There have been a lot of questions about the new cat tree, so I’m stepping in as head peep to give a little more information to the curious. The man peep built it himself, with no plans other than a lot of waving around of boxes and the instructions: 48″ for the top platform and don’t make it stick out from the wall too much.
The idea came from seeing these photos and thinking that wine crates would look nicer than dresser drawers for a cat tree. Then wine crates got really hard to find. Seriously, you don’t want to know how much people want for wine crates on eBay. We got one wine crate from our local Total Wine store (they sell empty boxes of all kinds, but the wooden ones go fast). I also bought three 3-bottle display crates from a local wine shop that used to franchised and dropped the franchise, so they were willing to sell their branded display crates. The important thing for this project is that you have to get the crates first, since wine crates don’t have standard sizes and can vary a lot. The width and depth of the cat tree depends on the size of the crates you collect.
I kept looking for more actual wine crates with winery names and logos burned onto them, to no avail. I am still searching for more, so I asked that the tree be created in such a way that the crates be able to be swapped out once I find some I like better. If you are better at collecting crates, or if you don’t threaten to change your mind about them after the tree is completed, you could build a tree that is simpler than this one.
The crates sat in the closet in the spare room for months until the magic day had arrived. Wood and power tools invaded the front yard.
The first part built was the center tower.
There is a platform on top that has the top wine crate screwed onto it. In this picture, there is an extra crosspiece near the top that was removed in the finished tree. There was some seat-of-the-pants designwork going on! Also in the picture, the center platform (which is made from the lid of a wine crate) has one of the shallow crates resting on it. That crate is attached to the right of the platform in the finished tree.
You can sort of see how the right and left supports are separate in this picture.
The cat hammock is a cat crib. It would probably have been more ideal for the hammock to be at the bottom right (to offer more headroom), but the legs on the sides are attached to the crates and not the tower structure itself. This makes the leg on the right the least secure part of the whole structure. Once a prettier wine crate is in place on the right, we will add an additional cross-piece between the right-side leg and the tower for stability and move the hammock. If Pierre lets us move it, that is!
Finally, it’s important to note that this is only 14″ deep and 44″ wide. To keep everybody safe, it is attached to the wall.
In this picture, you can just see at the very top of the image the extra wood used as a spacer behind the cat tree that holds it to the wall (you can also see Pierre marking the tree as his own!). There are stick-on felt pads on the back of the spacer to protect the wall in case of cat tree riots.
The total cost of the cat tree:
- Wood: $100 (This could have been much less, but we used finishing boards instead of 2x4s or other, less expensive, wood)
- Wine crates: $35 (I keep hearing that people get them for free by asking the right wine stores, so ask around)
- Cat Crib: $29
And of course, Pierre being King of the Cat Tree is priceless.
Hopefully, this answers the questions everybody has been asking. If you have more, the comments are open, and I’ll follow up with answers.