Cat Tree Plans: Tips, Materials, and Resources
The best way to build your own cat tree is to prepare everything ahead and have your design, materials, and tools ready.
To do this, I highly recommend these cat tree plans. I have them myself and can tell you they are the most thorough and detailed cat tree plans available. They feature 11 cat tree designs and cover everything you need to know, including specific hardware, necessary tools, pattern cutting, types of material and where to find it affordably, plus so much more. The cat tree designs are safe, stable and attractive. You will save yourself tons of time and research by using this excellent 100+ page guide which features clear directions and many, many how-to photos.
For cat litter box cabinet plans, more cat tree plans, or ideas for other cat furniture projects like cat steps, cat trees, cat sill perches and cat scratch posts, you may also want to check out these great books.
Other ideas for making and selling your own cat furniture include cat litter cabinets like the one shown here. I bought a custom crafted wooden litter box cabinet a few years ago for my guys and they (and I) love it! Many cat owners are forced to put their pet's litter box in a den, kitchen, family room, bathroom, or bedroom and hate having to look at an ugly plastic box. These cabinets appear to be lovely pieces of furniture, but conceal the actual plastic box within. If you decide to build one of these, make sure you make it large enough for cats to comfortably "do their business" and also to enter and exit easily via a side door opening. Here's a site I found which shows some great examples.
No matter what method or cat tree plans you choose, these are things you must always consider when learning how to build cat trees:
Size: Cat trees can range in size from perhaps 24" all the way up to over 6, 7, or even 8 feet! This will depend on the needs of the customer and the cat. Small kittens and older or ill pets that may have less agility will be more suited to a smaller model, while multiple cat homes or ones with very active cats and lots of room may desire a towering jungle gym...once you get up and running you will want to keep the customer's needs in mind when designing a specific cat tree for them. If you eventually carry an inventory it's best to have a varied selection.
Color: Kitties themselves probably do not care what colors are used on their cat tree and this is more of an aesthetic and customer driven feature. If carpeting is used, keep in mind that darker colors will show more light colored fur, while lighter carpet colors will show more dark fur. The location of the cat tree may affect this decision- if kept in a very sunny window or room, a darker colored cat tree will show fading much more quickly than will a lighter color. Lastly, the color scheme of the room where the tree is to be placed may influence your customer's decision.
Materials: Cat trees are generally built with plywood and covered with carpeting, fleece, or faux fur. Wrapping some posts with sisal (a safe and all natural fiber rope that cat's love) is vet recommended as a great way for kitties to stretch their claws. As shown in the photo, actual tree limbs can also be used to make very unique cat trees. Cedar and driftwood work well as they are splinter resistant. If you use wood branches found outdoors be sure strip them, sand if needed, and bleach clean them thoroughly to remove any mold, bugs or parasites. Tree limbs should be at least 4 inches in diameter to ensure strength and stability. What you use will depend on your skills, what material is available to you, how much you are willing to spend, and how you prefer to build your own cat trees. Be sure all materials are safe for pets and people. Low pile, non-loop carpet is safest for cat's claws and store bought wood should be free of any chemicals.
Appeal: When you formulate your cat tree plans...you must think like a cat! Cats enjoy secure cubby hole hiding places as well as open platforms upon which to lounge-especially ones up high where they can securely watch the world go by. The shelves on your trees must be accessible from the bottom up-be sure you arrange them in pathways that can be maneuvered by your furry clients. A cat's age and ability determine their needs in a cat and how desirable it will be to them. Multiple cat homes usually require trees with many shelves and levels as well as more than one condo or cubby, so that each feline participant can have their own space. Also, adding a few hanging toys can really ramp up the appeal factor!
Safety: Besides using only safe and non-toxic materials, how you build your cat tree must be a top priority! Your tree must be stable and able to withstand the leaping and jumping of perhaps a 10-15 lb animal. I can't stress this enough-be sure your base is plenty wide to keep the entire tree stable and wobble proof. When actually building your cat tree, be sure no staples, screws, nails or anything else is exposed as a possible hazard to pets or humans.