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8 DIY cat tree plans you can try at home

Two kittens lying in sunken hammock on DIY cat tree
(Image credit: Getty Images)

These DIY cat tree plans are perfect if you’re someone who loves getting creative and with varying degrees of challenge on offer, there’s a project to suit every pet parent, from beginner level through to advanced. And with some costing as little as $13 to make, you’ll be getting a quality cat tree for far less than what you’d pay in store.

One of the huge benefits of having a cat tree is that it can replace many other pieces of kitty equipment, meaning you won’t necessarily have to invest in a heavy duty cat scratching post or as many toys. Not only will this cut down on clutter around the home, but it will keep your bank account happy too!

In fact, depending on how big you want your cat tree to be, you could even incorporate a comfortable cat bed into the design, saving even more space. The sky really is the limit with the creations on offer below, with some offering basic functionality and others operating as an all-in-one piece of kit that has everything your feline furkid needs to stay mentally and physically stimulated.

Below, you’ll find a great selection of DIY cat tree ideas, with either detailed videos or step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process of building your own cat tree from scratch. Whether you’re after a stunning design made from real tree branches or a simple A-Frame structure, there’s something here to suit every home.

1. Ultimate DIY cat tree

With a floor area of 800mm x 600mm and a height of 1500mm,  this cat tree by Eamon Walsh DIY (opens in new tab) definitely lives up to its name, offering multiple levels and platforms plus toys and scratching posts.

You’ll find the instructions to be comprehensive and easy to follow, plus if you have a look in the videos description field, you’ll find a detailed list of all the materials and tools that were used to make this cat tree.

2. DIY cat tree play tower 

Cat tree

(Image credit: southernrevivals.com)

This cat tree is absolutely stunning and will add a touch of style and sophistication to any living space. Rustic but oh so chic, it oozes class and will bring a piece of nature into your home.

While the instructions are super detailed, there’s plenty of scope to make this cat tree your own by changing up some of the materials or altering the look by shifting the placement of the platforms. 

Head over to southernrevivals.com (opens in new tab) for full details on how to create it.

3. DIY cat tree using real branches

Another gorgeous creation that utilizes real tree branches, this one is slightly more complex than the previous one in that it also contains a litter box built right on into the cat tree!

If you’re looking for ways to hide the litter box, it doesn’t get much better than this, with the box designed by Esmee Heebing (opens in new tab) being crafted to look like a bench and blending seamlessly into the rest of the design. 

4. Real tree cat tower

Cat tree

(Image credit: bybrittanygoldwyn.com)

This is such an elegant and pretty tree and not only does it use real branches once again, but you get the beautiful effect of the stone base and the faux vines to pull it all together.

While it may take a little bit of time and effort to get the look just right, this is one cat tree that will be the talking point of any room it’s placed in and it’s not just stunning to look at, it ticks all the boxes from your kitty’s point of view too!

Check out bybrittanygoldwyn.com (opens in new tab) for step-by-step instructions.

5. DIY cat tower on a budget

If you’re really keen to have a go at building your own cat tree, but you don’t want to spend a fortune doing it, this design from Beauty with a Hammer (opens in new tab) is the one for you. Coming in at an impressively low $13, it’s made out of scrap wood and other cheap and easily accessible materials.

While it may be the most affordable option on the list, it doesn’t skim on the essentials, with a scratching post, toy and multiple platforms all featured into the design. It even includes a cute hammock fashioned from gingham cloth!

6. IKEA shelf cat tree

Cat tree

(Image credit: ikeahackers.net)

Here’s one for all you IKEA lovers out there and it couldn’t be easier to make. Using four of their ever-popular Lack tables, there’s very little in the way of materials needed to create this, so it’s ideal if you’re a beginner.

It’s also a really great choice if you have multiple cats, as there’s plenty of space for them to all spread out, and you could even pop a cat bed onto one of the shelves if you want to create a more comfortable sleeping space.

Visit ikeahackers.net (opens in new tab) for all the details.

7. Great escape wall

Cat wall

(Image credit: instructables.com)

What’s better than a cat tree we hear you ask? Why, a cat wall of course! And what a wall this is. Artistic, sculptural, functional, there’s simply no box that this cat tree doesn’t tick.

If you’ve always wondered what having an art installation in your home would be like, now’s the time to find out and while it may be quite the labor of love, with a tunnel, ramp, and sleeping area, we have a feeling your kitty is going to be mighty impressed with your efforts.

To create a replica of this wall, head on over to the instructables.com (opens in new tab)

8. A-Frame cat tree

Cat tree

(Image credit: blog.colettehq.com)

Simple yet super effective, this cat tree uses an A-Frame bookshelf to create the basic structure and then faux fur to make it nice and cozy. This one has a nice short materials list and because the structural work is already done for you, all you need to worry about is kitting it out to suit your feline friend. 

Take a look at blog.colettehq.com (opens in new tab) for details on how to make your own version.

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.