DIY Cat Tree with Laura Nativo
- 200 ft. 3/8" sisal rope, color of your choosing
- One 6’ 4x4 untreated plywood post
- Four 14" utility shelf brackets
- Four 5" utility shelf brackets
- Four 18" untreated plywood rounds
- One 3’ diameter untreated plywood rounds
- Untreated carpet, color of your choosing, sized the width of your boards
- 2 yards of 3" thick Industrial/heavy duty Velcro
- Medium-sized cup hooks
- Wood glue
- Wood screws
- Staple gun
- ⅜" staple gun staples
- Turn your carpet upside-down, fibers on your work surface.
- Place one of the 18" plywood rounds on the upside-down carpet and trace the round. Cut out carpet round and set aside. Do the same for the 3’ diameter plywood round.
- Screw in one-cup hook into the center of each 18" plywood round. This will be the bottom of your plywood rounds. Set aside.
Basic Tree Carpentry:
- Attach one 5" utility shelf bracket to each side of one end of the 4x4 plywood post using the wood screws and drill. The end you attach your 5" brackets to will be the bottom of your post.
- The 3’ diameter plywood round will be your base. Center the bottom of the 4 x 4 plywood post on the 3’ diameter plywood round and secure the brackets to the 3’ diameter round with the wood screws and drill. You now have your base and tree’s trunk".
- Place one 18" plywood round hook side up. This should be the bottom of your Cat Tree’s "leaf". Secure one 14" utility shelf bracket onto any part of the plywood round. Repeat the process with the other three 18" plywood rounds.
- Bracket and hook-side down, secure each 18" plywood round to the 4 x 4 post with wood screws and drill. Space them equidistant from one another.
Making the Cat Tree Trunk “Bark":
- Sectioning the tree by plywood round “leaves", cover the first section of the 4 x 4 post with wood glue.
- Starting at the bottom of the post, take one end of your sisal rope and staple it to the glue covered post with a staple gun.
- Wrap the sisal rope around the post, placing a staple into the wood through the sisal rope every fourth complete wrap.
- Continue wrapping and stapling even around the bracket until you reach the bottom of the first 18" plywood round. Place a staple through the sisal rope to the post right where it meets the 18" plywood round.
- Place a bead of wood glue around the edge of the 18" plywood round. Then continue affixing the sisal rope around the edge of the 18" plywood round. Place a staple in the rope every ¼ the length of the circumference of the 18" plywood round. Place a final staple when the sisal rope meets the other end of the post. Cut the sisal rope. You should need to wrap the edge of the 18" plywood round twice. Start again where the sisal rope first met the 18" plywood round edge and glue and staple again until the entire 18" plywood round is covered.
- Repeat the process for each section of the tree. In addition to the staples along the way, every piece of rope you use starts off and ends with a staple to keep it tightly secure.
- Place a final staple where the sisal rope meets the top of the post and cut the rope.
Making the Cat Tree “Leaves":
- Cut 3 strips of your 3" wide Velcro the length of the middle of your 18" Velcro rounds for each plywood round. That will total 12 strips.
- There are two sides to Velcro; a male side (the side with plastic “teeth") and the female side (the soft “fuzzy" side).
- Remove the backing to the adhesive to the male side and adhere it to the top of each of the 18" plywood rounds and press firmly.
- Remove the backing to the adhesive to the female side and adhere it to the bottom of the small carpet rounds you have cut out. Make sure you place the female side of the Velcro to the carpet and not the plywood rounds. If you need to wash the carpet for any reason, it’s the female side of the Velcro that should go in the wash and the dryer, not the male side.
- Cut a 4" x 4" hole in the center of your 3’ diameter carpet square and repeat the Velcro process for your base.
- Hang cat toys from the hooks on the bottom of the plywood round “leaves". Cats enjoy any toy with strings, shiny attributes, etc… you can even hang catnip toys from the hooks. Change toys and carpet squares out as they wear down.
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