So you want to build your cat an epic cat tower? Check out this do it yourself instruction manual for a wall mounted, 6 foot tall cat tree, complete with a carpeted a shelf on top. Materials cost about $100, which is quite a bit cheaper than buying a pre-built 6 foot cat tower, assuming the required tools are already handy.
Position this tower next to another cat tree or piece of furniture, such as a dresser or bookcase, for maximum catification.
Head to your local hardware store and pick up the following cat tree materials. You'll only need a few small pieces of wood in addition to the other materials. You might have some scrap wood lying around that will do the trick.
|1||3 inch PVC Pipe||6 feet|
|4||Twisted Sisal Rope Coils||50 feet (200 ft total)|
|1||Laminated Wood Shelf||10 x 24 inches|
|1||Carpet Remnant or Mat||10 x 24 inches|
|1||Heavy Duty Shelf Bracket||8 x 10 inches|
|2||Small Metal "L" Brackets||1 1/4 inch|
|1||2 x 6 inch Scrap Wood||12 inches|
|1||1 x 4 inch Scrap Wood||4 inches|
|1||2 x 2 inch Scrap Wood||2 inches|
|8||Wood Screws||3 inch|
|6||Wood Screws||1 inch|
You'll need some tools to assemble your cat tower:
- Power Drill, Drill Bits, & Screw Bits
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
- Tape Measure
- Wood Rasp
- Sand Paper (not pictured)
- Bench vice grip (not required but helpful)
1. Cut the PVC
Cut the PVC pipe to a 6 foot length. This can easily be modified for a taller or shorter cat tree. You'll need about 35 feet of Sisal Rope per foot of pipe.
2. Measure & cut interior wood stud
You're going to jam and screw two pieces of shaped wood into each end of the PVC. These wood studs are going to stabilize the top and bottom of your cat tower.
Measure the interior diameter of the PVC pipe. It should be about 3 inches.
Cut the 12 inch long 2 x 6 vertically so the piece matches the 3 inch interior of the PVC pipe.
2. Shape wood stud
Round both sides of the interior piece of wood to match the curvature of the inside of the pipe. This will be hidden so it doesn't have to look pretty.
3. Divide wood stud into two pieces
Chop the 12 inch shaped piece of wood in half into two 6 inch long pieces. One piece will go in the top of the PVC and one will go in the bottom.
4. Hammer each stud into the PVC's ends
Wedge the wood pieces into the top and bottom ends of the PVC pipe with a hammer, the fit should be tight. We'll be anchoring the foot and shelf to these.
If necessary, sand or rasp the sides facing out so they are flush with the PVC's ends.
5. Anchor the studs to the PVC
Pre-drill two 1/16 inch holes into each stud, through the PVC pipe.
Insert two screws, through the PVC and into each of the studs. One on the top and one on the bottom of the pole.
6. Cut and shape a wood wall brace
The cat tower is going to sit about two inches away from the wall. You'll want to brace it so it doesn't kick out. Cut the 2 x 2 wood dowel into a 2 inch long block. Then rasp one end so it is slightly concave and fits nicely around the pipe.
Attach a metal "L" bracket to the PVC pipe, anchoring it to the wood stud inside the pipe at the bottom.
Note: Only attach the "L" bracket to the PVC pipe for now, not the wood brace. I had to remove the wood block before wrapping the sisal (see step 12).
7. Shape the bottom foot
Trace the end of the PVC pipe onto the 1 x 4 inch piece of wood. Roughly saw out the circle. Then rasp it down into a fitted circular base. Polish the entire disc with sandpaper.
8. Attach the sisal rope to the bottom of of the tree
Drill a hole through the PVC, perpendicular to the inner wood stud, at the very bottom of the pipe.
Thread the sisal rope through the hole and tie a knot on the inside end. This will secure the the rope to the base of the pole.
9. Attach the bottom
Pre-drill two 1/16 inch holes through the bottom base into the wood stud in the bottom of the PVC pipe.
Insert two screws through the wood base to secure it to the inner stud.
10. Wrap and glue
Wrap the PVC with the sisal rope. Applying hot glue between the plastic and rope about once every revolution.
11. Zip-tie the sisal segments
When a segment if sisal rope ends, zip-tie it to the next segment, about an inch before the ends meet. Add a good amount of hot glue where the rope segments join and continue to wrap.
12. Attach the wood wall brace
Screw the wood wall brace to the "L" bracket sticking out through the wrapped sisal.
13. Cut the rug
Measure and cut the carpet remnant or mat matching the dimensions of the shelf, 10 x 24 inches.
14. Attach the shelf to the tower
Two people is recommended for this step.
Position the shelf on top of the pole against the wall where it will be mounted. Pre-drill two 1/16 inch holes through the shelf and into the wood stud that has been anchored inside the top of the PVC pipe.
Insert two screws, through the shelf into the stud to secure the shelf to the pole. Just like you did for the bottom but through the top shelf instead.
Sorry, didn't get a photo of this step.
15. Install the shelf bracket
Draw a line at the height of the shelf. Locate a stud in the wall where you plan to anchor the tree (use a stud finder or knock on the wall).
Install the shelf bracket under the shelf, screwing into the stud in the wall with the 3 inch wood screws. Then attached the bracket to the shelf with the 1 inch wood screws.
16. Secure the shelf to the wall
Add an extra "L" bracket to the top of the shelf on the pole side. Then screw it into the shelf and the wall to keep the top of the pole from pulling away from the wall.
Screw another "L" bracket to connect the wood brace to the wall. The tree should now be securely anchored at the top and bottom.
15. Attach the carpet
Hot glue the carpet to the shelf. You can additionally attach it with industrial staples or small nails to secure carpet to the shelf, since cats will be pulling themselves up on it.
Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions or a successful build of your own, let me know if the comments.