DIY cat shelves

Updated July 20, 2017

Do-it-yourself cat shelves make it possible to create a unique jungle gym for domestic cats without requiring a lot of time or materials. Regular wall shelves can be modified slightly in order to create feline-friendly platforms to climb, play and sleep on throughout the home or in a special room designated for kitty activity.


Sturdy home decor shelves that can carry decent weight on them are the best option for the basic platforms. Shelves featuring metal fixtures and wood platforms can be easily customised to suit this project. Choose shelves in different lengths to create a variety of different platforms for cats to play on. Make sure the shelves are sturdy enough to support as many cats as are expected to make use of them. Purchase different materials to cover the shelves such as low pile and shag carpeting to create a variety of interesting platforms.


Attach carpeting and other materials to shelves, folding excess material over and attaching to bottom of each shelf using nails or heavy duty staples. Other toys and accessories can be attached as necessary to create a jungle gym or play area. During assembly process, make sure that shelf hardware can still be attached and that carpeting surfaces are not getting in the way of the hardware. The shelves need to be attached firmly to the hardware to ensure that they can handle climbing, jumping and playing from one or several cats at once.


Install shelving as described in manufacturer directions for the brand and style of shelving purchased. Stagger shelves in different patterns and configurations to create a play area for cats. Cats enjoy climbing high, and shelves should be installed high enough that they are out of the way of foot traffic in the room. Install shelves away from areas where cats can become hurt such as above a fireplace. Once shelves are installed, monitor playtime with cats to ensure that the shelves are sturdy and safe before allowing cats to play unattended.

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