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How to Make a DIY Cat Door Climber: 5 Easy & Practical Ideas

Written by: Codee Chessher

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Orange Tabby cat playing on a climbing wall

How to Make a DIY Cat Door Climber: 5 Easy & Practical Ideas

Cats are natural athletes that crave every chance they can get to show off their lithe grace. Whether it’s making a jungle gym out of your furniture or zooming around everything in sight at 5 AM, your cat needs something to satisfy that natural urge to climb. As a bonus, climbing toys also double as a way to let their scratching urges out. Sounds perfect, right?

When you’re low on floor space but high in DIY skills, a DIY cat door climber is just the thing you need in your cat’s life. Exactly how you go about it is less clear, which is where we come in. Below, we share some of the best DIY cat door climbers you can make right at home.

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The 5 Ideas on How to Make a DIY Cat Door Climber

1. DIY Affordable Cat Door Climber

DIY Affordable Cat Door Climber
Image Credit: Ikea Hackers
Difficulty: Intermediate
Tools: Drill
Materials: Sisal rug, screw hooks, wire, brackets, shelf, doormats

This sisal climbing wall appeals to your cat’s senses, and the clever little wall perch gives your other cats a resting place to watch whoever’s taking a turn on the wall next. The plan goes to great pains to help you make sure the wall can hold your cats’ weight—it says six screw hooks suffice for two cats, but your mileage may vary. A heavier sisal rug is preferable to prevent your cat from just tearing through the material, so keep that in mind when buying your supplies.

2. DIY Industrial Pipe Cat Climbing Wall

DIY Industrial Pipe Cat Climbing Wall
Image Credit: Haus Panther
Difficulty: Expert
Tools: Drill, pipe wrench
Materials: Wood boards, painters’ tape, pipes & fittings to spec, thread-locking fluid, peel & stick carpet squares, sisal rope, fabric hammock (optional)

This climbing wall plan is made to be around your door instead of on it but can easily be adapted on a smaller scale to fit on the back of your doors and save valuable floor/wall space. You’ll need to plan out a layout first and then order your pipe and fittings to spec. That way, you can avoid having to cut any pipe, which is a huge pain. As an optional bonus, you can even order a little kitty hammock to integrate at the top or bottom for a hangout spot.

3. DIY Cat Climbing Wall

DIY Cat Climbing Wall
Image Credit: Mama and More
Difficulty: Intermediate
Tools: Impact driver, stud finder, staple gun, jigsaw, craft knife, Kreg jig (optional)
Materials: Plywood, brackets, screws, wood glue, bath mats

Rather than sisal, this DIY cat climber plan uses those plush bath mats to provide attractive texture. This plan adapts almost directly to doors, provided you use enough screws and that your door is sturdy enough to support the weight of the shelves. The plan is a treasure trove of info on cat shelves and goes into great detail about various types of floating, fake-floating, and more cat shelves you can try your hand at making yourself at home.

4. DIY Climbing Wall for Cats

DIY Climbing Wall for Cats
Image Credit: Vivi Anne Yiwei


Difficulty: Intermediate
Tools: Drill, saw, stud finder
Materials: Wood panels, oak board, spruce board, MDF board, wood slats, screws, fabric, foam

Looking for a more full-spectrum kitty workout that can fit on your door? This plan might be right up your alley. It provides instructions on how to make not only cat shelves at various interesting angles your cat will love, but sisal rope-wrapped monkey bar-like swing bars are included for serious kitty parkour sessions. Like other plans above, this is technically for walls but can be adapted for doors or a door/wall hybrid layout, depending on how much space you have.

5. DIY Cat Door Tree

DIY Cat Door Tree
Image Credit: Instructables
Difficulty: Expert
Tools: Jigsaw, craft knife, sewing machine, scissors, sandpaper, drill
Materials: Wood boards, cardboard tubes, Styrofoam, fabric, upholstery foam, batting, screws, twine, Velcro, super/hot glue, white glue, paint (optional)

This is another DIY plan not designed for doors but is easily adapted for them. You simply take the basics of the plan and add more boards to secure the shelves to your door. Also, you’ll want to cut the wood to comfortably fit on the back of your door. It’s more of a shelf-style than a full-fledged standalone cat tower, in this instance. If you want extra credit, you could even add cat shelves next to the door for a more expansive network of cat furniture.

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If your house is looking a little sparse on feline workout equipment, you can have a real field day with the plans detailed above. Even if you don’t follow them to the letter, all can be tailored to work with most doors and even expanded onto your walls for elaborate cat shelves that your kitties will go nuts for. Try your hand at one of these the next time you have a free weekend!

Featured Image Credit: Yanya, Shutterstock

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