The Cat Tree:
I wanted to make a cat tree that would have the same general feel as the Cat Pen I made when I lived in the country in Central Ontario, Canada. No commerically available cat tree was to be found like that, so I decided to make my own.
There is a local farm hardware store near me, and I discovered they sold Cedar fence posts, so I started with Cedar fence posts as the core material. I also got some rough cut pine planks from a local lumber yard, a child's sleigh that was in one of the neighbor's garbage one morning, an old pop crate, some baskets from a local store that was having a boxing day sale where the baskets were 2/3 off in price. Just recently, I found a large cardboard tube in a neighbor's garbage that was clean and unused. It is the kind of tube used for a cement post form.
So far, this is what it looks like, though it is a work in progress:
This is the latest incarnation.
Just the basic frame put together and the first of two crates added.
The cats instantly were intrigued.
The top shelf became the most popular within hours.
On boxing day, I found some perfect baskets on 2/3 off price at a local Jysk store, and it struck me they would make perfect baskets for the turrets at the top. I got another board, cut it into squares, attached them with screws to the top of the Cedar posts, and screwed the baskets to the boards with screws and large washers.
Suddenly, the turret baskets were the in spot to be.
After eating, there was a rush to get to the baskets first.
I had a kitten that loved an asparagus box I found at the grocery store that was made of corrugated plastic. She was torn between the box and the cat tree, so I put a shelf on the cat tree and screwed the box to the board.
She was thrilled and went in right away.
It also became a object of play.
But mainly, it was her place to snooze.
Another cat saw her using it, and even though he was way too big, he tried it out once. I got to watch him trying to squeeze himself inside.
Next, I added a second crate to the back.
I tried a coffee table under the cat tree for a while, but it became a nuiscance to clean under and around.
And even though for a while the cats used it, it soon was abandoned for the most part.
One day when out shoveling snow, a neighbor put a sleigh in the garbage on garbage day. I walked over and scooped it as soon as they went in the house.
The sleigh became a sun deck for everyone, as it was in the sun in the morning.
Everyone loved that spot.
On another garbage day, a different neighbor put out an unused tube from when they were doing work on their fence and deck. The second I saw it, I thought "Cat Tube". When he went back in his house, I scooped that tube and zipped it into the house.
The cats were interested.
I thought the tube would be for play, and though it is used for that sometimes, it is more of a meditating spot.
Still, at the end of the day, the turret baskets are the number 1 spot....
...and are most often filled.