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How to Craft a Kitty Playground With Your Own DIY Cat Tower

Cat Playing on a Cat Tower

Photo: Stock Photos from Africa Studio/Shutterstock
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Being a cat parent has its perks. The purrs, snuggles, and sweet meows are some of the best parts about having a kitty in your home. But the furniture? That's a different story. If you’re a cat owner with discerning decor taste, chances are that you find the options for cat towers and scratchers a bit lacking. There’s hope for you, though! If you’re handy, you can create a DIY cat tower that is customized to the whims of your favorite feline.

Creating your own cat tower can seem daunting. But with the right supplies—and even a downloadable plan—you can build your own feline playground. To get you started, we’ve compiled a supply list as well as some plans and inspiration for your cat tree. Whether you choose to follow a pre-made design or want to go your own way, remember to channel your favorite feline and incorporate things you know they’ll love into the tower.

Scroll down for a supply list, tutorial, and inspiration for your DIY cat tower.

Want to give your cat a place to play and lounge with your own creative flair? Learn what you'll need to create a DIY cat tower.


Cat Tower Supply List

Cat Sitting on a Cat Tower

Photo: Stock Photos from Natalia Tretiakova/Shutterstock

This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are some materials you will probably use (like a drill) as well as might use (like faux fur).


Essential tools

Regardless of the design, you’ll want to have the following handy:

  • Small saw — This will allow you to cut wood, piping, and more.
  • Drill
  • Screws and nails
  • Staple gun — This will come in handy for securing any carpet or other bells and whistles.
  • Sandpaper — We don’t want any rough edges on your cat tree.
  • Wood glue — There might be some instances in which it's easier (or makes more sense) to glue wood rather than nail it together.
  • Plywood — To be used as the base and any platforms on the tree.


Cat tree flair

Here’s where you can get creative and add some fun to your cat tree. Remember, felines love to scratch and climb, so choose things that will allow them to do both. If you want to get fancy, consider building a box or creating places where they can sleep or hide.

  • Faux fur or carpet — Look for carpet or faux fur that will complement your decor. Try padding the carpet or fur with foam for extra comfort.
  • Sisal Rope — Many cat trees have sisal rope for a place to scratch.
  • Pre-made ropes or nets — A net could be used for many cat naps.
  • Cat toys — Try dangling balls, feathers, or mice for your kitty to bat around.
  • Artificial plants  — While your cat might not care about artificial plants on their cat tower, you can use them to decorate the kitty playground and blend in with your indoor jungle.
  • Real tree branches — This will add a rustic aesthetic to your cat tower.


DIY Cat Tree Plans and YouTube Tutorials

Cat Sitting on a Cat Tower

Photo: Stock Photos from ANURAK PONGPATIMET/Shutterstock

Do you want to build but not have to come up with a design? Or have a place to start, when building, and then customize as you go? Luckily, there are many DIY cat tree plans available as well as step-by-step YouTube tutorials to help you in the process.


Four-Tier Cat Tree


One-Level Cat Tower

DIY Cat Tower

Photo: jaoami


Cat Tower With Real Branches


Multi-Level Cat Tower With Real Branches

DIY Cat Tree

Photo: Uptonb


Cat Tower With Toys and Hammock 


Kitty Condo

DIY Cat Tower

Photo: Dadand.com


Tall Cat Tower

Cat Tower

Photo: Imgur


Cat Tree With Branches and a Litter Box 


Ultimate DIY Cat Tree


Cat Tree Made Using Driftwood


How to Make a Cat Tree


Heavy Duty Cat Tree For Cats Who Like to Climb


Cat Tree Inspiration

Need some inspiration to get you started? Here are some cat towers that kitties and humans both enjoy.


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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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