Most cat trees are not the most attractive structures, what with the plywood posts and planks and tacked on carpet.
This cat owner had a different idea. Skylar decided to make a cat tree out of an actual tree. As she already needed to cut down a tree in her yard, she decided to “up cycle” it into a original and beautiful structure for her cats. And after looking at these gorgeous photos, she definitely accomplished that goal!
“This tree sprouted as a “weed” in my front yard about 8 years ago and grew like crazy,” writes Skylar. “It was finally time for it to make way for a new citrus tree.”
Skylar got some “strange looks from neighbors, wondering why I was cutting down a tree mostly “whole”… then awkwardly dragging it into my back yard.” Once the tree was down, the leaves were stripped and branches were trimmed.
First Skylar selected what limbs to keep. The limbs had to support the shelves and the design needed to support kitties climbing so that it resembled a “a spiral staircase.”
“Finally an excuse to use my circle jig!” Skylar wrote. “I doubled up two circles for the base to give it more weight and stability.”
Then she glued and screwed it together and attached the base with some lag screws.
Once it was assembled, Skylar trimmed the branches one last time.
Next she made sure the base was level before tracing the cut lines with a laser level. It was time to cut out the shelf templates.
Determining the shape for each shelf involved a long process of trying out different sizes and shapes. Skylar used cardboard templates to start.
Then Sklyar traced the templates onto the maple plywood, and went “off to work with the jigsaw.”
Skylar used a belt sander as an edge sander to smooth out the edges.
A variety of shapes and sizes of shelves all ready to go.
Then she counter-sank some lag bolts to attach the shelves to the top of each branch.
She needed to add additional support on the lower shelves.
Skylar added a nice white oak trim to the base. That took a bit of time and effort and a steam cleaner, but it finished the base off nicely.
Next up was adding the carpet for the kittens to scratch and so they would not slip on the shelves.
Then Skylar varnished the bottom of each shelf with a brush-on oil based urethane for a nice finish.
When the carpet was glued on top, Skylar even thought to cover up the lag bolts cleverly.
Finally, she wrapped twisted Manilla rope around a few of the branches. “Anchor one end with a staple, wrap, wrap, wrap. Repeat.” Skylar ended up using 300 feet of rope!
As for the cats?
They all approved of their new perch.
Their human servant did well.
Not only is the cat tree a fun playground for the cats, it’s also an attractive piece of furniture.
Photos published on Reshareworthy.com with permission from Skylar.
Visit Skylar’s account on Reddit for more details on the making of the cat tree.
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