How to Build Play Structures for Your Cat

Play structures for your feline pets may be costly if purchased from stores. However, simple materials and the right tools, combined with grit and creativity can help you make a lovely and personalized cat tree. Follow the simple steps below to make your own cat jungle gym.

Tools and Materials

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Plywood
  • Carpet tacks
  • Jigsaw
  • Screws
  • Brackets
  • Drill
  • Wooden tubes
  • 3/8 sisal rope
  • Carpet pieces
  • Soft Toys

Step 1: Placement

Decide where the cat condo or play structure is to be built. Take the measurements for that place and also know the size of the cats so that while drilling cubbyholes, you do not end up with ones that are too small to let your cats enter. Purchase inexpensive carpet from the decorating stores so that you can cover the base of the plywood.

Step 2: Dimensions

Observe the playing style of your cats. The structure you build can be made in a way that it has holes in various places for the cat to hide in, platforms on which to climb or a combination. Plan where you want the areas meant for sleeping, scratching or other things to be. Decide on the height of the play tree.

Once you have planned the structure, consider how you will construct the base. Make sure that the dimensions of the base are such that it can provide support to the pole at the center. For a 5-foot tall pole, the ideal base measurement is 4x4 feet. According to this ratio, you can calculate the pole-base proportion. From the block of plywood, do cut out the base of the required dimension. You can use a jigsaw for this purpose. Wrap the carpet you bought all over the base. Staple at the edges or insert nails along the sides, after the carpet is placed. Make sure that the place at the center for the pole is left free of the carpet.

Step 3: Setting Up

Cut poles with the saw out of the wooden tubes. Wrap the sisal rope around it as this is resistant to scratches from cat claws. You can tack up or apply adhesive to the rope after twining it around. Make sure that this rope is tacked up after 5 turns after you glue it to the pole. This ensures that the rope remains in place.

Step 4: Attaching

Place the pole in the proper place, and attach it using brackets on each of its sides. This makes the play structure sturdier. Check that the nails and stapling pins are properly covered. All sharp seams must be covered on the base. This is a precaution so that the cat does not get hurt while playing.

Step 5: Finishing Steps

Screw the poles made to the plywood base. Put in the screws from the reverse side of the base structure. In case there are more than one level on the structure, attach the boards at the correct places so that the screws securely fit in to the holes drilled on the pole at the center or at points slightly  below the upper ends of the pole. Make sure that the play structure is not wobbly. You can paint the cat tree in any color of your choice.