How to make a cat tree

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Cat trees are a perfect way to give your cat a place to play, relax, and sleep. You can get inspired with some creativity and build a cat tree at home.

If you have ever wondered how to build a cat tree, then this article will show you the 10 expert ideas for your DIY project.

How to make a cat tree

You can either build a simple cat tree or you can get more artistic and put together a more complex structure.

The best DIY cat tree design should be one that is attractive to your furry friends. Create a product that will draw their attention to play with and perch on.

Best Materials to Use When Building a Cat Tree

If you’re looking to build a cat tree, you will need to buy some materials at affordable prices. You can also recycle others that you already have at home. 

The following are some of the common materials that are used for such projects: 

Wood/Particle board

They are used to create the platform and the base of the cat tree. The base should be strong to make the entire structure sturdy and stable.  

PVC pipes

They are used to provide the support structure for the cat tree. PVC pipes should always be padded to make a good product. A bare plastic post may hurt your cat’s claws when they’re trying to climb or scratch. 

Screws/Wood Glue

You will use screws and wood glue to put your wood and particle boards together. When making a large cat tree, you can attach your tree to the floor to make it more stable. 

Sisal rope

This is wrapped around the wooden posts or PVC to make a good scratching spot for your cat. This will help in preventing your cat from scratching the furniture.  


Soft carpeting materials are used to cover the platforms and give your cat a comfy place to rest. The carpet rugs also increase the durability of your cat tree. This is by preventing the platforms from wearing out.  

Have a look at this video by The Home Depot that shows how to build a cat tree at home.

10 DIY Cat Tree Ideas

Building a cat tree is a fun project that you can do yourself, or help someone else do. Follow these 10 DIY cat tree ideas to inspire you to start your project today. 

1. DIY Cat Tree From a Real Tree

You can use a real tree to make a DIY cat tree like this one from Brittany Godwin. Get two tree branches and chop them at around 6 feet and another at 3 feet.

Remove all the leaves and allow the branches to dry. You can get creative with this branch by making a base and multiple platforms for your cat.

Diy cat tree from real tree

You will need additional items to make the platforms and other features for this cat tree. Cover the scratching post with strong sisal ropes.

You can also use artificial hanging plants to make the tree lively. This will give it the natural look and make it more appealing for your cat to jump and play.

Brittany Goldwyn has elaborated in detail on how you can get this done. The guide has several image illustrations in the steps. Here’s what you need:

List of supplies

Cat tree pieces:

  • Tree branches, small & big.
  • Paint scraper
  • Cat safe paint and polyurethane
  • Sisal rope
  • Artificial vine leaves
  • 1-3/4 in. x 48 in. Round Hardwood Dowel
  • 2.5″ wood screws


  • 3/4″ plywood cut to 2′ wide by 3′ long
  • 2 pieces of 1″ x 3″ x 8′ pine for the base’s ledge
  • Satin Wood stain and semi-gloss Polyurethane
  • Rocks for decoration
  • Stepping stones
  • Faux fur fabric

Needed Tools & Supplies:

  • Nails & screws
  • 100 to 150 grit sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Miter saw
  • Staple gun
  • Strong Adhesive

2. Homemade Cat Tower

If you have multiple cats in your home, then you need to make them a tree that can accommodate all. This homemade cat tower from pethelpful is complex in design and functionalities.

It contains all the basic features that your cat may need on their tree.

Cat tree tunnel

The main materials used in the construction are medium-density fiberboard (MDF), thick plywood boards, sisal ropes, posts, natural carpets, and screws. The approximate cost for acquiring these items is 35 USD.

The procedure outlined by pethelpful contains 9 easy steps (with pictures) that you can take to gift your cat a new tower.

3. How To Make a Cat Condo By HGTV

Tall Cat tree with condo style
Image Credit: HGTV

You can use PVC pipes to make a cat condo following the simple steps outlined by HGTV. Cover the pipes with sisal ropes to give your furry friends a soft place to sink their claws.

You will then attach ready-made baskets at different points along the post. This will act as the platforms and beds for your Kitty to step in and sleep.

This homemade cat condo is ideal for younger cats who are more active and playful. You should securely attach the PVC pipe to a strong base.

This will guarantee the safety of your cats as they play along this homemade condo.

