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8 DIY Cat Stairs Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

two cats on stairs

Cats love to climb and spend time in high places, but they don’t always get into those places in the safest ways. Cats may be known for their creativity when it comes to finding ways to get up high, but you can outdo your cat’s creativity by creating a set of DIY stairs that allow your cat to get from point A to point B safely.

There are multiple varieties of DIY cat stairs, whether you want something to install on the wall or a standalone set of stairs. Most DIY cat stairs can be made in one day with access to the right tools. You can make some of them with items you may already have around the house, while others may require a quick trip to the hardware store.

No matter what type of DIY stairs you’re hoping to build, there is something perfect for you here.

The Top 8 DIY Cat Stairs Plans

1. Ikea Hack Cat Climbing Shelves

Materials: ½” plywood sheets, Ikea Stolmen rod, brackets, carpet scraps, paint (optional)
Tools: Bandsaw, sandpaper or sander, hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate

These DIY cat stairs use the Ikea Stolmen rod and brackets to create a fully customizable set of stairs. The steps can be made into just about any shape and painted any color. Carpet scraps complete the look and make the steps safe for your cat by providing something to grip onto.

The steps can be placed at customizable distances and can be made in any size. If you have concerns about your cat’s weight being supported by the ½” plywood the instructions call for, you could even use a thicker material to better support and distribute weight.

These stairs do require comfort using a bandsaw and may take a little time and effort to sand and paint.


2. DIY Kitty Loft

Materials: ¾” boards, paint, wall anchors
Tools: Saw, drill, stud finder
Difficulty Level: Moderate

The fun part about these DIY cat stairs is that you can make them as long or as short as you’d like. In the original instructions, these stairs lead to a catwalk and kitty loft, but you could create the stairs and make them lead to anywhere you’d like.

They can be made to fit any space and painted in any color. You can even use carpet scraps or other materials to provide grip and make for a more comfortable environment for your cat. Whether you want to create cat stairs for your cat to transition between floors of your home or simply get to a better vantage point, you can adjust these stairs however you’d like.

Make sure to use wall anchors and a stud finder to ensure these are adequately and safely installed into your wall.


3. Step Stool Cat Stairs

Materials: Multilevel step ladder, jute rope, fabric, padding
Tools: Hot glue gun, staple gun
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you have a multilevel step stool that isn’t being used, then you’ve got the most expensive part of this project out of the way. All it takes is some jute rope, hot glue, chair padding, and a little creativity, and you’ve got a quick, easy DIY project for your cat.

The original instructions also include instructions to create a hammock within the step ladder, making this item multifunctional as cat stairs, a cat tree, and a cat bed. They call for this to be made with the Ikea Bekvam stepladder, but you could use just about any multilevel step ladder to create this item.


4. Easy Pet Stairs

Materials: Double-walled cardboard, mounting tape
Tools: Box cutter, hot glue gun, yardstick
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you’re looking for an easy set of pet stairs you can make almost entirely from things you probably have around the house already, these easy pet stairs are the way to go. Simply measure and cut whatever double-walled cardboard you have around the house and start measuring and cutting.

You can adjust the sizes of the pieces to suit whatever needs you have. You can use these stairs to help a low mobility cat on and off of furniture, or you can make them taller for a higher up space. However, keep in mind that they are made of cardboard, so this is not an ideal project if you’re trying to help your cat to get up more than a few feet.


5. DIY Pet Steps

Materials: ½” plywood sheets, 2 x 8’ wood, 6 x 6’ wood, wood glue, finish nails
Tools: Yardstick or tape measure, framing square, drill, miter saw, circular saw, nail gun or hammer
Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard

For people who are a little more comfortable measuring cuts and using power tools, these DIY Pet Steps are essentially the wooden version of the Easy Pet Stairs. They do take some time to make and require quite a few materials and power tools, so these are not the most beginner-friendly DIY project.

Since they are made of wood, these have a little more stability than the cardboard version, so you can make them taller if you prefer. You can also paint or stain them to suit your home décor, and they should last a long time if made properly.


6. DIY Sturdy Wooden Pet Stairs

Materials: 1” plywood, screws, pine boards
Tools: Clamps, framing square, yardstick or tape measure, circular saw, drill
Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard

If you like the idea of wooden cat stairs, these beautiful DIY wooden stairs are sturdy enough for the heaviest of cats. They can be adjusted to suit any space, and when the tops are finished with pine boards, these DIY stairs look elegant and professional.

This project is not for the beginner DIYer, though. There are multiple power tools required and lots of measuring that need to be done to make these stairs look good. They are beautiful when done correctly, but they are a multi-step process to create. Be prepared to spend a few hours on these stairs.


7. Simple Catwalk

Materials: ¾” boards, wall anchors, carpet scraps, paint (optional)
Tools: Circular saw, tape measure, drill, stud finder
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you’re up for a wall-mounted set of cat stairs, check out this simple catwalk design. You can make each step whatever size you’d like for it to be and mount them at varying distances to meet your cat’s needs. You can even mount them at angles into corners if you want to.

These stairs can be painted or stained however you’d like to match your home décor, or you can go for the natural wood look. Make sure to anchor these cat stairs into wall studs to ensure they are securely installed. Adding carpet scraps or other graspable materials to the tops of these steps will ensure your cat can safely maneuver without slipping.


8. DIY Kitty Ramp

Materials: Wooden boards, wall anchors, 2”x2” boards
Tools: Tape measure or yardstick, stud finder, drill, circular saw
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This wall-mounted cat ramp is a great option for cats with difficulty jumping or climbing between stairs. It allows your cat to safely maneuver from one level to the next without having to jump. The addition of small wooden grips means you don’t have to use carpet scraps or other soft materials that may be difficult to keep clean.

This ramp can be adjusted however you’d like to fit your space. It can be made as small or as large as needed to get your cat where they’d like to go. Keep in mind that this does require a bit of measuring and some power tool usage, so it’s not a beginner-friendly DIY project, although it’s not an overly complicated project either.

How do you make stairs easier for senior cats?

To make stairs that are easy for senior cats to use, make plans around making something that provides grip and doesn’t require steep angles or large jumps to get between spaces. Senior cats often have less mobility than young cats do, and it can be difficult for them to get around. By providing a safer set of stairs (or a ramp!) with plenty of surface area and grip, your senior cat will feel safe and secure when maneuvering between locations.

The same information can also apply to young cats, especially small kittens. They may not have the physical capability to jump large distances, and their developing motor skills make them at a higher risk of falling than healthy adult cats. Make sure to tailor your DIY cat stairs to meet your cat where they’re at currently, not where you think they might be in a few months.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this list of cat stairs plans helps get you started. Your feline will appreciate being able to climb to higher places with any one of these DIY cat stair designs. Good luck and happy building!

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Featured Image Credit: jgariepy, Pixabay

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