How To Make A Cat Tree? In 3 Easy Steps

Have you ever seen your cat being bored and tired, lying on your sofa? You want to help it but you don’t know what to do. Don’t worry, I’ve got just the thing for you.

how to make a cat tree

All you need is a cat tree to entertain your cute little cats. 

Now I know that there are many good cat trees on the market but isn’t it better to make it yourself.

That way, your cat tree will be much more meaningful and you can build a custom tree that will have everything your feline needs to play, relay and entertain itself every day.

So keep reading to find out how to build your own cat tree in several easy steps.

How To Make a Cat Tree?

If you were to buy a cat tree, you'll notice that there is all kinds of designs and features it may include. Here is a list of the most common parts:

Scratching posts

Cats have an instinctual need to scratch. You might have found your feline scratching on your furniture or carpets, and the best way to have them stop doing this is to provide them with an alternative.

Scratching posts are the perfect place where your cat can scratch their nails every day. Ideally, the posts should be covered in sisal ropes, which are strong and durable. 

diy cat tree scratching posts


Your cat will love it's own private condo, where they go inside and lay in peace. They can hide there, and take a nap in piece and quiet.

When building the condo, you should consider how big your cat is, since it should be roomy enough for it to sleep there comfortably. 


There can be several perches, where your cat can jump or lay and relax on. You can have one perch or several, and they can be of different heights. The perches should be covered in soft carpet fabric, so they are comfortable for your feline.


Just like humans, cats can also have their own hammock and use it to relax and take a nap there. The hammock should be made from soft plush fabric. Lots of cats find hammocks very comfortable and use them often for napping.

Other Ideas For Your "DIY Cat Tree"

You can also have a tunnel, so your cat can run through it and play inside. Don't forget to attach some dangling toys! For example a pom pom toy or ball. 

Your can will love playing with the dangling toy and is sure to entertain itself with it. 

Things You Should Consider Before You Start Your "DIY Cat Tree Project":

To make your project a success, there are some things you should think about, before you start.

  • First, you should consider where you plan to keep the cat tree and how much free space you have for it. Once you've figured this out, you'll then need to calculate what should be the dimensions of your new cat tree.
  • Think about your cat's personality and what it likes to do? For example, if your furry ball likes to climb, then the cat tree should have several perches in different levels. If it likes a private place to hide and sleep, then you can build them a private condo.
  • Finally, you should consider what your carpentry skills are? And how many DIY projects you've done before this? Also, if you don't own a drill, and some of the other equipment, this means that you'll have to buy them, which will in turn raise the cost of this DIY Cat Tree Project, and it might make more sense to just buy a new cat tree.

Once you've answered the questions above, now it's time continue with our step by step guide to building your own cat tower.

How to make a cat tree out of cardboard

You have several choices when it comes to picking your main building material for your cat tree.

You can use cardboard, however you should use  corrugated cardboard, which is strong and is more affordable than real wood.

Some pet owners have made cat houses and condos out of cardboard boxes, which is also a simple and clever way to make your own cat furniture.

If you have some old cardboard boxes laying around in your home, you can cut out round holes so your cat can go in and out. Just make sure it's sturdy enough and can withstand their weight.  

Step 1: Getting Your Materials

  • A straight poll, the length depends on how long you want your cat tree to be. Your poll can be made from wood, PVC, iron or anything as long as it is firm and straight.
  • Thick wooden board or cardboard 13 inches x 13 inches to make the base. Make sure it is heavy enough to sustain the force when your cat climbs and jumps on it.
  • Hammer and nails
  • 2 big mushroom head nails
  • A sisal rope that is long enough to cover the poll. This way your cat will use them as scratching posts. 
  • A wooden board 8 inches x 8 inches to make the top perch, you should make it wide enough for your car to lay on it.
  • Carpet or plush fabric, so you can cover the perches and make it comfortable for your feline. 
diy cat tree

Step 2: Building The Cat Tree

  • Use a nail and fix the rope to the poll. Make sure your poll is not wet and slowly tie the rope around the pole. You need to wrap it tightly, this is really important because your cat can’t climb on the poll if the rope is loose. Use another nail to fix the end of the rope to the poll. 
  • Use 4 nails to attach the base with the poll. Test it to see if it is firm, use a big mushroom head nail if you feel your cat tree isn’t solid enough.
  • The other wooden board will be used to make the top of the tree. Fix it with a mushroom head nail. You can glue sisal rope around it for your cat to scratch on it.

Step 3: Test it

Cats love to play and use a cat tree because it looks interesting to them and they can practice climbing and scratching on it. 

Mature cats are usually ignore new things, so you need something to make it feel exciting. Maybe place a treat on the top of the tree. It can be food, treat or catnip (a type of grass for cat). You can also attach a dangling toy, which we all know cats lot to play with. 

How To Make a Cat Tree That Looks Like a Tree

It's become quite popular and trendy to own a cat tree, that actually looks like a tree. It looks more different and interesting for you and your cat as well.

JPSOR Silk Artificial Ivy Leaves how to make a cat tree that looks like a tree

If you already own a cat tree or you're building one yourself, you the best way to transform it into a real tree, is to decorate it with artificial ivy leaves. 

For example, you can get the JPSOR 24 Pack 158 Feet Silk Artificial Ivy Leaves, where the leaves are made of silk and the stems are made of plastic and look very realistic. 

You should also get fake grass, which you can attach to the base of the cat tree. 

Cat Tree That Looks Like a Tree

This is a perfect example of a cat tree that looks like a real tree.

On2Pets Cat Condo Furniture cat tree that looks like a tree

The On2Pets Cat Condo Furniture is made of compressed wood, carpet, artificial leaves and artificial turf. 

The round base is covered in artificial turf, and three carpeted perches in different sizes.

Cats have innate instinct to hide within nature, and here they'll love to hide, relax and play inside.

On2Pets have designed different sizes: small, medium and large.

This will bring a natural feel to your home, which will look great in your living room, or any other room in your house.

Cheap Cat Tree

If after all you don't have the time and skills to build your own cat tree, you can still find some pretty affordable options on the market. 

Trixie Pet Products Valencia Cat Tree - Affordable and Cheap

The Trixie Pet Products Valencia Cat Tree is a very good option to consider, since it has all the basics your cat will need and comes at an affordable price. 

There are two scratching posts, which are wrapped with natural sisal ropes.

There are two laying platforms so your cat can jump on them or lay there and relax.

There is a condo so they can hide inside and take a nap.

Then it's play time again, there is a dangling pom pom toy, which they can play with.

Caring for Your New Cat Tree

After you've completed your "DIY Cat Tree Project", you need to care for it and clean the cat tree every month from excess pet hair and scattered litter. 

You can use a vacuum and scrub brush, when doing the cleaning, and if there are some stains or odors you'll need an effective enzyme cleaner.

This will ensure it looks like new and your feline can use and enjoy it for a long time!

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