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)
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?



Sun, 09/12/2021 - 11:51

Reverse engineering this project, using just 2x4s. None of the photos show the undersides. How are the plywood pillow bases attached for the top and bottom of the cabin? and the base of the top viewing platform?