4. DIY Cat tree house

A tall white multiple-leveled cat tree placed on a tiled floor
Image Credit: Lindarose92 from Instrucatables

You can get more stylish and make an adorable cat tree for your felines if you have the right materials and tools. Linda Rose from Instructables has outlined 21 steps that you can take to make this huge tree at home.

Each step has been well explained with pictorial illustrations of how to go about it. This cat tree is multi-leveled and it contains many features that give your cat the most fun. It has 6 platforms, a cat house, a ladder and a hammock.

This homemade tree house can be placed near the window at your home to allow the cats to view the outside world when perching high.

5. Kitty Tree

A large cat walking on the top platform of a cat tree
Image Credit: Anna White

This DIY cat tree plan by Ana White explains how you can build a four-level cat tree for your feline family.

The guide has listed 9 steps that can easily be followed even by beginners. You will require an estimated budget of around 30 USD to get the materials and the tools needed.

It has ladders and ramps that lead to all platforms. This is a good option for senior cats who are less active. You should consider making the base heavier for improved stability.

6. Homemade Cat Tree Play Tower

How To Build a Cat Tree Play Tower
Image Credit: Jamie from Southern Rivals

If you have very active and playful cats, you can build them a tree that gives them a wonderful place to play together.

This DIY cat play tower has been built by Jamie from Southernrivals. It doesn’t require many materials hence making it a minimal designed product.

When you are giving your cats a platform to play, you need to guarantee them sturdiness and stability. Without such, a single missed jump may topple the tree and may cause damage.

Jamie used an 80 lb. concrete to make the base of this play tower. Other materials used are plywood to make platforms and posts.

7. Affordable DIY Cat Tree

A simple cat tree stationed outdoors
Image Credit: 316 Ideas from Instructables

You can make your cat tree at home by recycling readily available materials. This beautiful cat tree from Instructables is a good example of how you can get creative and give your cat endless fun at home.

You can follow the 5-step tutorial with pictures and a video demonstration of how to get this done at home.

The tree is made from artificial tuffs, a carpet tube, an old kitchen unit, and Ikea mats. You can use sisal ropes as a substitute for the mats.

The tree is good for cats who love scratching and playing. The mats provide a smooth platform for your cat to stretch and scratch hence relieving your furniture from their sharp claws.

8. Beautiful DIY Cat Tree

Unique ladder-style homemade cat tree
Image Credit: Hallmark Channel

This beautiful tree has been made with faux sheepskin rag on two identical wood ladders. Other materials needed to make this tree are twine, carpet, glue, wood, and straps for fastening on the wall.

It is comfy for your cats and beautiful hence complementing your home’s interior décor. You can make a beautiful product in your home with the 8 simple steps from hallmarkchanell.

The tree can be used by multiple cats to play and relax. You may also fasten the sides of the ladder with sisal rope to give them a soft spot for scratching.

9. Artistic DIY cat tree

Two large cats sitting on a sturdy homemade cat tree
Image Credit: Adventure Cats

You can get more creative and construct such an incredible cat tree at home. All you need is the materials, the right tools, and instructions to get this done easily.

Adventurecats has outlined the description and steps you can take to achieve this in your home. The cat tree is huge enough to accommodate multiple cats.

You need to make it very sturdy and stable to keep your feline friends secured when jumping along the tree.

10. Design your cat tree

This simple cat tree is mainly made with plywood and MDF wood alongside other readily available materials.

Cat on a tree
Image Credit: from Instagram

This tree will be your cat’s one-stop place because it has all the basic accessories, they need to be happy. It contains a cat house, tunnel, hammock, and scratching posts covered with sisal ropes.

You can build your cat tree following the 15 steps outlined by showcatsonline

The Final Word

The basic hack on how to build a cat tree is to be open-minded and creative with some little artistic inspiration.

With these 10 DIY cat tree ideas, you now have a plan on how to get about putting the materials together from scratch.

You can also add a few other things like hanging cat toys and hammocks to make your cat enjoy it to the fullest.

Don’t forget to put on your ear and eye protection shields when you are working with raw materials. Keep your cats away from the working station to avoid exposing them to hazards.

Now if you feel that building a DIY cat tree is complicated then you can simply order one online.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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