How Do You Make A Simple Cat Tree?

Are you tired of constantly shooing your cat away from your furniture or curtains? Do you want to provide your feline friend with a fun and safe place to play and relax? If so, building a simple cat tree might be just what you need.

A cat tree, also known as a cat condo, is a vertical structure that typically includes platforms, levels, and scratching posts for cats to climb on. Not only is building your own cat tree an affordable DIY project, but it can also benefit both you and your furry companion.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of constructing a simple cat tree that’s perfect for any home or budget. We’ll cover the essential materials and tools you’ll need and give detailed step-by-step instructions for building your very own cat tree. Plus, we’ll share some tips and tricks to make it even more appealing to your kitty pal and ideas for customizing it to match your decor.

So if you’re ready to create a personalized playground for your beloved pet while protecting your furniture from scratches, let’s get started on crafting a simple cat tree.

Deciding on the Size and Design of the Tree

Look no further than building a simple cat tree. Before you begin, though, take a moment to consider the size and design of your new feline oasis.

First things first: think about the number of cats in your home and their size and weight. If you have multiple or larger cats, you’ll need to construct a more substantial and durable tree that can support their weight without tipping over. Safety should always be your top priority.

Next, take a look at the available space in your home. Measuring the area where you plan to put your cat tree is crucial. You want to ensure that it fits comfortably without taking up too much room. Keep in mind the height of your ceilings as well, as taller cat trees may not fit in spaces with low ceilings.

Now that you’ve tackled size, it’s time to get creative with design. There are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from multi-level structures to simpler designs with just a few platforms. The design you choose will depend on both your personal preference and the needs of your cats.

When building your cat tree, remember to add key features such as lounging platforms, scratching posts for claw maintenance, and hiding spots for napping. Take things up a notch by including tunnels, hammocks, or even hanging toys to make it more fun for your feline friends.

Choosing Materials for Building the Tree

That’s why taking the time to choose the right materials for building a simple cat tree is essential. The right materials not only determine the durability and stability of the structure but also affect its overall appearance and safety.

When it comes to selecting the type of wood for your cat tree, there are two main options: softwoods like pine or fir and hardwoods like oak or maple. While softwoods may be more affordable, they are less durable and may not withstand wear and tear over time. On the other hand, hardwoods may be more expensive, but they offer greater strength and longevity. So, depending on your budget and long-term goals, you need to choose the right type of wood.

Apart from the type of wood used, it’s also essential to consider the thickness and quality of the lumber. Thicker pieces ensure greater stability, while higher quality wood will have fewer imperfections that could weaken the structure. This means that your cat tree will be more robust and longer-lasting.

Another crucial factor to consider is the fabric or carpet used to cover your cat tree. Your feline friend will be climbing and resting on this material, so it needs to be both soft and comfortable. But it also needs to be durable enough to withstand scratching and wear over time. Opt for high-quality, heavy-duty fabrics such as Berber or commercial-grade carpeting to ensure that your cat tree is both comfortable and long-lasting.

Finally, don’t forget about the hardware you’ll need to assemble the tree. It’s essential to choose strong, sturdy screws and brackets that can securely hold your cat’s weight without coming loose over time. This is especially important if your cat is active or playful as they may exert extra pressure on the structure. Avoid using nails or cheap hardware that may not hold up under pressure.

Key Features Every Cat Tree Should Have

While designing your cat’s tree, it is paramount to consider not only their comfort but also their safety and overall enjoyment.

A top priority is the inclusion of multiple levels and platforms. Cats are renowned for their love of heights, and having different levels allows them to survey their surroundings confidently. These varying heights also provide opportunities for your furry friend to play and explore. Additionally, incorporating different textures such as carpet, sisal rope, and wood can give your cat different sensations to scratch and engage with.

Stability is another critical feature to keep in mind. A wobbly or unstable cat tree could pose a danger to your pet, so it’s important to ensure that the base is wide enough and heavy enough to support the weight of your cat(s).

Hiding spots and cozy areas are also crucial components of any cat tree. Cats love having private spaces where they can nap or play without being disturbed. Enclosed boxes or tunnels are great options, but even a cozy nook with soft material for them to curl up in will suffice.

Lastly, don’t forget about the overall aesthetic. While functionality is paramount, it’s also nice to have a piece of furniture that complements your home decor. Choosing materials and colors that coordinate with your existing style will make it easier to incorporate into your living space.

Preparing the Materials for Building

Building a simple cat tree is a great idea, but it all begins with gathering the materials. As an expert in cat tree building, I can guide you through the process and help make it a success.

To start, you will need several essential materials such as plywood, carpet, screws, wood glue, and a saw. You can purchase these items online or at any hardware store. Once you have everything, it’s time to get started.

