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19 Free DIY Cat Tree Ideas You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on July 1, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cute funny cats playing on tree at home

19 Free DIY Cat Tree Ideas You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

Cats are known for their love of climbing. Maybe your kitty enjoys dangling from a branch, pretending to be a tiger, or watching the world go by from an elevated position. Cat trees provide enrichment for your cat, allowing them to play and relax. Many cats prefer to sleep in an elevated position, and cat trees provide the perfect place for them to feel safe and secure.

We’ve rounded up the best DIY Cat Tree Ideas we can find online today. And the good news is they’re all free! So, from an adorable small tree based on a cactus to an epic design using a natural tree trunk as the central feature, choose your favorite and learn how to build a cat tree of your very own!

For each plan, we’ve included the approximate level of DIY skill required, along with the materials and tools you’ll need to get started. Now, let’s get going on the cat tower plans!

divider 2 cats

The 19 DIY Cat Tree Ideas (With Plans)

1. Cactus DIY Cat Tree from Nifty on BuzzFeed

DIY Cactus Post Gives Your Cat A Stylish Place To Scratch
Image Credit: BuzzFeed

Skill Level Medium

There’s no need to worry about your cat picking up prickles from this cute Cactus Cat Tree plan from Tracy Raetz and Nifty on BuzzFeed.

Feel free to match the felt flowers to your house décor, and add a little catnip before watching your cat climb this fun cactus.

Materials
  • Cement
  • ABS pipe and couplings
  • Foam balls
  • Wooden disk
  • Sisal rope
  • Felt flowers
  • Screws
  • Fabric dye
Tools
  • Hammer
  • Hot glue gun
  • Drill

2. Dadand.com’s DIY Cat Tower & Kitty Condo

DIY Kitty Condo
Image By: dadand.com

Skill Level Beginner – Medium

If your cat’s looking for a stylish place to hang out, try this budget-friendly DIY cat tower from Dadand.com. Featuring 4 platforms, this DY cat tree plan is an excellent choice if you have multiple cats.

Materials
  • Plywood
  • 2” screws
  • 2 x 4” wood
  • carpet
Tools
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver

3. Instructables 21 Step DIY Cat Tree

DIY Cat Tree House
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

Skill Level Medium

Linda Rose on Instructables made this large cat tree mainly using recycled and reclaimed materials. With multiple platforms and cozy spots for your cat to hide in, this design is ideal if you have plenty of room to spare.

Materials
  • Variety of wood
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Curtain rods
  • Styrofoam
  • Fabric/carpet
  • Upholstery foam
  • Nails & screws
  • Twine
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Velcro
Tools
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Jigsaw
  • Sewing machine

4. Instructables 7 Step DIY Cat Tower Plans

DIY Cat Tree
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

Skill Level Beginner

If you want a quick and simple DIY Cat Tower, check out this version from Instructables. With just seven steps, you can have it ready in just a few hours.

Materials
  • Felt
  • Plywood
  • Spray glue
  • Sisal rope
Tools
  • Jigsaw
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Screws

5. Real DIY Cat Tree Plans by Brittany Goldwyn

DIY Cat Tree From a Real Tree
Image Credit: By Brittany Goldwyn

Skill Level Medium – Advanced

If your indoor cat loves the feel of natural branches beneath their paws, treat them to this real cat tree by Brittany Goldwyn. This impressive cat tree plan features 3 platforms, faux vines, sisal scratching posts, and a rocky base.

Brittany suggests avoiding the faux vines if you think your cat might have a nibble!

Materials
  • Natural branches
  • Varnish or stain
  • Sisal rope
  • Faux vines
  • Dowel rod
  • Paint scraper
  • Plywood
  • Decorative rocks or stepping stones
  • Carpet or faux fur.
Tools
  • Miter saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Staple gun
  • Drill
  • Glue
  • Assorted nails and screws

6. The Experimental Home Large Cat Tree

DIY Cat Tree with Step by Step Plan
Image Credit: The Experimental Home

Skill Level Advanced

Set aside a day, and your cat can be the proud owner of this large cat tree designed by The Experimental Home. This DIY cat tree will provide plenty of space for your cat to eat, sleep, hide, and play.

