My DIY Cat Tree

What the heck to do with all that scrap wood? That’s been the question on my mind lately, as my garage space gradually gives way to more and more stacked wood of all sizes. Most of it is cheap plywood and dimensional pine of various sizes, so it’s not like I’m going to make any fine furniture with it. But how about a fine cat tree?


As is often the case, I credit my lovely wife with this idea. Taking her suggestion as an excuse to go out to the garage and start rummaging around (after a quick browse for design ideas on, and I realized that along with lumber, there were enough shag carpet remnants lying around to make a fine tree. I also made use of a length of pvc that has been sitting around here for years.

I bought the manila rope to wrap around the vertical structure, but everything else came from the scrap heap. I used 150 feet of rope and it still didn’t go all the way up to the top. I decided to paint the pipe in order to avoid buying more rope.

A successful test prior to final finishing

The build went quickly, and the cats love it. If I had it to do again, I might make the base wider. The whole contraption is a little wobbly when a cat is moving on the upper steps, but it hasn’t been enough to deter them and I don’t feel there is a danger of it tipping.

Materials used included scrap half inch chipboard, a 2×4, some 1×4, a scrap pvc pipe, carpet remnants, drywall screws, and lots of staples. I bent the pipe using a heat gun. I used the 1.4s at the bottom of the pillar to stabilize. Otherwise the 2×4 had a tendency to sway a little too easily. The rope is 3/8″ manilla. I had to buy 150′ and that still wasn’t quite enough, but it makes for a great scratching post and seems durable. I painted the pipe with some paint I had on hand rather than buy more rope.

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