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Martha Stewart's got NUTTIN on me!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So my boyfriend and I decided that our kitties really need something they are allwed to climb on. I feel bad that they have this natural instinct to be UP on things, yet I wont allow them to! So we hashed out a plan, went to home depot, and got to work. A ton of lumber, a well used power drill, staple gun, and glue gun later - this is what we have!

The top shelf has a hinge on it about halfway down, that allows us to flip back the shelf so we can easly open the door to our patio. When it's down, the cats can lay on it and look right out the door and over the patio wall - it's the prefect height for seeing all of the birds and bees that fly around the tree just outside our patio. We anchored the whole thing to the wall just in case, but it's pretty heavy and doesn't tip easily.

We just finished it last night and they really didn't know what to think of it at first, but Dante did sleep in the box at the bottom for a long time! The box is padded inside and out and lined with fur and red velvet on the walls. The bottom is a bed that comes out and goes into the washing machine... just in case! The shelves are all wrapped with batting and fur to make them soft and climable, and naturally we wrapped the post in siscal rope all the way up for happy cat scratching!

I think they're gonna love it!! Man are my cats SPOILED!!
post #2 of 21
Wow - great job - your kitties sure a lucky!
post #3 of 21
Wow, you should market that thing. Customized trees. I'd buy one.

You did an incredible job. I have a 1/2 finished cat tree in my garage that I just need to finish. I was afraid of the power tools at first, but now, I'm okay.

I'll post mine once it's done.

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes yes, please post! I'd love to see your ideas!! Ours isn't very creative, but we were limited by what we could build and fit in our little apartment! It's very crowded. I kind of hate having that eye sore in my living room, but the only other window we could use would be in our bedroom and the kitties aren't allowed in our room at night. So smack dab in the living room it is! My kids are worth it.

My boyfriend said we should make them to sell, too - but we don't own any power tools other than a drill. We had the guy at Home Depot cut our wood for us. Plus supplies cost about $75 total and I think I've seen these things sell for like $120 on the internet.... for two of us working ALL day to build it, I'm not sure if that profit is worth it! It was a long day!

We also made scratching posts about a year ago because Dante was outgrowing all of the ones we could find in stores... they were too short! These are just 2x4's screwed to a square board and covered in sicsal. They are great b/c when the rope starts to wear out I just pull it off and put on new. They have lasted much better than the ones we bought at Wal-Mart and were much cheaper than the expensive ones at petco.
post #5 of 21
Great job! If you do decide to make and sell them, be sure to include labor! For craft sales, they recommend $20 an hour. And each one gets done faster and faster!
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
hehehe Is that $20 an hour per person? LOL! Let's see.... 2 of us spent about 8 hours putting it together (wood, fabric, and sicsal) so thats $160 each plus the $75 in supplies... That's almost $400!!! LOL!

I guess once we got a system down, and better tools, it would be a snap but at this rate I doubt anyone would buy one!
post #7 of 21
OMG that's awesome! Wonderful job.
post #8 of 21
Good job! Don't worry... my cats are VERY spoiled too.
post #9 of 21
WOW great job and it looks wonderful .
How do you place the sisal on ? With a staple gun ?
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
We used hot glue for the rope. I was afraid the staples could hurt kitties feet - so we used a lot of glue at the bottom to secure it and a little here and there as we wrapped up to make it stay. We learned with the scratching posts that as the rope gets older, it stretches and moves, so a little glue here and there as you wrap it will help keep it in place. You have to wrap it TIGHT - so I really (REALLY!) recommend getting a pair of gloves before you do it. We used rubber kitchen dish gloves, but I'm sure any would work. The siscal will really get into your skin and hurt like splinters if you don't wear gloves! (I learned that the hard way!)

Thanks for all your compliments!! We're very proud of it. If only the cats liked it! (They have yet to play on it... but hopefully they will come around!)
post #11 of 21
We have used the staple gun in our cat enclosure and really was wondering how well the glue gun is holding up . I am sure it was a lot of work glue the hole thing down .
Maybe if you use a little catnip on the sisal it will help to atract the baby's . Catnip always gets mine LOL .
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
We have used the staple gun in our cat enclosure and really was wondering how well the glue gun is holding up . I am sure it was a lot of work glue the hole thing down .
Well it isn't really that much glue... the only thing I used hot glue on is the siscal. We used a big wad at the start to affix the end of the rope, and then we'd wrap it (tightly!) up a few times around before putting another small string of glue here and there. When we'd get to the end, we'd use another big wad to hold the end down. It's not that much - just enough to hold it in place once it gets old and starts to stretch. The whole pole is not covered in glue by far. I'm sure staples would work well to hold the rope but we used the fat siscal rope and my staples weren't long enough, plus I was afraid it could hurt a kitty paw if dug into wrong... hot glue is soft so if they claw into it nothing would happen.

