Ikea-Hack Cat Tree Tutorial
I may have been silent for a while, but I have definitely not been idle. I have been forging full force into my projects, but I have failed to report back to you about it. Since today I have a little time on my hands, a little updating is in order.
A few months ago, I finally got to work on a new project for the kitties. It's really just for Rufus, as Smokey is more of a bush dweller than a tree dweller, but I'll use the plural anyways just to keep him feeling loved and included. LOL. It's a pretty simple project, I first saw it years ago on ikeahackers.net, and involves simply using an Ikea Stolmen rod (and clamping system) and fabricating some shelves to go along with it. Easy enough! So off to Ikea I went, and back I came with the Stolmen rod and hardware. The rod is priced at $30 and a pack of 4 brackets is $10. I then went to Lowes and purchased a sheet of 1/2 inch thick plywood for about $5. I proceeded to draw my shelf design on the plywood, as you can see with very professional tools (a glass, plates and a coffee filter) LOL...but it did the job and that's all that matters!
Here you can see my design a bit better. I made 2 smaller shelves, as steps, and a larger one for the top as a platform...i used the actual Stolmen bracket to mark where that hole would go.
These are the manuals for the post and brackets. It should give you a better idea of what they look like and how they work.
At this point my DH used his ban saw to cut the shelves for me and then I proceeded to sand them carefully and round all edges nicely. This is what they looked like when done. Pretty cute um? They look like Ping Pong rackets. ^__^
The next step was to prime them and paint them. Here they are sitting pretty after two coats of primer.
I used the leftover paint from my kitchen cabinets makeover (one day I'll have to post all about that too) it is Sherwin Williams Pro classic oil based paint in semi gloss. The color is called White Duck, very appropriate since they are all lined up like little ducks ;)
In order to offer stability and traction I used a piece of carpet remnant. I measured it and cut it to size.
I then used my hot glue gun to secure each carpet disc to each shelf.
All done and ready for the next step.
This is when DH came in to help. He drilled holes for the Stolmen brackets' hardware...
...then following the Stolmen post instructions he begun to instal the rod. Note that the shelves are already threaded through the post in this step.
Now all that's left is to just install the shelves using the Stolmen brackets (instructions included in the hardware box). And....ta-dah!
This is what a very happy Kitty looks like.
She loves her tree and sitting on it to look outside the sliding door, or to take a nap. I am already regretting not making a 4th shelf. She would be able to get higher and would probably enjoy a wider perch at the top. So I have already purchased a thicker piece of plywood and will soon make her a larger top shelf.
I hope this post inspired you to make your own cat condo. Cats absolutely NEED vertical space! By nature, they not only enjoy -- but also find safety in observing the world from a higher ground. It takes so little to make them happy. We get so much love and affection from these beings, the least we can do is make their lives not only comfortable, but also enriched and pleasurable!