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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:

Homemade cat tree

This is the latest incarnation.

Homemade cat tree frame cedar

Just the basic frame put together and the first of two crates added.

cats on homemade cat tree

The cats instantly were intrigued.

Popular top shelf of homemade cat tree

The top shelf became the most popular within hours.

wicker baskets on homemade cat tree

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.

Cats in wicker baskets on homemade cat tree

Suddenly, the turret baskets were the in spot to be.

Homemade cedar cat tree with wicker baskets

After eating, there was a rush to get to the baskets first.

Box on homemade cat tree

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.

Tuxedo cat in box on homemade cat tree.

She was thrilled and went in right away.

Tuxedo cat playing on homemade cat tree

It also became a object of play.

tuxedo cat sleeping on homemade cat tree

But mainly, it was her place to snooze.

tuxedo cat on cat tree

tuxedo cat playing in box on cat tree

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.

Long haired cat in crate on cat tree

Next, I added a second crate to the back.

cat tree with cats

I tried a coffee table under the cat tree for a while, but it became a nuiscance to clean under and around.

homemade cat tree

And even though for a while the cats used it, it soon was abandoned for the most part.

cedar cat tree home made

Sleigh on cat tree

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.

cat on sleigh on homemade cat tree

The sleigh became a sun deck for everyone, as it was in the sun in the morning.

Tuxedo cat on sleigh on homemade cat tree

Everyone loved that spot.

Long haired cat and tuxedo cat on sleigh on homemade cat tree

Orange tabby on sleigh on cat tree

Orange tabby on sleigh on cat tree close up

Cat tunnel carboard tube

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.

Orange tabby in cat tunnel carboard cat tube

The cats were interested.

tuxedo cat in cat tunnel cardboard cat tube

I thought the tube would be for play, and though it is used for that sometimes, it is more of a meditating spot.

tuxedo cat in cat tunnel carboard cat tube

forest cat in cat tunnel carboard cat tube

long haired cat in cat tunnel cardboard cat tube

Orange tabby and long haired grey tabby in wicker basket cat tree

Still, at the end of the day, the turret baskets are the number 1 spot....

cats in baskets on home made cat tree

...and are most often filled.