How to build an indoor jungle gym for cats

Updated April 17, 2017

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars for a cat tree, pick up a few inexpensive materials and create your own. A homemade jungle gym is a great way to keep your indoor cat active and healthy. You can design your jungle gym to be as simple or complex as you like. If you have more than one cat, adding a variety of perches at different heights ensures that each cat gets a lookout.

Plan your design on paper. Take into account the number of cats, their ages and activity levels. Draw perches at different levels as well as tunnels or boxes for hiding areas.

Place the wooden base of your cat tree on the floor and attach the 2 inch by 4 inch support legs to the base with metal L brackets and 2-inch screws. Depending on your design, you should have at least three or four main legs supporting your cat tree. You may need a partner to hold the legs while you attach them into the base with an electric drill.

Attach a piece of plywood for the top level perch to stabilise the structure. Use the electric drill to attach the L brackets and 3/4 inch screws to hold the top perch to the legs.

Add additional plywood perches and ramps along with concrete form tubes for tunnels. Wooden crates work well as hideouts. You may find old drawers or other items you have around the house that would make a good addition to your cat jungle gym. Attach everything to the main two-by-four legs with metal brackets and screws.

Cover the two-by-four legs of the jungle gym with sisal rope. To do this, start at the bottom of each leg and wind the rope tightly, leaving no gaps. Use the glue gun to attach the rope to the wood as you wind.

Cover all other surfaces with fake fur, wrapping the fur around each perch, tunnel, ramp and hideout, attaching it with the staple gun.


Make your cat jungle gym in any design you desire. You may opt for a shorter, wider gym with several connecting tunnels, or a tall skinny one for cats who like to perch up high.


Wear proper eye protection when using power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • One 24 inch by 18 inch by 4 inch board
  • Three or four 5-foot long 2-by-4 inch boards (or shorter for a smaller jungle gym)
  • Metal L brackets
  • Electric drill
  • Two-inch screws
  • 3/4 inch screws
  • 3-4 yards fake fur
  • Staple gun
  • 100-200 feet of sisal rope
  • Glue gun
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About the Author

Stacy Tabb began writing in 2001, specializing in business and human resources. She has written web content and other communication materials for a large Fortune 500 company. She spent two years at Northeastern University's School of Journalism before completing her bachelor's degree in psychology at Westfield State College in Massachusetts.