A New Playplace for Your Pet: Constructing a Cat Jungle Gym

Entertain your cat with a cat jungle gym. This is your chance to be creative, while at the same time give your cat some exercise and something that will keep it occupied. Refer to the instructions and material lists below:

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Wood
  • Carpet (or similar material)
  • Super glue
  • Duct tape
  • Nails and screws
  • Hammer
  • Nail gun (optional)
  • Saw (optional)
  • Ruler or compass
  • Cardboard

Step 1 – Design Your Cat Jungle Gym

Save yourself a lot of frustration and wasted material by designing your cat jungle gym before you even begin purchasing your material. Determine not only what you want it to look like, but where you will keep it when it is in use. How much space will you want it to occupy? Will you want it to have transparent panels through which you can watch your cat as it uses it? Will you want ready access to each section so you can extract your pet from any of these sections? If you need ideas, look for these pre-built structures in pet stores and on the Internet. Design your cat gym on paper, then make a list of materials based on your design.

Step 2 – Start with a Sturdy Base

If your cat gym will have multiple levels, be sure the base is heavy and sturdy enough so that your cat will not tip the gym when it climbs to the top level. This is particularly important if you cat is active. If you have rejected commercially built cat gyms because of the lack the sturdy qualities you expect, but sure you build your gym with a heavy and study base. Use plywood for the base, but be sure it is 3/8 inches thick or more. Several pieces of one inch lumber will also work. If you use more than a single piece, make sure they are fastened together solidly using screws or wood glue.

Step 3 – Building Individual Floors

If you build a 2-level and 3-level gym, be sure that the materials used for these levels are lighter in weight than the base. Otherwise, the gym could easily tip over. These rooms do not need to be as sturdy as the base, but they do need to be securely attached with screws or glue to the base. Keep in mind that the higher your gym, the more likely it is to tip over if your cat is in the top floor. Three floors will usually be a safe height. Build each room in these levels by constructing a box that will match the width of your base. Make your rooms of heavy duty cardboard, plywood, or even Plexiglas. Make cylindrical tunnels of tube cardboard. These cylinders, wrapped with carpet, will also work as a scratching post. Be sure to make entry ways between rooms big enough for your cat to easily pass between rooms.

Step 4 – Make Your Gym Secure

Before giving your cat a trial run, check out the security of the structure. Make sure there are no sharp corners, no loose pieces and no cracks your cat can become stuck in.