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15 DIY Floor-to-Ceiling Cat Tree Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

ragdoll cat lying on a cat tree

Indoor cats do not face the same dangers as free-range felines, but they’re more vulnerable to becoming overweight because of limited exercise. How do you keep your pet fit and entertained when you’re too busy to play? A cat tree provides an area for kitties to scratch, play, and relax, but commercial trees can be expensive and sometimes unstable. You can find several plans online for DIY trees, but we focused on compiling the best floor-to-ceiling trees from talented DIYers.

Some of the plans are relatively simple, but others require construction experience and specialized tools. So, dust off your tool belt and grab your safety gear. One of these plans is sure to make your pet a happy kitty.

The Top 15 DIY Floor-to-Ceiling Cat Tree Plans

1. Ikea Hacker Tree

Materials: Ikea Stolmen post and mounting fixtures, small shelf, sisal rope, Hessum doormat
Tools: Scissors, screwdriver
Difficulty: Low

If you’re looking for a project that does not require many tools or specialized skills, you can try this DIY tree from Ikea Hacker. It uses a floor-to-ceiling post and non-slip doormat from Ikea to create a space-saving cat tree.

The author mentioned that the 40 meters (130 feet) of sisal rope that you wrap around the post might come in separate sections depending on where you purchase the material. After covering the pole with sisal rope, you can use the fasteners that come with the post to secure the rope at the base. You should be able to complete the tree in 2 hours or less.


2. Ikea Hacker Tree Version 2

Materials: Ikea Stolmen storage system, carpet pieces, nails, paint (optional)
Tools: Cordless drill with a hole saw attachment, hammer
Difficulty: Low

Here is another simple DIY plan that uses the Ikea Stolmen storage system. Unlike the original Ikea Hacker plan, this design uses storage shelves to create multiple cat platforms. Before attaching the Ikea post to your floor or ceiling, you’ll measure the pole’s diameter to determine the hole size in the shelves.

The simplest way to make the holes is to use a cordless drill with a hole saw attachment. The author attached the small carpet pieces on the shelves with tiny nails, but you could also use glue. You can finish the project in less than three hours.


3. Southern Revivals Tree

Materials: Plywood, 1 x 2” wood, 80 pounds concrete, tree branches, screws, wood glue, stain, sealer, jute rope, faux fur padding (optional), and sandpaper
Tools: Table saw, miter saw, nail gun, belt sander, staple gun, hot glue gun
Difficulty: High

This project from Southern Revivals requires experience with several tools such as a table saw, nail gun, belt sander, and miter saw. You can use a circular saw to cut the plywood and trim pieces, but it will take more time than a miter or table saw.

Rather than attaching a post to your floor and ceiling, you’ll create a base that you fill with concrete to secure the tree branches and platforms. Although this project is more affordable than commercial trees, you’ll need at least 4 to 6 hours of free time to finish it. If you have limited indoor space, you can create a smaller platform and place the branches closer together.


4. Instructables Tree

Materials: Plywood, square edge timber, sisal rope (10 millimeters), angle brackets, screws, wall plugs, double-sided tape, carpet, wood for the base (450 x 50 millimeters)
Tools: Screwdriver, hammer, saw, drill, staple gun, box cutter, measuring tape, and spirit level
Difficulty: High

You’ll need a few tools for this plan from Instructables, but you can use a standard wood saw if you do not have access to a circular saw. Instead of a circular pole, you use square-edge timber for the primary post.

This tree is designed to be placed next to a wall so your cat can hop on the wall-mounted shelves. The top of the tree is a few feet from the ceiling, but you can extend the post’s length for a higher tree. If you have construction experience, you can finish the tree in less than 4 hours.


5. Mokowo Tree

Materials: Plywood, larch wood cylinders, carpet, cat cushions, screws, sisal rope, sandpaper
Tools: Drill, saw, scissors
Difficulty: Moderate

This attractive cat tree fits nicely in homes with wood furniture, and it’s less labor-intensive than many DIY trees. Unlike the other designs, the Mokowo tree only places sisal on the base of the post.