Materials
  • Concrete form
  • Plywood
  • PVC pipes
  • Carpet
  • Lag bolts
  • Sisal rope
  • Cat hammock
  • Glue
  • Staples
Tools
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Protractor
  • Screwdriver

7. Cat Tower Tree from Imgur

DIY Cat Tower
Image Credit: Imgur

Skill Level Medium

If your cat loves to climb, this Cat Tower Tree from Imgur will keep them occupied for hours. Your cat can climb inside and outside this tree with a hollow interior!

Materials
  • Wooden board
  • Carpet
  • Wood glue
  • Wooden circle for base
  • Varnish
Tools
  • Saw
  • Clamps
  • Nails or screws

8. Ana White’s Cat Tree With Walkways

DIY Kitty Tree
Image Credit: Ana White

Skill Level Beginner

If your cat loves looking down on life from up high, this cat tree from Ana White features long walkways for them to enjoy. What’s more, Ana suggests even a beginner DIY’er can complete it with her easy step-by-step plan.

Materials
  • 7 pieces of wood 2 x 2 x 8”
  • Plywood
  • Carpet
  • Glue
Tools
  • Kreg jig
  • Drill

9. HGTV DIY Cat Tree With Basket Beds

DIY Cat Condo
Image Credit: HGTV

Skill Level Beginner

This Cat Tree With Basket Beds from HGTV features a simple plan that uses a PVC pipe to create a tall tree. At various heights, there are cute baskets for your cat to take a nap.

Materials
  • PVC pipe
  • Baskets
  • Brackets
  • Screws
  • Sisal rope
  • Glue
Tools
  • Screwdriver
  • Saw

10. WikiHow Ladder Cat Tree

DIY Cat Tree 2
Image Credit: WikiHow

Skill Level Beginner

If you have an old wooden ladder waiting to be discarded, WikiHow has an excellent tutorial with complete instructions for converting it into a stunning multi-level cat tree for your lucky furry friend.

Materials
  • Old wooden ladder
  • Sisal rope
  • Glue
  • Plywood
  • Paint
  • Carpet
  • Nails
  • Cat hammock or piece of fabric
  • Cat toy
Tools
  • Hammer
  • Staple gun

11. Southern Revivals Cat Tree Play Tower

DIY CAT TREE PLAY TOWER
Image By: Southern Revivals

Skill Level Medium – Advanced

This beautiful, minimalistic cat tree play tower from Southern Revivals incorporates natural branches alongside plenty of space for your cat to play and relax.

Materials
  • Jute
  • Plywood
  • Concrete
  • Wood in various sizes
  • Real tree trunks
  • Faux fur
  • Sisal rope
  • Glue
  • Wood stain
  • Screws
Tools
  • Jigsaw
  • Miter saw
  • Nail gun
  • Hot glue gun
  • Table saw
  • Craft knife

12. Instructables Cheap And Cheerful Cat Tree

DIY Cat Tree for Not Much Money at All
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

Skill Level Beginner

If you’re looking to make a cat tree on a budget, this cheap and cheerful version from Instructables uses a range of reclaimed materials, including an old kitchen unit. Feel free to substitute any of the materials with something else you have in your garage.

Materials
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Glue
  • Cable ties
  • Wooden batons
  • Coir mats or sisal rope
  • Faux turf
  • Carpet
Tools
  • Saw
  • Hot glue gun

13. Hallmark Channel Wood Ladder Cat Tree

DIY Cat Tree 3
Image Credit: Hallmark Channel

Skill Level Beginner

By combining two wooden ladders, this clever cat tree plan from Paige Hemsis on the Hallmark Channel lets you easily build this cat tree in an afternoon or less.

Materials
  • 2 wooden ladders
  • Faux sheepskin
  • Scrap wood
  • Sisal rope
  • Glue
  • Brackets
  • Paint
Tools
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

14. Instructables Wall-Mounted Cat Tree

DIY Cat Tree 4
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

Skill Level Medium

This Wall-Mounted Cat Tree on the Instructables site is an excellent choice if you have an energetic cat and need a tree that will stand up to some serious climbing! By fixing the platforms of this tree to the wall, it’s stronger and sturdier than your average cat tree.

