How to Design a Cat Tower

A cat tower offers your cat a safe place to lounge.

A cat tower offers your cat a safe place to lounge.

Cats love to climb, scratch and snooze the day away. A well-designed cat tower allows your kitty to do all three in a safe and cozy environment. With careful planning and design considerations, you can build a tower your kitty will love, while avoiding getting yourself out on a limb.

Plan the Space

Measure the area where you will place the cat tower. Write down the length and width of the floor space, as well as the height to the ceiling.

Decide what style of cat tower will be best for the space. If floor space is limited, you might consider a tower that attaches to the wall and has no base. If height is a problem, you might want to build a hammock-style tower.

Consider the possibilities. Look for pictures of cat towers, or visit the local pet store and check out some commercial models for ideas. Make notes about the design elements and materials you like.

Plan the Materials

Choose suitable materials for the different elements of your cat tower. Wooden cat towers are usually sturdier than those made using PVC or particle board. Big plastic bowls make cute and colorful perches, but they can split and break. One concrete forming cardboard tube 2 feet long by 12 inches wide can be cut in quarters and used to make four half-tube perches.

Choose a cover material. Fleece fabric and carpet are both popular and durable choices for perch coverings. Posts are usually covered with either sisal rope or carpet. Sisal rope will take longer to apply, but it holds up to scratching much better than carpet does.

Consider using natural materials to design and build your cat tower. Real tree cat towers work just as well as manufactured towers and will cost almost nothing in material. Look for fallen tree limbs, or ask a local tree-cutting service for some of their wood.

Items you will need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape


  • For a cheap and easy design, combine natural wood posts with cardboard tube perches.


  • Make sure that your completed product doesn't have any exposed screws or staples.

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