The remaining post sections are bare, but they highlight the beauty of larch lumber. If you use a stain to seal the wood pieces, ensure that it’s cat-safe and designed for indoor use. The author attached a small wooden cat house on the top pedestal, but you can use a cat cushion or piece of carpet for your kitty.


6. Abbotts at Home Tree

Materials: Thick cabinet-grade plywood, cedar boards or cedar fence pickets, wood glue, sandpaper, brad nails, cat hammock, cat cushions
Tools: Miter saw, circular saw, jigsaw, nail gun
Difficulty: Moderate

This unique cat tree resembles a top-of-the-line cat condo that would cost several hundred dollars at a pet store or online distributor. The author provides detailed steps for the project, a step-by-step video, and downloadable plans.

The tree calls for specialized tools like a miter saw to complete the project, but you could also buy a miter box and use a circular saw to save a few dollars. However, a premium miter saw will complete the job faster than a miter box. You can finish the tree in less than six hours if you have experience using power tools.


7. Tiphero Tower

Materials: Ikea storage cubes, cat pillows or carpet, paint, screws or bolts, stabilizing strap, concrete paver
Tools: Drill, scissors
Difficulty: Low

This DIY cat tower uses Ikea storage cubes to create a vertical playhouse for your cat. The author’s website features 15 other projects you can complete with cubes, but it does not include detailed instructions or plans. However, you can create a tower using the Tiphero photo as a guide.

We suggest attaching a stabilizing strap to the wall to prevent tipping and adding a heavy concrete paver or heavy object to the base to stabilize the structure. You can put pillows in the cubby holes or line the bottoms with carpet. If you’re not fond of the Ikea cubes, you can find other heavy-duty storage cubes at big box stores and online retailers.


8. Madame Figaro Tree

Materials: Large fallen tree, sisal rope, cat hammock, mounting brackets, screws
Tools: Saw, scissors, staple gun, screwdriver
Difficulty: Moderate

If you want to bring a natural look into your home, you can try this DIY cat tree made from an actual tree. After measuring your ceiling height, you can head out to the woods to search for the ideal fallen tree. Trees with smooth bark are best for indoor projects, and you have to inspect the piece closely to ensure you’re not bringing woodland creatures or insects into your home.

Although the author provides several pictures and a brief description of the project, she does not mention how the branches are attached to the ceiling or floor. We suggest using a bracket that tightens around the tree and screws into the floor or ceiling, like the ones used on Ikea posts. You can also anchor the tree to a nearby wall with a stabilizing strap for extra stability.


9. Meta Spoon Tree

Materials: Tree, lag bolts, maple plywood, carpeting, sisal rope, hot glue, varnish
Tools: Jigsaw, reciprocating saw
Difficulty: High

This natural design from Meta Spoon Tree uses the branches of a tree as supporting pillars for cat platforms. Although the author chopped down a live tree for the project, we suggest searching for a solid fallen tree as an eco-friendly alternative.

The plans are not complex, but you need access to a few specialized saws. You could use a standard wood saw, but the project would take much longer. If you varnish the bottom surfaces of the platforms, check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it’s safe for indoor use. This project will take 4 to 5 hours to complete.


10. The Experimental Home Tree

Materials: Plywood boards, concrete form, PVC pipes, 2 x 4” wood, sisal rope, 60 feet of carpet, lag bolts, cat hammock, glue sticks
Tools: Drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, protractor, box cutter
Difficulty: Moderate

If your cat prefers resting in an enclosed space, you can build this DIY design from The Experimental Home. This tree looks similar to commercial cat condos and features a cylindrical cat house made from a concrete form. You’ll need a circular saw to cut the plywood and a reciprocating saw to cut the PVC, but an amateur DIYer can complete the job in less than 5 hours. The author suggests using a carpet that matches the one used in the room for a stylish touch.


