Obtain a ladder.,
Gather your supplies.,
Sand and paint your ladder and wood pieces.,
Nail the plywood platforms to the ladder.,
Install the hammock.,
Wrap the ladder legs in rope.,
For this simple, unique cat tree, you’ll need an old wooden ladder. Look around at garage sales, thrift furniture stores, and antique stores for one 3–4 feet (0.9–1.2 m) high.
Choose an old-fashioned ladder that looks like an upside-down “v” with several steps on either side that are at matching levels.
It’s fine if the wood looks old, but make sure the foundation of the ladder isn’t too rickety. You want to be certain your cat tree won’t tip over and hurt your cat.
Try to find a ladder that’s around four feet tall.A very tall ladder my be less stable or too tall for your cat.
, The ladder is going to be the base of the tree, but you’ll need to alter it a bit to make it more cat friendly. Gather these supplies:
A piece of plywood long and wide enough to rest on two rungs of the ladder at the same level. This will provide a platform for your cat. If you want more than one platform, you’ll need more than one piece of plywood.
A hammer and 2″ nails
An electric staple gun
A piece of canvas, denim, or other sturdy fabric you can use to create a hammock between the two bottom rungs
A can of paint (optional)
A toy that hangs from a piece of rope or string
Sisal rope to wrap around the legs of the ladder
, Use fine-grain sandpaper to sand down the ladder and remove any jagged edges or splinters. Do the same to the pieces of plywood you bought.
Paint the ladder and plywood pieces with a coat or two of paint, if you’re using it. Let the paint dry completely.
Use your imagination when it comes time to paint. You could just paint the ladder to match your existing decor. But you could also paint it brown and green to make it look like a tree, or use stencils to make designs up and down the sides.
Instead of painting the platforms, you can make them more comfortable for you cat by covering them in carpet,attaching it to to the platforms after nailing them into place. Use your staple gun and affix the carpet with staples in the perimeter and in the center.Make sure they don’t stick up from the platform, tapping them down with a hammer if necessary.
, Position the first piece of plywood so that it is lined up across two ladder rungs of equal height. Use the hammer and four nails to nail the plywood into the wooden rungs, placing one nail in each corner of the plywood.
Make sure the platforms are very secure when you’re finished nailing them down. You may wish to use more nails, or substitute wood screws for a firmer hold.If you have a second piece of plywood to create another level, use the same procedure to nail it down.
, Many cats enjoy sleeping in hammocks. If you’d like to add one to your cat tree, measure and cut your piece of cloth so that its four corners stretch between the four legs of the ladder. Nail or staple a corner of the fabric to the inside of each leg, making sure that the nails are all at the exact same height.
Be sure the fabric you use for the hammock is thick enough to hold the weight of your cat. You can double the fabric or hem the edges before nailing it down to make it sturdier.
Fabric that stretches a little is ideal for cat hammocks.
Make sure nails or staples do not protrude in such a way that your cat could be scratched or cut. Tap your staples with hammer if necessary.
Instead of a hammock, you can also use a carpeted concrete form tube, fastened to the ladder by attaching it to two 2X4 pieces of lumber secured to the base of the ladder with bolts, nails, or screws, between the legs.This will make your cat tree less portable, but also sturdier.
, If you want the cat tree to double as a scratching post, you can wrap the bottom of the ladder legs in strong, coarse rope.
Cut the rope in four pieces. Use staples to secure the end of the first piece of rope to the inside of the base of one of the legs.
Wrap the leg tightly with rope, tapping it down with a hammer if necessary. Secure the other end with a staple, making sure it is away from any areas the cat is most likely to scratch often.Repeat with the other four legs.
If you want to, you can cover the legs entirely with rope, from top to bottom, using a new piece of rope between each rung of the ladder. This will allow your cat access to a scratchable surface nearly anywhere on its new cat tree.
, Hang the toy you bought from the top of the ladder, somewhere the cat will be able to reach it, so as to entice your cat to come and play. Add any other finishing touches you want to make your cat tree unique and fun for your cat.