Cats love to climb! They will climb up just about anything, including all your furniture! Are you fed up of your cat scratching and ruining your favorite pieces? Then your kitty friend needs it’s very own DIY Cat Tree!
Somehow cats can manage to climb even the most difficult structures. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve found one of my cats on top of a piece of furniture and I have absolutely no idea how they got there!
A cat tree is an excellent alternative so that your furniture can remain kitty and scratch free!
Cat trees can contribute a lot to your cat’s wellbeing. Indoor cats can experience stress and boredom which can lead to serious health problems.
Cat trees (sometimes called cat towers or cat condos) give your cat somewhere to play, sleep, and somewhere they can feel safe. What better reason do you need to get one for your furbaby?
Cat Tree – DIY or Buy
There are many different types of cat trees available. Just a quick search on Amazon shows up over 1,000 results!
Some of them are just too big (and kinda ugly)! But some of them are modern and look like pieces of furniture. But they also come with a hefty price tag!
Although there are some cheaper options. Like this one from Go Pet Club – I have this tree for my four cats and they love it! The little house in the middle is the favorite resting spot for my big Mainecoon, Cleo!
I love making things for my pets (like these DIY dog toys or homemade dog paw balm), but why would you want to make a cat tree or cat condo when you can easily buy one.
Well, it’s cheaper for one thing! You can probably spend about half the price of buying one.
Also, you can customize it to your own cats’ needs. Maybe you have an older cat that can’t jump as high, so you need smaller steps between the levels. Or you need a way to feed your cat at a higher level, so the dog doesn’t get their food!
And then lastly, of course, it’s nice to be able to make one that fits your home decor. If you have a Steampunk vibe going on in your living room, then a traditional cat tree is going to ruin the style!
Homemade Cat Condo Ideas
Below are eleven DIY cat tree ideas – they come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. But remember the fun part about building something for your pet is that you can customize it to exactly how YOU want it!
A lot of these cat trees wrap some of the supports in twine or rope around the legs. This makes a perfect scratching post for your cat. There are lots of different options for twine or rope, but I find a natural sisal rope is the best. Cats love the feel of it!
You can buy large coils of sisal rope very cheaply from Amazon. I even used it to wrap around the legs of my old kitchen table, so the cats would scratch on those and not my chairs! A bit of hot glue and a lot of winding is all it took!
So knock yourself out! Have fun and see what you can make for your fluffy friend!
A lot of these DIY cat tree ideas use IKEA furniture as bases. The advantage of this is that IKEA pieces are very cheap to buy and they give you a good framework to customize. No advanced woodworking skill (or tools) needed!
This first one is made from an IKEA BEKVÄM step stool. Ikea don't make this stool anymore, but you can find cheap step stools in lots of stores.
This is such a cute design because it gives your cat somewhere to sleep in the little hammock. The disadvantage is that this isn't that high off the ground. So if you're looking for a cat condo with more height, then keep scrolling!
If you want a more natural look for your DIY cat tree, then you can't go wrong with this beautiful one made from real branches by Brittany at By Brittany Goldwyn.
I love the way they used rocks in the base - it gives it stability, but also such a nice natural look.
This cost Brittany $75 to make, but it's such a flexible idea you could probably make a smaller one for much less.
If you want a more industrial look (or Steampunk!), then take a look at this metal pipe cat wall.
It is a very original design and excellent use of space. Rather than taking up precious floor space, you can attach it to the wall - even over your sofa!
Going back to another IKEA hack idea, this one uses a corner shelf unit to make a large cat tree.
It uses the IVAR corner shelf unit. These can be a little unstable without extra support, so I would recommend attaching it to the wall. The last thing you want is for your kitty to take a tumble when they are charging up the tree!
Making a corner DIY cat tree is another great space-saver. It can be put in a corner that is out of the way, but it also makes very good use of the space.
We'll stick with IKEA hacks for this next idea. This isn't really a cat 'tree', but it is a great way for your cat to be able to climb up to higher spots.
If space is really limited, then this might be the perfect solution for you. Just attach a rug or carpet runner to the wall. Your cat with then uses this to climb up to shelves that are mounted higher on the wall (in this case, a shelf over a doorway).
They used an OSTED IKEA rug, but really you could use any rug or carpet remnant. You could even use a colored or patterned rug to add a bit of style to your room!
OK, this one REALLY appealed to the nerd in me! A Star Wars' AT-AT Walker inspired DIY cat tree!
This one requires a bit more work and woodworking skills, but I think you will agree that it's worth it! OK... maybe it's just for the nerds!
It gives the cat (who should be named Yoda!) a place to sit on top, as well as a cozy place inside. It even has rope wrapped around the legs to give a place to scratch. Yep, I love this design!
OK, we'll get back to more practical cat tree ideas! This one is another great space-saver that mounts to the wall.
They used IKEA FROSTA stools which are just $14.99 each. By cutting them in half and mounting them to the wall, they have a very modern and cost-effective cat climbing solution.
I love the way they wrap them around the corner, so the cats can explore even further.
The couple that made this have zero woodworking experience, so this really is a great option for DIY beginners! Yep, this one is on my list to do!
This idea from Martha Stewart is a beautiful option for a cat tree that gives a very natural look.
It is made from a small tree stump/branch. It doesn't give your cat much height, but it would look lovely on a dresser in front of a window. Your cat would adore sitting on it and watching the world go by. And, of course, you could use a larger piece of wood if you wanted to.
The next DIY cat tree on our list actually includes a video of how they made it! Very useful!
It is a VERY large natural tree branch cat climber. They have wrapped a lot of the branches in rope to give their cats somewhere to scratch, as well as help them climb it.
It really becomes the centerpiece of the room - almost like an art sculpture!
Next, we have a cylinder cat tower. It looks a little different to the other designs we've been looking at. But I can see that cats would just LOVE it!
They used 4 cardboard cylinders that they bought for $8 each, and cut holes, made ledges, and then covered the whole thing in carpet. A very original idea!
Last, but certainly not least, we have this shelf idea that creates a great feeding station for your cat.
If you have dogs, then you know it can be difficult to find somewhere to feed your cat(s) without the dog getting their food! It's a constant battle!
This is an attractive and practical solution! It is also very secure as it is attached to the ceiling and floor. So, no matter how much your kitties climb around, it's not going anywhere!
So now it’s time to let your imagination run wild and see what ideas you can come up with.
It’s worth looking around your home to see if there are any pieces of furniture you could repurpose. Also, look for unusual spots where you could put a wall-mounted cat tree. Your options are endless!