Building a Cat Tree for Your Large Cat - 6 Easy Steps!

Nov 19, 2020
When cats want something, they tend to be pretty purr-suasive! Since cats are habitual climbers, it makes sense that they tend to crawl up everything they see. However, that endearing habit might transform your precious furniture into a mass of ragged fabric.

Cat trees are the perfect solution to this problem. They also offer entertainment and exercise for your big cats. In this step by step guide, we’ll be building a cat tree for your large cat.
 

Things to Consider Before Building the Cat Tree

Before starting your carpentry work, you need to make a design plan. As you sketch your design, there are some things to keep in mind.
Firstly, you need to consider the space available for the cat tree. Space is an essential factor before making measurements of the materials. Make sure the sizes you choose will fit in the room.

You should also consider your cat’s size, age, and personality. Designing a tall tree can offer a good climbing exercise for your larger cats.
Finally, don’t be discouraged if the procedure took some time. All you need is a little dedication. But if carpentry work just isn’t for you, you can always invest in a high-quality cat tree. Take a look at raiseacat.com’s review of the finest cat trees for large cats.
 

Step-by-step Instructions for Building a Cat Tree for Large Cats

Using this step by step guide and some tools, you’re only six steps away from making a cool cat tree for your pet. Let’s get started!
 

Tools and Materials Needed

Here are all the tools you’ll need for the process. They’re a lot, but they’re all easy to get.
  • Scissors
  • Pencils and markers
  • Measuring tape
  • Hot glue or double-sided tape
  • Hammer and nails
  • Saw
  • Drill and screws
  • Utility knife
  • Spray adhesive or wood glue
  • Cardboard or plywood (about 16mm thick) for the base and horizontal platforms
  • Pieces of lumber
  • PVC pipes or cardboard tubes for vertical support
  • Sisal rope
  • Carpet or soft fabric to cover the wood
  • PVC pipes end caps
  • Staple gun
  • Corner brackets
 

Step 1: Cutting the Materials

Using the saw, cut the plywood or cardboard to the sizes of your choice. Prepare one square piece for the base and 2-4 rectangular pieces for each platform level.
Measure the seats according to the size of your cat. Be careful not to cut pieces that are too small or too large. However, the base should be large enough to provide the tree’s needed support and prevent tipping.

We recommend a 30-inch square base. It should provide the needed support to your cat tree. For extra support, cut two squares for the bottom and stick them together using wood glue. Finally, sand the rough edges for a smooth finish.
 

Step 2: Preparing the Posts

First, cut the pieces of lumber with a saw to the lengths you need for the posts. We recommend cutting three different lengths—one long and two short pieces.
Then, cut PVC pipes or cardboard tubes of the same lengths as your lumber columns. Fit the lumber pieces inside the tubes and screw them in.

Next, cover the tubes with a sisal rope. This step will require all the patience you have. So put on your favorite tv show and start rolling!
Using hot glue or double-sided tape, secure the rope’s tip at the edge of each post. Continue rolling the sisal rope while adding more glue along the way. The sisal rope can make the cat tree even more fun for your furry fellow by doubling as a scratching post.
 

Step 3: Covering the Platforms

Start by cutting a piece of the carpet or fabric you chose with a utility knife or a carpet cutter to cover the base. It should be a few inches larger than the wooden floor on all sides. Wrap the base with the fabric and set it in place using glue, or staple it on the underside with a staple gun.

Likewise, cut more pieces of fabric for each seat. This time, you can make the fabric pieces even larger to fully wrap each seat with cloth. Just apply some glue to each wooden piece and wrap it with fabric or simply staple it in place.
 

Step 4: Connecting Vertical Supports to the Base

First, flip the base so that the upholstered side is facing down. Drill some holes through the underside in the places where you want the vertical posts to be.

Insert the nails or screws through the holes. Then, flip the base again and drive the screws into the posts. Please make sure the posts are perpendicular before fixing them in position.
 

Step 5: Attaching Horizontal Seats to Vertical Supports

Now, center a PVC endcap underneath each horizontal seat and attach them using wood screws or hot glue. Place the seats on top of each post you made by inserting the post into the pipe end cap.
For extra branching on your tree, use the corner brackets to attach more seats to the longer posts. Just attach a corner bracket to the post on the level you want the platform to be. Then, glue the top of the bracket to the bottom of the platform.

Screws are generally a better option than glue to fix the platforms in place for large cats to make sure the cat tree is sturdy and durable.
Pro-tip: if you choose to fix the plywood to the posts with screws, do this step before wrapping the platforms in the fabric so that the screws aren’t visible.
 

Step 6: Putting the Pieces Together

Finally, put all the pieces together and make your final adjustments. Cover any visible corner brackets with fabric if you like.

Add a decorative touch of your choice to match the furniture. You can even add a bell or hang some cat toys for your pet. Then, put the tree in its spot and let your furry fellow enjoy the masterpiece.
 

Final Words

As fun as it is, it’s an immense responsibility to raise a cat. These adorable creatures require good care for their health and amusement. In this guide, we’ve learned how to build a cat tree from scratch that suits big cats.
By building the cat tree yourself, you have more control over the design. Just plan one that brings joy to your cat and finesse to your home. Now that you’ve built a cat tree for your large cat, just sit back and watch your feline friend climb on. 
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