Cat Tree/Condo

Submitted by Joni on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 07:22

I always wanted a cabin-type cat tree where my cats could crawl in and feel safe, but still have a great view of the birds out of a window. I tried to draw my vision on paper, but that had a hideous result. Learning Google SketchUp (at least the basics) was an absolute necessity. I could never have built this without drawing it in 3D first, and seeing how the boards would connect, etc.

For the scratch pad, I built a frame out of 2x4s on top of plywood, covered it with carpet, and dropped the standard size scratch pad in place. This is the cat's favorite feature. I put barn doors on the window with tiny hinges so that I can close for added privacy. The tree sits against a window so that the back side is totally open. I made cozy zippered cushions for the platforms (that can be taken off and washed). I covered the carpeted areas with spare carpeting.

Estimated Cost
Approx. $30 for can of paint, varnish and a 4x4 (all other was scrap material)
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
Scrap MDF/plywood for all bases, and standard white pine for exterior, douglas fir for posts
Finish Used
Combination of Minwax Water-based stains: 6 parts Colonial Pine: 1 part American Walnut, followed 3-4 coats Minwax Polycrylic
Recommended Skill Level



Fri, 07/12/2013 - 09:36

Would you mind sharing your dimensions for this? It is absolutely beautiful!

Jodi W

Sun, 08/25/2013 - 08:10

Do you have the plans somewhere? I really want to build this (even got the okay from the hubby!) but I don't think I could do it without some serious guidelines...


Fri, 08/30/2013 - 15:55

First, sorry for the late notice; I just happened to look and saw the comments/questions.

I don't have plans...all I have is a google sketchup diagram that I created as a guideline for my construction (which is included in the photos), which is not to scale. Actual measurements are:

* Base (green carpeted base): 33.5" x 19"
* 4x4 legs: 35" tall
* 'Mezzanine' scratch pad level: 22" x 17.5"
* Mid-level base: 18" x 32"
* Enclosed cabin: 18.25" x 22.5" x 17" high
* Highest point: 56"

This has turned out to be a fantastic hit with the cats. They use all 5 levels, but the scratch pad and cabin are their favorite spots. If you need anything else or additional pics, please contact me.

Jodi W

Fri, 08/30/2013 - 18:15

Thanks for the dimensions, Joni! I'm trying to learn SketchUp so I can draw up my own plans, also. If I can't figure it out, I'll hand it off to my 12 year old, who is a pro at it (go figure). I know my cats will love it if I can manage to get it built!


Thu, 10/31/2013 - 14:30

Bhoppy -- I looked at your cat tree on facebook. It's awesome! The sturdiness of it shocked me too. And I was initially worried that my cats might knock it down!!

The worst part of building it was getting that lower scratch pad level on straight with the 3 posts. I'd never want to do that again!
Thanks for sharing, Joni


Fri, 01/02/2015 - 01:18

Funny, almost every time I'm looking for ideas or inspiration when I want to build something, I end up back on this site. I was searching for pictures of cat trees and this was the only one that made me say "Holy crap, that's EXACTLY what I want!" My cat will love it!


Mon, 04/27/2020 - 20:41

Not sure if anyone is still around to see this, but I fell in love with this tree the second I saw it. Wondering if anyone created a detailed plan and might have it handy or possibly a detailed sketchup and wouldn't mind sharing the save file?

In the event nobody has either... I'm planning on having someone else build this for me as I don't have the tools nor skill to do it myself. I have a few questions:

1. The tree base/platform, what's a good recommended thickness?
2. The platform for the scratchpad... is there any certain reason it's so much thicker compared to the other platforms?


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