After adopting a kitten from the local animal shelter, we decided to build a “cat tree” for the young mischief maker. I did a bit of Googling and came across what seemed to be a decent set of plans at CatTreePlans.com. For only $10, they offer plans for six different cat trees, all available as downloadable PDF’s with lots of photos and detailed instructions. My favorite was the Rumpleteazer Hideout (shown here). It provides four levels of play space and has a paw cut-out “condo” that gives the cat a private area to chill out. It also lends a little extra character to the structure.
The cat tree is approximately 58″ tall with a 24″ x 24″ base. It’s rather substantial (weights about 60 pounds) with most of the weight towards the bottom. There’s not much danger of it tipping over. The horizontal surfaces are made from 1/2″ and 3/4″ plywood that’s covered with carpeting.
The vertical supports are made from 2″x4″‘s that are glued together. As a woodworker, I couldn’t just screw the 2″x4″‘s together — I wanted them to be perfectly square and straight. After a little jointing/ planing/ sawing, I had nice straight supports that were 3-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ across. They were almost too nice to cover up with carpet..
I used 2″ deck screws to attach the plywood perches to the vertical support pieces. The condo is supported by one short piece in front and a longer piece in the back which also provides support for perch #2. For extra stability, the condo is also attached to perch #1.
The cat enjoys climbing up and down the tree and hanging out on the top perch. However, she seldom uses the condo. If I were to do it again, I would build a simpler, narrower tree without the condo. That would make it easier to move the tree around the house and it would also take up less floor space. Meanwhile, the condo provides a convenient place to store cat toys and other cat stuff.
This project was completed over the course of a weekend and it cost about $50 (you can expect to pay $200+ for a cat tree like this at a pet store).