Tag Archives: DIY cat condo

DIY Cat Condo / Cat Tree for Rini

From day one having Rini, everytime Deb and I go to PetSmart, we look at the Cat Condo/Cat Tree and wish Rini can have one. However we never bought one because they are very too expensive, so I decided to build it my own.

Choosing the wood – Plywood vs OSB?

OSB is used for almost all cat condo because it is cheap (1/3 of the price of plywood), and it is strong which makes builders to use them for the subfloors. However, I chose plywood because I am more comfortable with it. There must a reason why they are more expensive, so I would rather pay more and get the best.

Building the Base – foundation of Cat Condo

I looked up on the Internet to get some ideas on the design and size, and I decided to use a square base 24″ x 24″ (using one 24 x 48 x 5/8″ plywood). Cutting them into size using the circular saw, I glued the two plywoods and screwed them together to form a heavy solid foundation. After it is dried, I then wrapped the carpet and secured with both glue, nails and staples. I would not use screws on carpet because the threads of the screw will get stuck with the fabric.

Building the 2nd level of the structure

As I didn’t have any plan, I just combined the 2 references I downloaded from Internet and created my own version. For structural support I have 2 x (2×4) in the front, and 4 x (2×4) at the back. The 2 longest 2x4s go through the 2nd floor for stronger support in one piece. Next, I built a step by chiseling 1/4″ of the 2×4 so that the 5/8″ plywood fits perfectly, then I put construction screws to secure them. Well, I could have done lap joint or other complicated joints for fun, but I didn’t have enough time.

Sisal rope for scratching post and House for Rini to sleep

Cats like to sharpen their claws (natural instinct), so I need to build the scratching post into the cat condo, just like other cat trees. I had some old sisal rope from HK (more than 15 years, but they are still in extremely excellent condition), and I bought 300 feet from Home Depot.

Why is the Cat condo has different color carpet?

Because I didn’t buy any carpet, all of them came from my parent’s place and mother in law’s house. They had some brand new extra carpet sitting around, so I got from them for free.

Finally Cat Condo/Cat Tree is completed

It took me several days to complete this project, my wife was doing the final QA before giving to customer, Rini. The whole thing is SO HEAVY, I think it weights at least 80 lb. Rini was very happy and excited when she saw her new condo, she climbed and jumped up and down, playing with her toys so happily.


(All photos were taking using point-and-shoot camera, no DSLR for projects photos)

Rini in action with new cat condo (Video)

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