DIY Cat Shelves

DIY Cat Shelves: Make the Perfect Perching Spot

If you own a cat, you will agree that most cats like to climb up anything they find near them. In most cases, they prefer going as high as possible. While a cat tree can give them a suitable perching spot, the ones with platforms that are tall enough to satisfy your cat’s craving for greater heights are usually really expensive.

If you’re on a budget yet you would also like to make your cat feel like the king of the world by giving him a nice point of view, DIY cat shelves could be the answer.

DIY cat shelves are easy to make. If you own some basic working tools that allow you to cut and polish wooden boards, you’ll be able to do it. Not only are DIY cat shelves affordable, but their presence will also help protect your furniture.

In the process of climbing and scratching, cats will spoil furniture and tear out carpets. DIY cat shelves will shift their attention in the right direction by giving them a bird’s eye view of their surroundings.

We have created this article to help you go through the process of making DIY cat shelves. In this guide, we will explain why you need cat shelves, give you more details about the shelves, designs, as well as the basic requirements for making one.

Why Do You Need DIY Cat Shelves in Your House?

Cat shelves are the latest innovations in the world of cats. Cat wall shelves are made in different ways for your cat to play and rest on. Other than as a perching spot, here are some other reasons why you should make a DIY cat shelf if you want your cat to be even happier than he already is in your house.

Room for Exercise

If you own a cat and your house doesn’t have a lot of space, cat wall shelves will be the best option for you. Cat wall shelves are always constructed up on the walls where there is free space.

That way, you won’t have to scold your cat when he moves around a lot because he won’t start bumping into things and knocking them over.

The way these cat wall shelves are made gives your cat a chance to do all types of gymnastic without fear. With cat wall shelves in the home, you can give your cat extra room for exercising. An active cat is a happy and healthy cat. You will also have more space to play with them, thus increasing the bond between you.

Keep Your Furniture Safe

While making cat wall shelves, you can easily add some scratching poles onto them. The poles will give your cat a great place to sharpen their claws, so they will not do that on your couch.

Feed Your Cat’s Curiosity

Cats like exploring new things. Outdoor cats have the chance to satisfy their curiosity by climbing trees and such, but indoor cats have a very limited outlet. If you let them roam free, they might start destroying things and knocking things over, and that won’t bode well for the two of you.

That is why DIY wall shelves are necessary. These shelves can help maintain that interest. The shelves will give your cat privacy to play and enjoy their time without disturbing you and your family.

Bird’s Eye View

Unlike cat trees, with cat shelves, you can place them as high on the wall as you want. Cats love to perch as high as possible so they can get a good view of their territory. Your cat may end up liking the wall shelves you made them more than all those expensive giant cat trees and condos available on the market.

Interior Decor

Apart from the benefits they offer to your cat, cat wall shelves will also act as interior decoration. With so many different shelf designs available, you can bet that you’ll find one that blends well with the rest of the room or perhaps even increase your abode’s elegance.

Now that we’ve briefly gone over the advantages of making cat wall shelves DIY, it is now time for the step by step guide on how to make some for your cat and yourself. However, before you pick up the tools and start hammering away, you need to consider some things first.

Things to Consider Before Making a Cat Shelf

Before you build a house, you need to make a blueprint. Before you make a painting, you need have a model and envision what they would look like on canvas. The same theory applies here. There are some features you should take into account before you start building DIY cat wall shelves.

The Cost of Materials

Cat wall shelves can be made using simple materials that are easily accessible and affordable. While the goal of this work is to make sure that you spend as little money as possible, we won’t compromise on quality.

After all, your cat will be perching on these shelves. So it is important for the materials to be durable and very resistant to wear and tear.

The Number of Shelves You Need

Depending on the space available in your room, you can have more than five shelves in one place. The racks will be designed to look like a staircase, making it easier for the cat to climb from the bottom to the top. It also won’t take up a lot of space so you can place some other furniture underneath the shelves if you wish to.

Tools Needed for the Job

There are many cat shelf designs, but they are mere variations from the norm. We are going to teach you how to make the basic perch. You can then adjust the shape and the style according to your cat’s needs and personality.

When installing cat wall shelves DIY, you need some work tools. Don’t worry. You don’t need to have a toolbox worthy of a handyman by profession. The stuff you need to make cat shelves are pretty basic, and they include:

  • A stud finder
  • A pen and a piece of paper for jotting measurements down
  • A tape measure for accurate timber measurement
  • An electric drill and bits for wall drilling
  • A hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Router and bits
  • Clamps of various sizes
  • Paint
  • Polyurethane sealant
  • Table saw

Most of the equipment that is used for cat wall shelf construction comes with a set of instructions on how to use them and what you need to install them.  You will be informed if you will need screws for a particular piece of work and washers, brackets, or drywall anchors for another piece.

When mounting the shelves, make sure that you fit them on the wall studs. Most trays are constructed to hit the stud for stability. If you cannot find the stud, you can use drywall anchors that are designed for drywall.

We have listed the tools above, so now we’re going to list the materials that you need. Note that you can replace the birch ply with any plywood of the same size. For example, you can use cedar or oak plywood for added durability.

  • 3 pieces of birch ply (1/2” x 4′ x 1′)
  • 1 piece of birch ply (1/2″ x 2.5′ x 1′)
  • Birch ply strips (3/4-inch each)
  • Wood glue
  • 1-inch nails
  • 4 x 1 foot of carpeting

How to Make a DIY Cat Shelf

We are going to design a simple shelf that is rounded on the corners and has a carpet in it. Cut one piece birch ply into smaller pieces for the bottom, sides, and the top.