11. Instructables Cat Wall

Materials: Premium pine, stair tread, birch plywood, poplar strips, carpet runner, upholstery tacks, biscuit joints, shelf brackets (7 types), LED strips, Arduino Uno
Tools: Miter saw, scroll saw, hot glue gun, drill press, box cutter
Difficulty: High

Cat trees do not always fit in homes with limited floor space, but you can utilize bare walls to create this extraordinary cat wall. You’ll spend close to $1,000 on a premium cat wall from an online dealer, but you can build this design in 6 to 8 hours if you’re experienced with tools for around $100.

The author suggests drawing a plan first and labeling each piece of wood for the steps and cubby holes. Without labeling, you’ll spend more time guessing how each part fits, and this project uses several mitered pieces that can easily get mixed up if they’re not organized. As a bonus, the cat wall has LED lights and shelving to display plants or artwork.


12. Instructables Massive Tree

Materials: Pine wood, metal shelf bracket, two types of rope, small commercial cat tree, wood pallets, mason jar, lights, wooden beer crate, screws
Tools: Jigsaw, drill
Difficulty: High

This massive DIY tree from Instructables is more like a cat palace. If you have several cats, this tree may be ideal, but you need plenty of floor space. Although you only need a few tools, the materials list is more extensive than most DIY projects, and you’ll probably spend 6 to 8 hours building the tree.

In the author’s list of supplies, you may notice the term “Europal.” A Europal is the European style of wooden pallet used to support boxes in warehouses. Breweries and other manufacturers will often give away pallets.


13. Hometalk Cat Condo

Materials: Used corner cabinet, carpet, paint, 2 x 4” wood, liquid nails, lag screws
Tools: Miter saw, putty knife, paintbrush
Difficulty: Low

If you have an old corner cabinet in your garage or storage room collecting dust, you can transform it into a fancy cat tree with this design from Hometalk. The author used a miter saw to create the angle on the 2 x 4, but you can use an ordinary circular saw. Most of the time on this project is spent covering the surfaces with carpet, and it only requires limiting building skills to complete. Instead of carpets, you can use cat pillows or flat cat beds. If you paint the cabinet, the project will take 3 or 4 hours for multiple coats.


14. Ana White Tree

Materials: Plywood, 2 x 8” wood pieces
Tools: Jigsaw, drill
Difficulty: Moderate

This three-story cat tree from Ana White is perfect for pet parents with multiple cats. One of the author’s cats suffers from joint issues, so she designed a tree with walking ramps rather than jumping platforms. Although the project isn’t complicated, it helps to have an assistant when building the frame because it’s a bit cumbersome. The bottom ramp in the original design comes from an old cat tree, but you can use an ordinary wood panel and attach carpet or sisal rope. If you’re an amateur builder, you can complete the tree in less than 4 hours.


15. Instructables Star Trek Tree

Materials: PVC pipes, plywood, pine round panels, round caps, T-connectors, X-connectors, elbow connectors, straight connectors, bolts, nuts, carpet, sisal rope (250 feet), pipe adhesive
Tools: Handsaw, staple gun, drill, ratchet wrench, scissors
Difficulty: High

Does your cat enjoy watching Star Trek with you on lazy weekend afternoons? If so, this Star Trek cat tree can soon become your pet’s favorite spot to play and hang out. The design features a Romulan Bird of Prey and Starship Enterprise balanced on sisal-covered posts on a carpeted base. If you want your tree to reach closer to the ceiling, you can use taller PVC pipes. The construction of the ships is the trickiest part of the project, and it helps to have top-notch construction skills to complete the tree. However, you do not need specialized tools. The author used a handsaw rather than a miter saw. If you’re working alone, you can finish the tree in 8 to 10 hours.

Final Thoughts

After browsing through the designs, you’re probably surprised by how much more attractive the DIY trees are than the commercial models. The plans were created by talented people who also love cats but be sure to check the structure’s stability before letting your pet climb to the top.

If the tree wobbles or seems off-balance, you may need to add weight to the base. You can also use stabilizing straps to keep your cat safe and prevent accidental tipping from a child. We hope your cat enjoys climbing and relaxing on one of the incredible DIY designs.

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Featured Image Credit: Shaun Dowdall, Shutterstock

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