How to Make Homemade Cat Trees and Cat Houses

Anna is an artist who enjoys collecting and repurposing old objects to turn into special things.

Construct a Tree or House for Your Cat

As cat parents, we intend to give our fur babies the best. Buying one of those fancy cat trees, however, can be very expensive—though admittedly they are beautiful with their upholstered boxes, numerous ladders, adorable cots, and so many embellishments.

As much as we'd want to buy one of these, it might be simpler to try to construct our own with materials we may already have lying around the house or garage. It's a great way to save money, flex your creative muscle, and give your pets a structure they can call their own. We all know that cats are not picky: They are lovely creatures who would pretty much appreciate an old box or the top of a refrigerator as much as they would a blinged-out tree. So even if you make one that is simple, it will be cat-approved!

In this article, we'll look at these potential projects:

  • Two-Tower Tree With Bridges
  • Waterproof Outdoor Tree
  • Simple House Made From Extra Lumber
  • Minimalist Indoor Tree
  • Simple Plywood House With Roof
  • Repurposed Pallet Tree
  • Cat Treehouse

Two-Tower Cat Tree With Bridges

This project takes two to three days. If you have a long enough wall that can accommodate a narrow tree with multiple levels, this is the perfect project for you.

Materials used for this project:

  • old Sintra boards (PVC boards)
  • 1" x 1/2" lumber
  • plywood
  • 2" x 2" lumber
  • 1" x 2" lumber
  • superglue
  • wood screws
  • nylon rope
  • acrylic/water-based paint

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. For a single tower, use two boxes each. To make the boxes, cut Sintra boards (PVC plastic panels) into rectangles and glue to create the box structure.
  2. Draw and cut out U-shapes and circles from several sides and tops (depending on the position of the box on the tower).
  3. Screw the boxes onto the tower. Screw the support under each box in place.
  4. Cut scrap plywood into small squares and rectangles. Place them in strategic places throughout the tower. This will serve as the perch.
  5. Construct mini-ladders and screw them into place.
  6. Once both towers are finished, install a horizontal fixed bridge to fasten both towers together.
  7. Install a separate hanging bridge as a second layer right on top of the fixed one. This is made with nylon rope and 1" x 2" lumber cut into 12" pieces.
  8. Once everything is finished and fixed into place, paint all the different pieces with acrylic paint.


  • For added fun, accessorize with hanging toys.
  • If you have natural ropes, wind them around the 2" x 2" wood support.

Waterproof Outdoor Cat Tree

Here is another example of a homemade tree, but this time, there is only one tower. The procedure is the same as the two-tower tree. This simplified version is perfect for the outdoors since the materials used are all water and weatherproof. Since this doesn't have any furry fabric upholstery on the boxes, it's easy to clean. Just wipe it down or spray with a hose.

Simple House Made From Extra Lumber

This cat house is not only durable because it is made from solid lumber, but it can also house more cats. This is a perfect project if you have recently done a renovation. You can certainly use your old wood for this. In this case, several pillows were also added to make the kitties comfortable.

Minimalist Indoor Cat Tree

Again, this is very similar to the first two projects. Since this was built as an indoor unit, it was painted with white water-based paint to match the walls.

Simple Plywood House With Roof

This "cat village" is perfect for a clowder of cats. These houses were made using plywood. The roof of each house was covered in plastic sheets and fastened at the underside to make the roof waterproof.

This is a simple project, but it will require a lot of cutting. If you already have plywood and a jigsaw or your cutting tool of choice, this would easily be done in half a day if you are making just one piece.

Repurposed Pallet Cat Tree

This is a cute outdoor spot using old wood from a pallet. For the house's body, the wood from the pallet was used, and driftwood or sturdy branch can be used for the stand. A simple cat-shape door was cut out in the front and accessorized with a drawer pull. Hopefully the birds won't mistake it for a birdhouse!