You are free to use any design and be a creative for the sake of this project, but for the basics, we will use the following dimensions:

  • Use one piece of the 4’ x 1’ birch ply for the top. Make sure the four corners are rounded with sandpaper.
  • On the sides, use two pieces of 4’ x 1’ birch plywoods. You can cut them in the shape that you like to add some décor elements to the piece. You can also add four corners that are rounded on the sander.
  • The bottom will be about a 3′ x 12″ in length with sanded edges. You can also leave the edge and corners square.
  • Cut grooves 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ deep on the side pieces for the top and the bottom sides to fit into.
  • Put a bead of glue in the routed grooves so the parts can be joined.
  • Slot the bottom piece into the lower groove and the top portion into the upper glued groove.
  • Nail the whole unit together. Make sure you nail it along the top and bottom to make it firm.
  • You will then be required to create a template of square cut on the top. You can also design shapes that you like into the sides of the shelf.
  • Use sandpaper to smoothen out all the rough sides.
  • Paint the walls of the shelf to your desired color and wait for it to dry.
  • Seal it with polyurethane and let it sit for one day before you mount it to the wall.
  • To mount the shelf, drill holes on the rear side of the shelf. The holes should be spaced around 3 inches away from each other. That will make them align with the wood studs.
  • Use high strength steel screws that are mostly sold together with birch ply pieces to fix the shelf you have made to the wall. That will make it extremely strong. This shelf can hold up to 90lbs or more.

With that done, your cat will now have a new place for jumping, running, and resting. Although, make sure that you don’t place the shelf so high that your cat has difficulties jumping onto it.

DIY Cat Shelf Designs

Now that you know how to make the basic perch, let’s take a look at the different designs you can add to the main post to give your cat extra playing space. Some may seem somewhat complicated, but they are worth the effort for the sake of your cat.

Carpeted Shelves

These cat wall shelves are made in a way that attracts your eyes. With a strong wooden base, carpeted cat wall shelves are covered with a non-loop carpet that can be of any color.

The main advantage of this type of cat wall shelves is that they are comfortable for the cat and they can be used to decorate your house.

Canvas Shelves

This kind of shelf comes with runways that are connected with bridges modeled after hammocks. It is the right choice if you have many young kittens since they will love the hammock.

The canvas used to make these shelves should be made of cotton and wood planks since these are more durable.

The good thing about this type of shelf is that you can select the color of wood planks and canvas that matches your furniture, choosing a plush fabric for your cat to rest on, and you can expand the size of the shelves anytime you want.

Wooden Shelves

In case you love the traditional look of plain wood, these will be the best for you. The good thing with wood is that it can be decorated to match the color of the walls and the available furniture.

Window Shelves

These shelves are attached to the windows as the name suggests. They are designed in a way that gives them the ability to connect to all types of.

The reason why these shelves are a great option is that they allow your cat to enjoy the view of the outside world. Also, the shelves come in many sizes and styles that give you ample freedom to choose.

Outdoor Shelves

As the name suggests, these shelves are designed to accommodate outdoor cats. The shelves are constructed and mounted on the outside of the building. The making of these shelves usually includes the use of durable cedar timber.

The material has to be strong and weather-resistant so as to not break down after only a short while of being exposed to the elements. If you’d like to give your outdoor cat some time to rest without needing to go inside, this is the best option.

Extra Tips for Making the Best Wall Shelves for Your Cat

We are now going to look at some other additional factors that you should also consider before deciding to build wall shelves for your cat. The following elements are different from the previously discussed ones because these involve the cat and their behavior.

Know Your Cat’s Habits

Before deciding what type of cat wall shelves to build, you should study your cat and know their behavior. Know how active they are and what they like to do during their free time.

That should give you an accurate picture of what you should construct for them and what to concentrate on.

Know the Your Cat’s Age

Older cats are not as playful as kittens. With older cats, you should construct low lying cat wall shelves that can only be used for perching and resting but not playing. If you have playful young cats that will spend their day jumping from one shelf to another, however, you should construct a more layered structure.

Know the Start and the End

You can decide to make the shelves accessible from the floor or use your wardrobe or the couch as the starting point. With that in mind, you will know the size of timber you need for your job.

The same will apply to the end point of the shelves. You need to note that, while making cat wall shelves DIY, it should be a complete cycle. You should make sure that the wall shelves do not have dead ends. Let each shelf have a single exit for the cat to run to if they are chasing each other.

Prioritize Safety

When putting the DIY cat shelves in place, make sure that you avoid setting them too high. That way, you will prevent your cat from being injured if he misses the shelf. That also reminds us to make sure that there is enough space between the top shelf and the ceiling.

Also, make the shelves as stable as possible. You can achieve that by placing the shelves on a wall stud for optimum stability.

Extra Features

Cats are proud pets, and they want to be as comfortable as possible. Make sure that the shelves you build are covered with something soft like carpet or a rug. You can also add a scratching post to the shelf as mentioned previously.

Wrap Up

That brings us to the end of all the tips and tricks you need to know in order to make the perfect cat wall shelf DIY. We have explained why you need a cat shelf at your home, things to consider before deciding to make one, how to decide on the size and the style, as well as the process of making the rack and mounting it onto the wall.

Now it’s your turn to let us know how it went. What kind of cat shelves are you making? Did you successfully create a new favorite space for your cats? Let us know all about it in the comments section below!

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