A cat tree is a fairly large piece of furniture that can serve as both a scratching post and a play center for cats or ‘kitty gym’. It provides a great place for cats to get some exercise in climbing and jumping. It can be such fun to watch a kitten or a cat scampering up and down the cat tree and test the boundaries of their agility skills.
We opted for one when we acquired a kitten that liked to climb everything including the curtains. This climbing kitten even climbed up into the basement ceiling and into the furnace once! My husband knew that I wanted a cat tree, so he decided to design and make a cat tree as a surprise for us.
He did a good job of it too! I was impressed! He made a cat house about a foot off the ground with a large platform on top of the post at about 45 inches tall, all completely carpeted. A simpler version of just 2 platforms would have also worked just fine.
Our kitten seemed to know instinctively that it had been built for him. It also gave our kitten a high, safe refuge from our large boisterous dog. This was very important since he was such a timid fellow. It was a great additional furniture piece to our household.
I did make one mistake with it….Once I put a towel on the top platform and when our cat tried to cling to the towel as he was climbing, it became loose and caused him to fall to the ground, so after that the cat became a little bit more cautious with climbing his tree. He never attacked the tree with quite so much reckless abandon, which we missed. I remember how he would cling and swing from the edges like an acrobat. That was a good lesson. Make sure your cat tree is very sturdy in every respect. Don’t put loose objects on it and make sure it has a very sturdy wide base.
Now that our cat tree is older and looking a little worn but well broken in and familiar for our cats, we have placed it outside on our covered veranda area where it still gets used for scratching, plus used as a lookout post for all 4 cats. They like to use it to survey the back yard property or even have a nap on it.
Here are some cat tree designs for making your own cat tree, eleven designs that are really play centers for your cats to exercise on and lounge on. Enjoy your cat getting their exercise on your homemade cat tree.