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Guide to building you own Cat Trees!

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  • May 21st, 2010 12:49 pm
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Guide to building you own Cat Trees!

Cat Trees are basically a jungle gym for cats to get exercise, play and relax. But it can also serve a few other purposes. You can add sisal rope and it becomes a scratching post. If you have a dog or kids, a cat tree becomes a safe haven for your cat (assuming it is tall enough). They can be small little things to complicated monstrosities which can be several hundreds of dollars. Most are built using particle board & cheap carpet and break apart or wobble very easily. So one option is to build your own!

Building your own is pretty simple. I won't go into the details of actually building one as there are lots of tutorials online. Here's one for a simple design: Link.

What I would like to stress is how to do this cheap and creatively. First cheap because this is RFD:

Don't buy wood, use scrap wood that everybody has lying around... don't have any, go ask around. Still can't find any... use old furniture. I did. I took an Ikea shelving unit, bought few extra legs & shelves and added some carpet and this is the result:
[IMG]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3330/462 ... c51b86.jpg[/IMG]
The reason why I wanted multi levels is because one of my cats can't jump very high... the other easily can get to the top in two jumps. I have since made a few modifications like adding scratching posts and hiding areas.

Now I know what you're thinking... that thing looks horrible and it takes up too much room... well, you can go to hell! :lol: Just kidding, I wanted something tall, sturdy and easy to disassemble (in case I move). It fits the bill. Also the total cost of this build was a mere $40 (for box cutter, staples, sisal rope, additional legs and shelves). I didn't mention carpet in the cost because I got that free from a friend who was converting to hardwood at the time. This is an expense that you shouldn't have to pay either. Keep your eyes peeled on friends, family and neighbors who are renovating.

Now for the creative. Cat trees are clearly not designed to match someone decor... but that doesn't mean you cat can't have a cat tree. Here are a few examples which try to blend the cat tree with their decor:
[IMG]http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/3291 ... gym2.0.jpg[/IMG] and [IMG]http://bp2.blogger.com/_XGRz6uWGK3I/RmL ... Bcopy5.jpg[/IMG] and to the extreme [IMG]http://img2.timeinc.net/toh/i/g/09/pets ... nimals.jpg[/IMG]

So what are your cost saving and/or creative ideas? If you've built you own cat tree, then post them as well as any tips and hints.
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Deal Guru
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Jan 2, 2006
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lol, so much we give for these ungrateful pooping machines.

I spent $70 for a big clunky tree at Petsmart. Totally not worth it. It had three two levels and a hiding spot on the bottom. My cat didn't care for it too much, because she can't climb that high.

But i could see her using the other trees in those pics. As long as it's near a window.
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My father built one for us, it's three level with planks on the first level and one sleeping spot at the top. The height is probably around 6ft. The only thing I did was wrapped the post with organic ropes using wood glue. The cats took some time to get used to it, now they like to fight for who gets the top spot for naps :lol:
[OP]
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TenzoR wrote:
May 19th, 2010 8:39 am
My father built one for us, it's three level with planks on the first level and one sleeping spot at the top. The height is probably around 6ft. The only thing I did was wrapped the post with organic ropes using wood glue. The cats took some time to get used to it, now they like to fight for who gets the top spot for naps :lol:
The second I erected my cat tree, the fight was on for top spot... I didn't even get a chance to move the cat tree into place!
[IMG]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3377/462 ... cbf820.jpg[/IMG]
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Apr 28, 2005
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Good post. I bought a cheap one from petcetera on sale, a giant 5 foot tree for around 40 bucks. My cat loves it.
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I've bought too many of these unsightly expensive monstrosities only to have them virtually ignored by my cats...and then to see them go crazy for an empty toilet paper roll that missed the garbage.

Best toy I've ever bought for a cat: laser pointer- $6. YMMV

2nd best: one of those corrugated cardboard scratching pads....and some catnip from Dollarama.
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
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Mar 23, 2004
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I was thinking of building one too. Thanks for the tips and pics.

Seriously, that ungrateful little stinker... ;) She likes cardboard boxes the best and those are free!...compared to all those costly toys I bought..
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stealth wrote:
May 21st, 2010 12:54 am
I've bought too many of these unsightly expensive monstrosities only to have them virtually ignored by my cats...and then to see them go crazy for an empty toilet paper roll that missed the garbage.

Best toy I've ever bought for a cat: laser pointer- $6. YMMV

2nd best: one of those corrugated cardboard scratching pads....and some catnip from Dollarama.
penipitcher wrote:
May 21st, 2010 10:28 am
I was thinking of building one too. Thanks for the tips and pics.

Seriously, that ungrateful little stinker... ;) She likes cardboard boxes the best and those are free!...compared to all those costly toys I bought..
Had I known all they wanted to play with was water bottle caps, empty boxes and plastic straws, I could have saved so much cash.

Laser pointer is a must!
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Mar 23, 2004
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Yes. And if they like the expensive toys we buy, they end up destroying them and we have to get more anyways.

Another cheap idea for y'all. Those inner cardboard rolls for xmas gift wraps. My cat lies down and wraps all for paws around that, then proceeds to gnaw the hell out of it.

And foremost, she seems to love spending time in a chair or perch in front of a window. Bonus if you have a bird feeder or bird bath in line of sight. They'll be entertained for hours.

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