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Homemade Cat Jungle

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Here's a drawing of a cat jungle I "designed." Sorry, but I'm not much of an artist.

A friend said he'd construct it for me. My questions are, what types of materials that we should use? I know the obvious such as plywood, but what about the posts? I would like to use something that's round so it would be easy to attach the carpet. Which type of rope would hold up best to claws? Sisal? Jute? Nylon? Are there certain types of materials I should stay away from? I certainly don't want to use anything potential toxic or harmful. Would appreciate your input on both material and design.

post #2 of 49
Wow, somebody's cats are going to be in heaven once that's built!

I would use sisal for the rope. As far as the other materials, I don't know what to recommend (or not).

Best of luck!
post #3 of 49
I would try to avoid anything nylon, as for the carpet I would suggest to use different kinds from "shag" to a short nap. This will give greater variety and therefore a more interesting "Tree"!

Make sure it is balanced so it won't tip over. I think you will spend a lot of time trying to get toys out from under it too! I think is is a grand design and wish I had a handy friend to make one for me!
post #4 of 49
ohhhh that looks like fun!! Sisal rope and carpet is good things to use!
post #5 of 49
Wow - your cat sure are going to be happy campers.

Definately get sisal but instead of Sisal rope try and get Sisal Carpet. I have a scratching post that is covered in Sisal carpet and my boy who is an avid user has not been able to put a dent into it in the past 3 yrs.

Here is a website that provides step by step instructions including all the building materials.
Maybe that will give you ideas.


Good luck!!
post #6 of 49
omgosh that is so cool
post #7 of 49
Wow! Let us know how it turns out - pictures, too!
post #8 of 49
That looks like a very cool one!
post #9 of 49
That looks really cool, your cats will love it.
post #10 of 49
Awesome cat tree design. I wish I had a place big enough for one like that.
post #11 of 49
can't wait for the finished tree and detailed instructions on how you did it
post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
Actually, I don't think it's going to be all that big. The base was constructed last night out of 3/4" plywood. It's about 42" long and 24" wide. There's a lot of new construction going on here, sadly enough. (They're consuming just about every inch of vacant land to be found. but that's a gripe for another post.) Anyway, my friend, Larry, talked to one of the contractors, and was told he could have all the scrap material he could take. The contractor even gave Larry a brand new piece of 8x10 scrap carpeting in lovely a taupe color! So far the only things I'm going to need to buy is the cement tube for the tunnel, and some sisal rope. I'm hoping this jungle will be finished by tomorrow. These kitten's are tearing the place apart!

post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
We got the box house finished for the jungle. I took it into the living room and it took Penny about 5 seconds to crawl inside and claim it as her's. Duffy took the top, and Bleu even came out to give it the once over. I'm hoping this thing will be done tomorrow. So far I have only $8.00 into it. I expect to spend about $50.00 buying the sisal rope. I calculated it would take about 500 feet of rope to wrap the posts. I looked at cat jungles today at PetSmart and they were about $300 for something elaborate. Mine will cost about $58.00 total. Not a bad savings. Plus, it's been loads of fun to work on.

Here's my big guy and my little guy on their new box house. You can't see her, but Penny's inside the box.

post #14 of 49
Nice! Keep us posted...
post #15 of 49
It looks great so far...I know my furkids would love that box!
post #16 of 49
It's looking good so far, and seems to be a big hit. Was the carpet hard to put on? I'd love to try to make one for Spike, but I just don't know if I can do the upholstering.
post #17 of 49
Thread Starter 
Jenn, the carpet was a piece of cake. It does take 2 people though. One to pull and hold the carpet tight while the other staples. We used contractor's grade carpeting so it is a bit more workable than retail carpeting. I hope it holds up though ... we'll see.
post #18 of 49
Looking good! Can't wait to see the finished product!
post #19 of 49
Originally posted by jmvito
Jenn, the carpet was a piece of cake. It does take 2 people though. One to pull and hold the carpet tight while the other staples. We used contractor's grade carpeting so it is a bit more workable than retail carpeting. I hope it holds up though ... we'll see.
When you staple it on, do you just staple it near the edges? Everytime I look at a cat tree, it looks, well, seamless. I just wonder how they get it so perfect. (I'm scared to make one that just looks a mess. )
post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 
The sides are covered by one long piece of carpet. The seam is on the back side of the box and that is the only place we stapled on the outside. We made the carpet about 6 inches wider than the box sides so when it was rolled over the edges of the box, we had about 2.5 inches of carpet on the inside leaving plenty of staple room. The top of the box is removable and is covered by carpet on one side. We stapled the top carpet, but you could never tell. Because of the pile on the carpet, when the top is in place, the whole thing looks seemless.

post #21 of 49
I would really love to attempt one... even a little one to start. I guess we'll see how brave I get. Thanks for all the information!
post #22 of 49
If I was a cat, I'd want to play at your house!
post #23 of 49
Wow, I'm impressed! Maybe you will have to go to work for me, LOL!!
post #24 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanks Amy. That's nice of you to say. I told Larry we may have found ourselves a new sideline. He owns a cement construction business and doesn't work during the winter months. He has plenty of time then to make these things. He could knock out several in a day!

And Jenn, don't be afraid to try your hand at one. Just use some common sense, and most of all make it safe and sturdy. I was worried too that we would make a mess of it. The materials are quite forgiving so they end up looking pretty good.
post #25 of 49
It's good to know the materials are forgiving. I may have to try it, it can't hurt, right?
post #26 of 49
Thread Starter 
Absolutely! Nothing ventured nothing gained.
post #27 of 49
Thread Starter 
Well, the cat jungle is nearly complete. We have some work to do in bracing the perches. We brought it in tonight to guage the reaction. As you can tell in the picture, the jungle is a huge success. NOT! I even sprinkled some cat nip on it. The most they use it for is to jump onto the back of the loveseat. So what gives? I swear, I have the 4 most boring cats in the world. I sure hope they take to this thing, we've got a lot of work into it. I'm glad I didn't spend several hundred dollars buying one.

I need to embellish it more, I suppose they find it a tad boring. Any suggestions?

post #28 of 49
post #29 of 49

You made that?!?! That looks awesome!

Chances are they're ignoring it just because they know how excited you are about it. They will wait til you're asleep or out of the house to check it out.

Any cat would love something like that. Give them time!
post #30 of 49
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