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10 Free DIY Cat Ladder Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Homemade cat ladder with ornaments

Just like their wild counterparts, pet cats love to climb on anything and everything they can find. Regular furniture isn’t safe for cats to climb, however, and you may not want little paws all over your counter or tabletops.

Fortunately, cat ladders provide an excellent climbing alternative to cat trees and look much nicer in your home than a metal ladder from the hardware store. Best of all, you can make them yourself with easy-to-find materials and a few hours of your time.

Check out these DIY cat ladder plans you can make today!

The 10 DIY Cat Ladders

1. Recycled Ladder Cat Tree – Instructables

Recycled Ladder Cat Tree- Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Old wooden ladder, scrap wood, scrap carpet
Tools: Screws, screw gun, staplers, staple gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This simple Recycled Ladder Cat Tree is easy to make and saves you money. Instead of buying an expensive cat tree that your cat will wreck, you can use an old ladder and create fun obstacles and perches yourself.

This tutorial provides the basic outline and steps, but you can make it your own by including different lengths, different perches, and carpeted areas. If you want more enrichment, include some rope with hanging toys or carpet some rods and secure them for scratching posts.

2. Cat Ramp Ladder Thingy – Instructables

Cat Ramp Ladder Thingy- Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Wood fence planks, hinges
Tools: Chop saw, square ruler, pneumatic brad nailer, molding brads, screws, router, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This Cat Ramp Ladder Thingy is the perfect design for your cats to climb or enter your house from outside. The creator of this tutorial built her ramp ladder to allow her cats to get inside, but no other animals.

This project takes a little more DIY know-how, but you can make it easier by getting pre-cut wood planks. Be sure that your ramp is secured to its attachment, whether that’s another cat furniture piece or your home.

3. DIY Cat Tree from Old Ladder – Lucky Ferals

DIY Cat Tree from Old Ladder- Lucky Ferals
Image Credit: Lucky Ferals
Materials: Old wooden ladder, carpeting, hammock, cat beds (optional)
Tools: Nails or screws, glue
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY Cat Tree from Old Ladder uses a repurposed old wooden ladder to transform it into a cat ladder and play place. The best part about this design is that you have freedom to find a vintage ladder that suits your décor, and you can customize it to your cat’s needs.

Once you find the ladder, you simply add carpeting to the platform and rungs to create lounge or scratching areas. You can also add another wooden plank to create another perch or add small cat beds to make it more luxurious. A pre-made hammock gives your cat another spot to lounge.

4. DIY Cat Tree – New adventures in life

DIY Cat Tree- New adventures in life
Image Credit: New adventures in life
Materials: Large branch, twine, rocks, wood or MDF board, baskets, stain, and sealer
Tools: Chainsaw, jigsaw, table saw, drill, contour gauge (optional), handheld sander or sandpaper, screws, torque wrench, socket, staple gun
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This DIY Cat Tree is an attractive design that’s fun to build! While it takes a little more work and know-how, the result is worth the effort and creates a unique design that you can tailor to the space in your home.

Unlike other designs, this design uses large, sturdy branches and planks or baskets as perch areas. If you have a dying tree or shrub, you can cut the branch and treat it. You may also use an artificial branch from a craft or floral store. This project takes some time, so set aside an afternoon for planning and building.

5. PVC Cat Ladders – Budget101

DIY Cat Ladders
Image Credit: Budget 101
Materials: Cloth, PVC pipes, PVC primer, adhesive
Tools: Scissors or X-acto knife
Difficulty Leve: Moderate

Inject a new element of fun into your cat’s routine with these ingenious PVC Cat Ladders. These durable, lightweight structures made from PVC pipes not only serve as a ladder but can also function as a comfortable lounging spot for your feline friend.

The design involves the assembly of five squares, each fitted with cloth to provide a comfortable surface for your cat. Feel free to customize the colors to reflect your cat’s personality or to match your home décor. This project presents a great opportunity to recycle materials while creating an enjoyable and practical item for your pet!

