the chair seats from the other Ikea hack. I cut them down a bit and used a jigsaw to cut out the shape of the 2×4.
I attached those with 50 cent brackets I found at Ikea which I took a chance and bought the bright red as Erynn told me she likes light blue and red together and it matched the current chinchilla cage decor in the same room. I added a metal bracket on top for extra support.
I finished painting and wrapping sisal (using hot glue) and added some fluff (from my old studio props) on top of some of the shelves and hung a toy to try to get the cats interested in the cat tree. I also used some scrap wood to build a little hide out that they could still see through. I hung a new curtain in the closet doorway (storage and litter boxes in there). It was done….
The cats, frankly, as of now would rather play with a cardboard box and my Christmas tree, but they are getting used to it. These are our new three. Morrissey is in the window and his brother, Batman, is on the floor. We didn’t mean to keep them. They were found in a storm drain/window well when their mother was hit by a car. They had two other brothers that found homes. The orange kitten is Gremlin. While we were working with the orphans, she showed up on our back deck. Someone dumped her in “the country”. I really hate it that people do this. I couldn’t leave her out in the cold, we already have barn cats (they are actually our neighbor’s cats that help keep mice down around the barn and they sleep in our hay) so little Gremlin Girl didn’t stand a chance being so young out there (approximately 8 weeks old at that time). We brought her in, and she is such a sweetheart!
By the way, Erynn trapped her after I had the brilliant idea to get behind her and grab her. Yeah, don’t do that! She bit me very badly. Yes, I was scared of rabies and got even more scared when we found out that she was super friendly (as long as you don’t pretend you are an eagle and try to carry her away like I did!), but no, she apparently was handled by someone out there – that same someone who tossed her in the country as a baby to fend for herself and get completely covered in fleas and even a botfly that emerged out of her neck (ugh! that was disgusting!!!! If you follow my instagram, you may have heard about that ordeal) 🙁
I added one more project to this room – the cat tunnel. Again, we have so much leftover material from other projects. I made a tunnel with welded wire (this is not the flimsy hardware cloth).
I sewed two sleeves, open on each end out of extra fleece.
I sewed one end together (which I could have left open and did what I did to the other side) and on the other side cut strips and tied them together, tied an inside strip to an outside strip – that way I can still take the fabric off to clean it.
This actually is a hit… Batman especially loves it and loves hiding and sleeping in there which as Erynn said is no wonder since he was a “tunnel kitty” being in a storm drain.
In case you are wondering, here is the breakdown of the whole project in cost:
- One 2x4x8 $4
- Three packages of 50-foot sisal $24
- Ikea brackets $5
- Two pieces of pine for shelves $10
- Ikea Ivar chair seats, scrap wood, scrap fabric, scraps of everything else… $0
Not bad at all! I love cheap projects 😉