Begin by measuring and cutting the plywood into the desired sizes for the base, platforms, and posts. It’s essential to cut them precisely to avoid any unwanted splinters. Next, cover the plywood with carpet using wood glue and screws. This will provide a comfortable surface for your cat to scratch and climb on.

Now, let’s prepare the support structure of your cat tree. Measure and cut the posts to the required length using PVC pipes or wooden dowels. Once they’re cut to size, wrap them with carpet using wood glue and screws.

Finally, assemble all the pieces together using screws and wood glue. It’s vital to make sure all parts are securely fastened to prevent any potential safety hazards. And voila. Your cat tree is ready for your furry friend to enjoy.

Assembling the Frame of the Tree

In the previous section, we talked about gathering all the essential materials needed to construct a cozy and sturdy cat tree. Now, let’s move onto the exciting part: assembling the frame of the tree.

Your cat’s safety is our top priority, so it’s crucial to follow these steps carefully. The frame of a cat tree provides stability and support for your furry friend to climb and play on. So, let’s get started.

First things first, measure and cut the wood planks to create the base of the cat tree. The base should be large enough to prevent tipping over and provide a stable foundation for the rest of the structure. Once you have cut the wood planks to size, attach them securely with screws. This is the foundation of your cat’s new jungle gym.

Next, it’s time to create the vertical supports for the tree. Cut additional planks to your desired height and attach them to the base with screws. This will create a sturdy framework for your cat tree. Your feline friend will soon have a safe haven to nap in.

To add even more stability, consider adding diagonal supports between the vertical posts. This will prevent any wobbling or movement when your cat is climbing or playing on the tree. Cut planks at an angle and attach them securely with screws or nails. Your kitty will be able to jump around without any worries.

Now that the main frame is assembled, it’s time to add some platforms for your cat to climb on. Cut planks to size for each platform and attach them securely to the vertical posts with screws or brackets. Make sure you space out the platforms appropriately so your cat can easily climb up and down. It’s like creating a staircase for your furry pal.

Finally, cover each platform with carpet or other materials that provide traction for your cat’s paws. This will prevent any slipping or falling while they’re playing or lounging on their new cat tree. Your kitty will be able to relax and play comfortably.

Adding Platforms, Hiding Spots, and Scratching Posts

One of the most important factors to consider when building a cat tree is providing your cat with enough platforms, hiding spots, and scratching posts. These elements are essential for creating a comfortable and stimulating space that your cat will love spending time in.

Platforms are like the building blocks of your cat tree. They give your cat a place to perch and observe their surroundings, away from any potential threats. When constructing platforms, it’s crucial to ensure that they can support your cat’s weight and have enough room for them to stretch out fully. Plywood or wooden planks are excellent materials to use for sturdy platforms, and covering them with soft materials like carpet will add an extra layer of comfort.

Hiding spots offer your cat a cozy and secure space where they can retreat when they feel overwhelmed or stressed. Providing a hiding spot will help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation for your furry friend. You can create hiding spots using boxes or baskets covered with soft materials like blankets or towels. However, make sure that the hiding spot is spacious enough for your cat to fit inside comfortably.

Scratching posts are another must-have element when creating a cat tree. Scratching is an innate behavior for cats, so providing them with a designated space to do so is crucial. This will help protect your furniture from their sharp claws while keeping them happy at the same time. You can use sisal rope or carpet scraps to cover wooden posts or branches, creating an irresistible scratching surface for your cat.


In conclusion, constructing a simple cat tree is an exciting and rewarding DIY project for any cat lover who wants to provide their furry friend with a safe and stimulating space to play and relax. To begin, it’s essential to determine the size and design of the tree based on the number of cats in your home, their size and weight, and available space. The choice of materials is also crucial for durability, stability, safety, and aesthetics.

Every cat tree should have several levels and platforms, stability, hiding spots, cozy areas, and scratching posts. To prepare the materials for building your tree, measure and cut plywood into desired sizes for bases, platforms, and posts. Then wrap them with carpet using wood glue and screws to create a comfortable surface for your cat to scratch on.

Assembling the frame of the tree involves attaching wood planks securely with screws to create a stable foundation before adding vertical supports and diagonal supports between them. You can then add platforms before covering each one with carpet or other traction materials.

To make your cat even happier in their new playground, consider adding hiding spots using boxes or baskets covered with soft materials like blankets or towels. Additionally, designated scratching posts made from sisal rope or carpet scraps will protect your furniture from damage while providing a place for your cat to scratch.

Building a custom-made cat tree is not only cost-effective but also allows you to personalize your kitty’s playground according to your decor preferences while keeping them entertained.