Materials
  • Square edge timber
  • Plywood
  • Sisal rope
  • Angle brackets
  • Screws
  • Wall plugs
  • Carpet
  • Glue
Tools
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Staple gun
  • Spirit level
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Craft knife
  • Screwdriver

15. DIY Star Trek Themed Cat Tree

DIY Star Trek Cat Tree
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables
Skill Level Moderate

Do you want your cat to live long and prosper? Would a nerdy cat tree fit right in with your home décor? If so, this Instructables Star Trek cat tree might be perfect. It’s built to look like the Starship Enterprise and Romulan Bird of Prey.

This iconic tree is perfect for your cat to have out-of-this-world adventures. The detailed instructions for this tree include schematics, measurements, and handy tips to make the assembly easier than it looks.

Materials
  • PVC pipes
  • Connectors
  • Caps
  • Plywood
  • Round panels
  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Carpet scrap
  • Sisal rope
Tools
  • Utility knife
  • Handsaw
  • Staple gun
  • Drill
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Scissors

16. DailyPaws Easy DIY Cat Tree

Easy-to-Build DIY Cat Tree
Image By: Daily Paws
Skill Level Moderate

This chic cat tree is the perfect addition to a modern, polished living room. It has a beautiful balance of form and function, with a rustic pet cave and a cozy cradle suspended in a wooden frame.

By switching up the colors and materials, it can fit in any style of home, and it’s perfect for cats who love to sleep and snuggle elevated. This tree doesn’t include scratching spots, so it’s essential to ensure you also have a scratching post available.

Materials
  • Beach ball
  • String
  • Duct tape
  • Polyacrylic sealer
  • Small tub with lid
  • Burlap
  • Paintbrush
  • 1” square dowels
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
  • Painters’ tape
  • 12” concrete form tube
  • Bonding primer
  • Screws
  • Pet beds
Tools
  • Saw
  • Nail gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill

17. Hometalk Custom Cat Tower and Toy Storage

DIY Wood Crate Cat Tower With Bonus Cat Toy Storage
Image Credit: hometalk
Skill Level Moderate

This farmhouse-style cat tree is a great DIY project that’s sure to stand out. We love the white and brown coloring they chose here, but you can customize it to match your needs. The wooden tray at the top of the tower makes a perfect perch, while the crates provide an excellent hiding place without being too closed off.

Finally, a small, lidded wine box near the tree’s base has a step up while hiding a handing storage space. The instructions walk you through making an exact replica, but they also give ideas for customization and creativity to help you work with what you have. This DIY is also full of clever tips—like attaching carpet squares with Velcro for easy cleaning—so make sure to check it out even if you go with another plan.

Materials
  • Wood crates
  • Scratching post
  • Wooden tray
  • Scrap wood
  • Carpet
  • Paint
  • Wood stain
  • Rope
  • Cat toys
  • Screws
  • Velcro
  • Hinged box
Tools
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Tin snips or carpet cutter
  • Hot glue gun

18. Small Space Stool Tree

DIY Cat Tree for Small Spaces
Image Credit: Diana Rambles
Skill Level Beginner

This easy cat stool is cheap, cheerful, and simple to upcycle from the materials you have on hand. With no significant woodworking and many ways to customize it, it’s perfect for a beginner. The top of the stool is turned into a great padded cat perch, a fleecy hammock is hung from the bars beneath, and the legs are turned into scratching posts.

A pair of bristle brushes with the handles sawed off encourages your cat to rub up against one leg, and cat toys can be hung from the middle of the stool. If you have a larger cat, this tree might be too small and unsteady, but smaller cats will love it.

Materials
  • Barstool
  • Pad
  • Fleece
  • Jute
  • Hair brushes
  • Cat toys
  • Hot glue sticks
Tools
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Hand saw
  • Staple gun
  • Measuring tape

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Conclusion

So, there you have it! A list of inventive DIY cat towers and trees. We hope you enjoyed our round-up of the best free DIY cat tree plans, and hopefully, you now know how to build a cat tree from scratch!

Regardless of your DIY skill level, there’s a cat tree plan to suit you, from a PVC cat tree plan to one using real branches for a touch of the outdoors.

And the good news is we can almost guarantee that your cat will be happy with whichever you choose!

See more:


Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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