Build Your Own Cat Tree?

Build Your Own Cat Tree?

Still taken from a Video <br />

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building a monster cat tree and having fun" title="Still taken from a Video
building a monster cat tree and having fun">

Still taken from a Video
building a monster cat tree and having fun

Is it sensible and/or financially viable to build your own cat tree? I ask because contrary to the views of people who run build-you-own-stuff websites, the price of cat trees are very reasonable. For instance in the UK you can buy the San Fernando Cat Tree Activity Centre 106 cm - Beige for £27.36 (at Jan 2008) and in the USA prices are always good. For example, the 62" Cat Tree Condo House Pet Scratcher Post Furniture F28 a very fancy cat tree is only $70 second hand. On these prices I don't see the financial viability of building your own cat tree.

When you factor in the price of the raw materials, say 15-20 $ or £s plus a good 8 hours building time, it would be cheaper to work a bit of overtime and buy one with the extra pay. All that said some people who like to build their own stuff, have the equipment, the time and access to cheap or recycled materials it is probably worth doing if only for the fun of it and to say "I made that" (it had better be good, though). On that basis here are some videos. Here is one showing off the finished product:

The tree in the video simple and well made. The base has to be wide enough to make the tree secure. And/or the tree is fixed to a wall. A number of commercial trees are very wide at the base when free standing. The next video is self assembly. I guess the cat trees we buy are all self assembly due to size:

I would consider myself good with my hands but really could not justify building my own cat tree. One factor worth remembering when you build your own cat tree is that it will probably be in the most used room of your house or apartment. Being a very large object it will be very noticeable. It will automatically detract from that beautiful room unless it looks pretty damn good. So, unless we are very good at Do It Yourself and bearing in mind the prices it really does not seem to be a good idea to build your own cat tree. Here's a bird like cat in a cat tree:

cat in cat tree
photo by Fleur-Design

The tree above is made out of the trunk and branches of a real tree, which I think gives it more of a designer look. It actually looks home made as the level areas are not level. That would probably irritate me after a while! Still, it looks nice - a good effort. Some key factors:

  • Build a sturdy base
  • The structure must be very stable
  • Ensure the tree won't tip or bend under stress
  • Cover with pieces of carpet
  • Cover some areas with something nice to scratch. This could be carpet or perhaps better to use sisal rope
  • Reinforce perches with brackets and plywood
  • Add some toys
  • Build in a little condo
  • Perhaps fix the top to the wall for extra stability with a bracket

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