Cat Treehouse

Why not challenge yourself and make a treehouse? The only problem is: Your cat might not come down anymore. If you have plenty of lumber and are not afraid of heights, this might be a project for you!

© 2020 Anna Javier

Sp Greaney from Ireland on September 08, 2020:

I like the idea of making your own. The price of cat trees here is riduclous.

This DIY cat house combines a reused barrel and plant container in its construction. A barrel has enough space for a cat to hang out comfortably. You can create a large hole and fill half of the barrel with a warm layer. A wooden platform serves as a stair and dining “table.” The top part of the barrel can serve as a planter.

These DIY cat house ideas are simple, and most of them use repurposed materials in the construction. Make your pets or feral cats happy by building simple, comfortable, and warm shelters.

Best Cat Tree Ideas to Make Feline Happy

Find your kitty the best space to play along

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Since cats enjoy indoor activities, having them as a pet requires you to be as creative as possible to prevent let your feline climb on your favorite furniture nor places that may be harmful for him. So, a cat tree must be one of the best solution you can have to solve it all. Here, these best cat tree ideas will guide you to decide which design will fit your cat’s need as well as matching your room interior.

Building a cat tree is like one of the needs every cat owner has, for it is really beneficial for both pets and the owners. Good news is, if you don’t think you’re capable in building one on your own, you still can find one to purchase almost anywhere.

A fancy cat tree can even be created from old shelves. Fact is, you just have to be as creative to design one that can make your cats stay active and happy. Now, check out these best cat tree ideas.

Cat tree out of stacked crates

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This cat tree design is actually kind of easy to re-create. First, repaint the crates you have, also some shelves that you no longer use, then cover with faux fur or soft carpet.

Simple cat tree platform

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The cat tree requires you a little of craftsmanship to make one on your own. Basically, it’s a wooden planks cat tree with a small room for your feline to rest at the bottom.

Cat condo plan

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A nice cat condo covered in rope and soft carpet to give your cat nice spot for scratching and also perching. Yet, it provides room for your pet to nap.

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Another condo with hammock wrapped in rope, carpet, and faux fur will keep your feline warm during the winter.

A literal cat tree

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One of our best cat tree ideas is to give one for your cat to climb all the way up to your roof. Made out of a real natural tree, it will also give your home a fancier look.

Also, it can be a little more exciting with the small beds and hammock. Then, having the tree fully wrapped in rope will ease your cat to climb and scratch in order to keep those claws shaped.

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Fun cat climbing wall

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Your wall could also be the best space for feline to play. With this modular aluminum wall hanging system, it keeps the cats mentally stimulated. Meanwhile, it will also be fun for you to re-arrange the components.

Easiest of best cat tree ideas: cat shelves

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Not only that it supports your home’s minimalist look, the design is easy to build. The cat walk at the top gives your cat a nice space to perch and enjoy the sunlight. For a fancier look, this cat bridge is a nice alternative.

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You can also get a little more artsy with this floating unit shelves design integrated with the painting on the wall. Here, vinyl wall decals will ease you with the work.

Still, your feline would need a scratching post. So this plan might be perfect.

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Also enjoy our other cat tree ideas here.

Your cat tree is finally done!! :D

Don't forget to add the ladder to it. and let your cat explore it!
The small base (the short piece of the cat tree) can be moved. This way you can keep it on the side, or form an angle that doesn't require that much space (as you can see in my pictures).

It was a lot of work but definitely worth it. my cat loves it! :)

Please vote for it in contests if you like it! Thanks!

How to Make a Cat Tree

Last Updated: February 5, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.

There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Cats are natural climbers, and will happily crawl all over tall structures. A homemade cat tree will provide your kitty with hours of entertainment, and can be built at a fraction of the cost of cat trees available at a pet store. With some tools and dedication, you can make a customized cat tree based on your cat's personality!

Watch the video: How To Make Easy Cat Scratching Post With PVC Pipes, Rope And Hot Glue (July 2021).