Cats love to go higher. They want a birds eye view. If floor space is limited cat shelves are a great idea. They give your kitty a better view of his/her domain. We looked at a cat shelf online, saw the prices, and then decided to build our own.
Our cats already have a cat tree and a outdoor cat enclosure, so We had a blank wall in a room with vaulted ceilings and decided this would be a great space to add some vertical cat shelves.
Like most cats our cats like to look out the windows, so we built the shelves with the idea they could easily reach the window above the front door.
Materials Needed for Cat Shelf
To create our cat’s vertical space we purchased the following items at our local home improvement store:
- Two 1″ x 12″ x 8′ pine boards. We picked ones with lots of knots because that is the look we were going for.
- One 6″ x 6″ x 8′ post
- 100 feet of 3/8″ natural Sisal rope
- One 6′ x 8 ‘ roll of indoor/outdoor recycled carpet
- Velcro fasteners to attach the carpet to the wood shelves
We also purchased 24 – 5″x 3″ black steel L corner brace brackets on Amazon to secure the shelves to the wall. We already owned some walnut stain, so we used this for the project. 146
How to build a Cat Wall on a Budget
The first task to build our cat shelf was to sand the wood with a belt sander. Then we measured the wall where we wanted to install the shelves and cut the boards from 16-23 inches in length.
The post was measured and it was cut it to fit the space.
After cutting the pieces we cleaned up the wood edges with sandpaper. We used the air compressor to clean off all the shelves. Then we stained both sides of the shelves and the post a walnut stain.
Once the stain dried we chose a longer shelf and cut a hole in it. This will give our kitties an alternative way to reach their catwalk from the scratching post.
Our brackets arrived the next day and we attached these to our cat shelves.
Now for the hard part we had to measure the spaces between the shelves to make sure our cats could easily jump from one to the other and also so they could reach the window sill above the front door.
Adding a Cat Scratching Post
Once the shelves were up we wrapped the sisal rope around the stained wooden post. We decided to leave some of the wood exposed, so we didn’t cover the entire post in rope. We recommend using gloves while wrapping the post. Wrap the rope as tight as you can to ensure it won’t move much when your kitty claws at it.
The post sits on our staircase, but it is not attached to the stairs. It attaches to the wall with two brackets. The shelf with a hole in is above the post so the cats have easy access to the rest of the shelves.
From these materials we built 12 cat shelves and a scratching post.
Cost of Project
Our costs were as follows: $40 for wood, $11 for post, $22 for indoor/outdoor carpet and $32 for brackets. We already had a can of walnut stain, so we didn’t need to purchase anymore for this project.
Some of the shelves, brackets and carpet were also used for our outdoor cat enclosure, so we were able to use the materials for two projects. Leftover sisal rope from our cat tree was used, so we had no out of pocket for cost this item either.