Shelly is my upholstery teacher at the ModHomeEc studio and when I showed her a photo of the play tree my husband made for our two cats, she asked to feature it in her column.
I love Shelly’s column. She always highlights interesting, practical and fairly simple projects that are inspiring.
So of course, we were flattered that she wanted to include Jeff’s cat tree. The story ran in Saturday’s newspapers and you can link to it – with more photos, including one of Jeff – by clicking here. I’ve included a few photos here that didn’t make it into the paper.
We have two cats – Simba, a 3-year-old male who we adopted earlier this year off the streets, and Emmy, a 5-year-old female who we found at a shelter. We thought both needed a place to climb and hang out but we didn’t want to pay retail price for a cat tree and I don’t like the carpet on most of them.
So Jeff wandered out to his wood shop to see what he had to make his own version. He didn’t really start with a plan. He just took bits and pieces of lumber – cut off 4x4s, a 2x4, an old cabinet door, and some scrap plywood.
He cobbled it together into a tower – taking note to make big enough platforms for Simba, who is bigger, to feel secure. He also kept each step no more than about a foot apart so traversing the cat tree would be fairly easy for them.
I picked a striped carpet because I thought it was just a little more interesting. That made carpeting the finished cat tree a bit more difficult but I like the result. I think it has a bit of a retro look. We used sisal rope to warp sections of the posts to serve as scratching posts.
Of course, we hung a couple toy mice on it to entice the cats over. Also, the bottom of the stand has a three-sided box that can be a sort of hideaway.
I will acknowledge that the tree is a bit big. The base is 3-feet by 2-feet and it sits in front of our windows in the dining room. It will definitely have to be moved when we have company for dinner.
But we love it. And Simba does too. He took to the cat tree immediately. Emmy has been a slower to adopt it into her routine. I’ve seen her on the bottom platform a couple of times but for now it’s Simba’s space.