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8 DIY Cat Bridge Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

Chelsea Mortensen Profile Picture

By Chelsea Mortensen

DIY Cat Superhighway

Cat bridges are a great way to connect two perches, give your cat a place to lounge, and make more room for your cat to climb and jump. Several commercial designs are available, but you can also construct one from DIY plans. Some cat bridges are freestanding, while others are mounted to the wall or ceiling. Here are eight great bridge plans for all skill levels.

hepper single cat paw divider

Top 8 DIY Cat Bridge Plans

1. Cat Bridge Between Cat Trees

Materials: Scrap 1x6s, sisal rope, nails, baling wire, hammer, hooks
Tools: Table saw
Difficulty Level: Beginner

This video tutorial teaches you how to make two cat trees with a bridge. This bridge is made out of short sections of wood connected by rope. The simple design is easily adjustable to any space, and the minimal woodworking required makes it a great project if you don’t have a lot of tools.

2. Rescue Rebuild Cat Bridge

Materials: 2x10s, 1x2s, dowel, shelf brackets, screws, drill bits of various sizes, wood glue, latex primer, paint, water-based polyurethane
Tools: Drill or impact driver, sander, router, saw, table saw
Difficulty Level: Medium to advanced

Like the last bridge, this tutorial uses some essential tools to make a wood-and-rope bridge, but this one is a wall-mounted bridge. The plan lets you attach two wooden shelves to the wall with a bridge connecting them, making a great jungle gym for a small space. The addition of wooden shelves makes it a slightly more advanced project.

3. Carpeted Cat Bridge

Materials: 2×6, scrap carpet, stop blocks for feet, screws
Tools: Chop saw, drill, staple gun
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Does your cat like to climb on kitchen cabinets? The maker of this tutorial noticed that their cats did and designed an easy cat bridge to encourage it. This bridge is made from a long, carpeted piece of wood, making it an ideal way to connect two platforms of the same height. The tutorial also provides tips and tricks for ensuring your bridge is even and not twisting.

4. Cat bridge with rope railings

Materials: Plywood, upholstery tacks, joints, shelf brackets, carpet scraps, sisal rope, varnish, wood glue, screws, screw plate, paintbrush, measuring tape
Tools: Sander, drill with drill bit, circular saw
Difficulty Level: Medium

Rope railings can transform your cat bridge from a practical way to get from point A to point B to something adventurous and attractive! This bridge is one of the prettiest designs, with a rope rail that adds a bit of charm and adventure to the overall look.

5. Ikea Hack Cat Walkaway

DIY Cat Walkway
Image Credit: Ikea Hackers
Materials: LACK tables, angel iron, straight metal brace, wood screws, plastic wall plugs
Tools: Drill
Difficulty Level: Beginner

If you want your cat to have a cozier space, IkeaHackers has an excellent tutorial for using basic Ikea end tables to make a cat walkway bridge. The tables are attached upside-down to the ceiling to make this bridge—crazy, but cats love it!

6. Cat bridge from Shelves

DIY climbing wall for cats
Image Credit: Vivianne Yi Wei
Materials: Ikea Ekby Valter, CanDo solid oak panel, MDF plate, white primer, flexa paint, sisal rope, small Dunne latjes, screws, spruce plants, fabric or foam for bedding
Tools: drill, wooden saw, digital detector
Difficulty Level: beginner

You can use any sturdy, premade shelves to create a cat bridge that goes up against a wall. Vivianne Yi Wei’s setup used several sizes of shelves set at angles to create a whole climbing wall, but you can also keep it simple and use one or two shelves to make a wall bridge. You can even place the shelves at an angle to make a ramp up to or down from a cat perch!

7. Cat Ceiling “Superhighway”

DIY Cat Superhighway
Image Credit: Haus Panther
Materials: plywood, threaded rod hangers, wooden rods or dowels, locknuts, carpet scraps, screws
Tools: drill, table saw
Difficulty Level: medium to advanced

Another ceiling-mounted idea, this cat “superhighway” is made of ceiling-mounted platforms placed within easy stepping distance of each other. The post includes ideas for making a cat-friendly home and a detailed diagram showing how the ceiling platforms were installed to make a safe and sturdy cat base.

8. Enclosed Outdoor Cat Bridge

DIY charming cat bridge
Image Credit: Chirpy Cats
Materials: wood, rope, fencing nails, hooks, wire, two cat trees
Tools: advanced
Difficulty Level: Saw, sandpaper, wire cutters, hammer

If you’ve considered building a “catio” or outdoor cat enclosure, you’ve probably had to consider the best way of allowing access. If you don’t want to build a cat enclosure right up against your house, a cat bridge is a great way to let your cats get from a window out to their safe space. This walkthrough shows the process of designing and building a wood and chicken-wire cat bridge that’s both functional and attractive, especially with vines growing over the bridge. Because every house is different, this is a more advanced project that will require a bit more design work on your end.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Wide Should My Cat Bridge Be?

Your cat bridge should be wide enough for your cat to cross comfortably without feeling insecure. A depth of about 10 inches will give your cat plenty of space, but a wider bridge might be ideal for encouraging lounging or for skittish cats.

Are Cat Bridges Safe?

Cat bridges are safe when correctly installed. Bridges should be sturdy and stable. Wall-mounted bridges should always be attached to studs to ensure they won’t come loose.

Why Won’t My Cat Use My Bridge?

First, try the suggestions to encourage cat bridge use. Your cat may simply have not discovered the bridge yet! If your cat is skittish about the bridge, check that the bridge is sturdy and stable. A shaky bridge might scare cats away even if it is securely attached. Also, consider placement—is your bridge in a part of the house that your cat enjoys? Does your cat have easy access to the bridge, or is it a big jump? Making modifications can ensure that your cat loves the bridge. Happy building!

a tabby cat lying on the floor
Image By: Inge Wallumrød, Pexels

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Before you build your bridge, consider where it makes the most sense. Your cat bridge should be in a part of the house your cat enjoys frequenting. It should also be at a good height for your cat. Many cats enjoy being closer to their owner’s eye level or even above them, but a cat bridge up high requires a way to access it.

It might take time for your cat to get used to your cat bridge. You can encourage your cat onto the bridge with toys or catnip. Try placing their favorite treats on the bridge as well.

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Feature Image Credit: Haus Panther

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