So you love kitties and you love building stuff. Perfect! There are tons of cat-themed DIY projects floating around, but some of the simplest and most useful projects are cat perches. Learning how to build a cat perch is pretty simple, doesn't require a lot of expensive material or equipment, and if you're also quite creative, fun to customize to you and your furry friend's specific needs and tastes.
What You'll Need to Build a Cat Perch
- Level (if you don't have one, but you do have a smart phone, there are plenty of apps that will work in its place - though, maybe not quite as accurately)
Optional (see below)
- Sand paper
- 18 inch by 24 inch Pre-Cut Shelves or Wood of Choice (we recommend a good solid wood or a nice quality lumber)
- Non-Slip Pads or your choice of Carpeting
- Wall Anchors (make sure to look for heavy duty anchors)
Optional (see below)
- Shelf Brackets
- Pet Safe Varnish or Paint
- Pet Safe Glue
How to Build A Cat Perch
If you are using planks...
- If you decided to try wood planks instead of pre-cut shelves, you'll want to start your cat perch-building adventure by cutting your planks to an appropriate size. Although I recommend 18x24, you can make them any size you really like - just be sure you have the space and some extra help in case things get a little out of hand!
- Evenly measure out a few places for holes, then drill them out.
- Next, you will sand down your planks until they are nice and smooth. You may also want to finish them with a pet-safe varnish or paint, but this is entirely up to you. If you do paint or varnish, give it plenty of time to dry.
- Once dry, attach anti-skid mats or carpet. You can sometimes find mats or carpet with adhesives already attached; however, if that isn't included in what you picked up, some pet safe glue should do the trick. Again, allow plenty of drying time.
- Screw your shelf brackets into your pre-drilled holes.
- Next, whip out your level or phone app, and mark up your spots.
- Finally, attach your wall anchors according to the included instructions, then slide your shelf into place.
If you are using pre-made shelves...
- Begin by doing any customizations you would like. You may not want to customize at all; however, if you're feeling extra creative, now is the time for it! This is also the time to attach your anti-skid pads or carpeting.
- Now you can go ahead and use your level or level app to keep things straight.
- Attach your wall anchors according to the instructions.
- Follow instructions for mounting your pre-made shelves, then you're done!
Whether you went the self-built or the pre-built route, please make sure to stress test your new cat perches before you let your kitties climb on. Once everything is in place, stack something heavy - books, weights, whatever you have on hand - on top of your shelves and leave them there for a spell. If everything is holding up, let 'em at it!
This cat perch, as it stands, is fairly basic. It will definitely serve as a nice roosting spot for your kitty, but if you want to give it some extra appeal, there are plenty of things you can do. For instance, why have one shelf when you can have two... or three... or ten. These simple little perches make for excellent staggering shelves, which is especially useful if you have a ton of wall space and want to create a kitty playground.
You can also try adding different materials - like sisal rope, fabric, or unusual carpet piles - or different items, like hanging toys or wicker baskets. Finally, if you're really good at DIY projects, you can build a cat perch that is extra functional. Try cutting out holes for feeding dishes, sewing in pockets for treats or catnip, or creating ladder-like staircases. Really, the sky's the limit on these things!
Now that you know how to build a cat perch, go out and get crackin'! If, however, you're just starting out with DIY projects and feel a bit overwhelmed with this idea, no worries! There are plenty of pre-built options. Often, they require just a touch of construction or placement, so you can still have a little bit of the fun of building, without having to worry about too many of the finer details - or splinters!
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