The fabric was all done with the staple gun although I did use a tad bit of glue to hold the batting in place while I was working. I took my hammer to each staple to make sure it was all the way in so kitties wouldn't get cut on it.
post #13 of 21
I just rewrapped one of my cat trees with sisal. The carpet that came with it finally shredded after years of use. I wrapped the end of the sisal with masking tape then nailed it to the tree. It's holding up very well. I was also afraid that staples would come loose and that glue wouldn't be strong enough for my little beasties.

That is a great looking tree!!
post #14 of 21
Thanks guys , I may look into a glue gun .
In the cat enclosure we only used in the beginning a couple of times the staple and wraped it very tight , then on the end again with the staple . The staples really hold up well , but the sisal has moved some lol . I guess the cats like it to much . I will attach a pic so you can see what I mean . I have not download any pics lately due to my pc only show it in black/white and not in color . I have to get my pc guy over .
post #15 of 21
I have been wanting to make a kitty tree for Dori for sometime now. I had no idea where to start. I live in an apartment and don't really have any power tools, but from your explanation of how you built it all you said you needed was a drill, is that true? What about the wood, did you have to cut it, or will the pre-cut it into what you need at Home Depot? (Sorry for all the questions but I know NOTHING about crafty stuff or building stuff) Can you get the sicsal at Home Depot also?
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
PurfectCatLove - that looks pretty darn great to me! How big is that enclosure? That kitty looks puuurrrrfectly happy!

Squirtle - yes, yes, and yes! The only power tool I own is a drill, that's it. and it's not a very good drill at that. All we used in the way of tools is your basic screwdriver set and hammer that I'm sure either you have our your neighbor could loan you, a staple gun (heavy duity, not the one on your office desk) a glue gun (mine cost less than $5 at a craft store) and my power drill. (and my sewing machine, but you don't need this.)

We sat down with a piece of graph paper and hashed out a design first. then we figured out the exact pieces of wood we would need, and went to home depot. We got long pine boards that were 3/4 inch thick by 1 foot wide and had the home depot man cut them for us. ($.25 per cut, but they never charge me!) The shelves are 16 inches long each, except for the top one that has a 10 inch long extension so they can see out the window. (that is attached with door hinges! It flips up so I can open the door!) The box on ours is 1 foot tall, 1 foot wide, and 2 feet long (but it also is tacked to the wall for stability - make the box bigger or the unit shorter if you don't want it to be tacked to a wall!) The box has two entry holes - one on the end and one on the side. We left the one end completely open and on the side we put a board that was 17 inches long (rather than 2 feet) to leave a 7 inch hole. The holes are covered with fabric - one with a 70's "love bead" curtain inspired thingey, and the other with a piece of fabric with an oval cut in it.

The post in the middle is actually 3 sections - one foot each. (It is 4 feet tall total.) It's made out of 2 by 4's screwed together to make a 4 by 4 (because home depot wont cut 4x4 wood for some reason). Each 1 foot section of 4x4 is attached to the box or shelves with 4 metal L brackets, one on each side for stability.

Everything was screwed together with screws which we drilled pilot holes for becuse my drill sucks and didn't have to power to screw in the screws without it. Make sure you buy wood screws, and pay attention to where they are going to go and make certain you get the right length screws.

the fabric is a fake fur I got at walmart for like $3.50 a yard. (I used 3 yards total for thie project.) Try to get one with edges that don't fray (most furs wont). There is batting under the fabric (also from walmart) wrapped around EVERYTHING (including the inside and around every edge) to make sure all corners are soft and nothing can hurt the kitties. All the fabric is stapled on and the staples are hammered in nice and tight so nothing is sticking out to hurt someone.

Easy as pie, no power tools necessary! We made ours in the living room of our small apartment! If you need any more info, please feel free to ask! It was a fun project!
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh, and the rope was from home depot, too.

Our walmart has rope, but it's the thinner kind. We've used this on other cat projects and it's just fine, too. And it's MUCH cheaper at Walmart, so go there if you don't mind the thinner rope. (Or maybe your walley-world will have the thick stuff... mine doesnt.)

...and wear gloves when working with the siscal rope. That stuff can really hurt your hands!
post #18 of 21
Thanks DantesMom , if you are interested in looking at the hole cat enclosure I have a thread here and post many pics .
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wowie!!!!! That is one impressive Cat walk! Your husband did a fantastic job!

...suddenly that old "Right Said Fred" song is buzzing through my head... "I'm too sexy for my cat, Too Sexy for my cat, what ya think about that?! I'm a model, you know what I mean, and I do my little turn on the catwalk." Great, now that's gonna be stuck in my head all night!

post #20 of 21
DantesMom : ...suddenly that old "Right Said Fred" song is buzzing through my head... "I'm too sexy for my cat, Too Sexy for my cat, what ya think about that?! I'm a model, you know what I mean, and I do my little turn on the catwalk." Great, now that's gonna be stuck in my head all night

to funny . Now I am singing it
post #21 of 21
Originally posted by fostermom28
Wow, you should market that thing. Customized trees. I'd buy one.
me too! it looks great!!
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