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How to Build a DIY Cat Tree

Building a DIY cat tree is a fun project that will give your furry friend a place to play and relax. With a few materials and a bit of imagination, you can design a customized tree with scratch posts, a cubby, platforms, and other components.

Skill Level: Intermediate
  1. Step 1 Build a Solid Base

    Man clamping plywood pieces together

    Ensure your DIY cat tree has a solid foundation so that it is secure to the ground and won’t topple over. Cut two pieces of plywood with a circular saw, then apply glue to adhere them together. A strong base is important for any cat tree but can be even more crucial if you have several cats or your tree is large.

  2. Step 2 Cover the Base with Carpet

    Man stapling carpet to plywood

    Carpet can be used to provide extra cushioning and comfort for the base of your DIY cat house.

    Cut some carpet several inches larger than your board of plywood, flip the material upside down, and place the board on top. Then, wrap the carpet tightly over the board’s edges and cut off the excess material. Finally, secure it all with quarter-inch staples.

  3. Step 3 Build and Attach the Vertical Supports

    Man drilling vertical supports to a base

    Using 2x4-inch planks of lumber, you can create vertical supports for your cat tree. Screw or nail two pieces together to create a sturdier post and secure the post to the plywood base with long wood screws. This way, the tree will be structurally sound.

  4. Step 4 Wrap the Posts

    Man wrapping a post with rope

    Not only will these posts provide the structure for your tree, but they can serve as a DIY cat scratching post as well. Wrapping the posts with thick rope or twine can create an enticing scratching place for your cat(s). To secure the rope well, use a combination of hot glue and wood glue so it holds up well.

  5. Step 5 Build Multiple Platforms

    Man drilling platforms on top of supports

    A cat tree implies that there will be levels for your cat to jump and lounge on. Build platforms by attaching boards on top of the vertical supports. Unlike the tree’s base, you’ll want to use thinner and lighter pieces of plywood. Once you’ve cut your wood, cover the pieces with carpet just like you did with the base. Use long wood screws to secure the platforms to the tree.

    For extra fun, you can decorate the tree with artificial trees and plants or attach hanging pom-poms or other swinging toys to the bottom of the platforms.

  6. Step 6 Build a Cozy Cubby

    Man building a cat cubby

    If you have cats that like to snuggle up in cozy spaces, you can craft a cat cubby to add to the DIY cat house.

    You can either use plywood or sturdy cardboard for this part of the project, depending on whether you want a round cubby or a square one. For a round cubby, simply curl some sturdy cardboard into a tunnel shape, secure the ends together with glue, and wrap it with carpet or brush on a coat of paint. Line the circular entrances with rope to add a finishing touch.

    Now your cat(s) can enjoy an entertaining hang-out spot in the comfort of your home!

What You Need for This Project

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