6. Adjustable Plywood Ramp – HGTV

DIY Cat Ladders
Image Credit: HGTV
Materials: 3/4-inch plywood, three 1 x 2 x 8-foot boards, 3/4-inch dowel rod (14 inches long), wood glue, primer and paint, carpet (49 x 17 inches), two small hinges, 1-1/2-inch screws
Tools: Nail gun with 1-1/4-inch nails, drill, circular saw or table saw, jigsaw, sander and sandpaper, spray adhesive, paintbrush
Difficulty Leve: Difficult

Add a hint of adventure to your cat’s daily routine with this Adjustable Plywood Cat Ramp. This unique contraption promises endless climbing fun and a perfect lounging spot. Constructed from plywood, 1 x 2 boards, and a dowel rod, the ramp provides a comfortable ascent for your feline friend, thanks to the carpet covering.

Completing the assembly with a layer of paint and then carpeting ensures both aesthetic appeal and cat comfort. Your pet is sure to appreciate this fun and engaging addition to their environment!

7. Repurposed Cabinet Door Indoor Pet Ramp – My Repurposed Life

Materials: Cabinet door, a small piece of plywood, piano hinge and screws, carpet remnant
Tools: Staple gun, utility knife, scissors, duct tape (optional), paint stick (optional), wood glue (optional)
Difficulty Leve: Moderate

As pets age, everyday tasks can become challenging for them. This DIY indoor pet ramp is an excellent project to provide your furry friend with a more comfortable way to reach their favorite couch spot. Made from a repurposed cabinet door and a piece of plywood, it’s a cost-effective solution for aging or disabled pets.

You can customize the dimensions to fit your couch height and the space available in front of it. This DIY project is not only beneficial for your pet but also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle by repurposing unused items.

8. Oak Wood Cat Ramp for Bedroom – Hometalk

DIY Cat Ladders
Image Credit: Hometalk
Materials: Oak wood (1 x 12, 2 x 2, and 1 x 3 boards), screws, wood glue, carpet remnant, decorative pieces
Tools: Brad nailer, drill, utility knife, saw
Difficulty Leve: Difficult

For cats that share your bedroom, this beautiful and solid oak wood ramp can be a great addition. The design integrates the ramp into your room’s décor, creating a stylish and functional pet-friendly space. A substantial piece of furniture in its own right, it helps your pets navigate the bed effortlessly.

This DIY pet ramp is a project that requires some woodworking skills and a good understanding of measurements and angles. However, the end result is a beautifully crafted piece that enhances your bedroom décor while offering your pets a comfortable way to access the bed.

9. Foldable, Carpet-Covered DIY Cat Ramp – Kol’s Notes

DIY Cat Ladders
Image Credit: Kolchack
Materials: Plywood (1/2-inch or 3/4-inch), carpet, four 3 x 3-inch wood squares, 10-inch heavy duty piano hinge, 2 x 8-inch gate hook & latch sets, 7/8-inch screws, 1/4-inch screws
Tools: Staple gun, screwdriver
Difficulty Leve: Moderate

If you’re in need of a cat ramp that is not only sturdy but also foldable for easy storage and transportation, this DIY project could be an excellent solution. Constructed using plywood and covered entirely with carpet for enhanced traction, this pet ramp design is affordable and functional.

This DIY project is not only economical but also allows for customization to suit your pet’s specific needs and abilities. Plus, being able to fold and store it makes it perfect for smaller spaces or for travel.

10. DIY Cat Tree Ladder – WikiHow

DIY Cat Ladders
Image Credit: WikiHow
Materials: Plywood, dimensional lumber, cardboard or PVC pipe, carpet, wood screws, nails, wood glue
Tools: Drill, electric stapler, table saw, handsaw, hammer, carpet or utility knife
Difficulty Leve: Moderate

Do you want to make a custom climbing structure for your feline friend? Building a cat tree ladder could be the perfect DIY project. This homemade ladder will provide your cat with hours of entertainment while providing your furry friend with the leverage needed to reach high places.

You’re free to customize the plans as much as you need to ensure your cat’s physical needs are met. Once completed, you’ll have the perfect addition to your space for your feline to play and traverse.


While you can find many cat ladders and trees on the market, it’s more fun to create something yourself that works well for your cats and looks nice with your décor. We hope these cat ladder plans give you plenty of inspiration for your DIY cat ladder build!

Featured Image Credit: blende12, Pixabay

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