Are you tired of your cat jumping on your end table and swatting things onto the floor as you try to watch TV? Are you frequently the victim of a surprise feline attack while you’re gathered around the family dinner table? Do you just want to help your cat get some exercise while you’re not home? Perhaps it’s time to consider DIY cat shelves. They can benefit your pets (and you) by providing hours of fun and entertainment.
Whatever your motivation may be, building cat wall shelves is a fun project your beloved companion will appreciate. Here’s some information on how to make cat shelves that are easy and inexpensive.
Cat Shelves Could Be Purrfect For Your Pet
You might already have a scratching post or two around your home. But cats can easily get bored, so yours might have already grown tired of them. Climbing your couch or your bookshelves might seem much more appealing. A cat shelf can be a great way for your kitties to satisfy their climbing instincts – without driving you crazy in the process.
Indoor cats don’t really get the chance to express those climbing instincts without getting into trouble. They might climb up on your dinner table while you’re eating, or jump on your kitchen counters and start knocking stuff on the floor. It might be time to install some DIY cat shelves around your home.
Putting Your Plan Together
Before you start working on the first shelf, there are a few things to consider.
- First, you’ll want to choose the best location for building cat wall shelves. Pick a safe spot, and keep the shelves away from breakable items, such as lamps, vases, or a television. Choose an area where your cat likes to hang out.
- The height of the shelves is also important. If your cat jumps high, then you can put them higher up on the wall. But if you have an older cat, a chubby cat, or a cat with problems getting around, keep them lower to the ground. You could spread the shelves horizontally instead of vertically to make it easier.
- Make a little map of your cat shelf layout. Planning ahead can help keep you from having to take your shelves down and start all over.1
Basic Cat Shelves
Think of cat shelves as a type of cat furniture. By using just a few pieces of wood and some other materials, you’ll provide your pet with hours of fun and exercise. Here’s how to make cat shelves with materials you can easily find at your local hardware store.
What You’ll Need
- Several pieces of wood. The size of each piece will depend on the size of your cat. Remember that your pet will not only be jumping on your shelves, but also sleeping on them.
- Brackets to secure each piece of wood to the wall. Two per piece should be fine.
- Material to provide a soft area on which to jump or sleep. It could be shelf liner, carpet, or whatever else you think is appropriate.
- Staples and a staple gun to secure the material to the wood.
- A level.
- A screwdriver and screws. One set of anchor screws will attach the shelves to the brackets. Another set will attach the shelves to the wall.
- Anchors to keep the shelves securely attached to the wall.
How To Make DIY Cat Shelves
- Determine how big the shelves will need to be, and then go to your hardware store so they can cut them to size.
- Screw the brackets into the bottom of each shelf. Make sure these screws aren’t so long that they poke through the top of the wood and potentially injure your cat. The shorter end of the bracket should attach to the wood, while the longer side will attach to the wall.
- Take your carpeting or other soft material, cut to size, and attach to the wood. Staple from the top, not the bottom. That way, your cat won’t step on the sharp ends. You can hammer the staples flush to the bottom.
- Mount the shelves to the wall using the wall anchors and the longer screws.2
Other Ideas To Consider
Even though the instructions above are just for basic cat shelves, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little more creative. The more creative you want to get, the more time it will take. You can also paint your cat shelves in different bright colors, or add other special touches.
Here are some ideas you might want to try:
- Waved Shelves – You could make shelves in the shape of waves rather than basic straight shelves. Your cat will love snoozing on a curved surface.
- Drawer Shelves – A drawer shelf will be a wonderful place for your cat to take a nap. You could also use it as storage, as long as there’s enough room for your kitty to fit as well.
- Hexagonal Wall Shelves – You could put pictures in the background to add a little extra creative flair. Hexagons will also look really cool on your wall.
- Rectangular Shelves – Your cats could jump from one little “kitty house” to another. You can hang a ribbon or a mouse toy to give them yet another way to get a good workout.3
Why Do Cats Love High Places, Anyway?
You’ve no doubt noticed that your cat loves to get up as high as possible. If they’re really adventurous, they’ll climb as high as the top of your refrigerator. Christmas trees are also perfect for climbing – as annoying as that may be as ornaments start hitting the floor.
But why do cats do this? In order to get the answer, you have to go back thousands of years, long before cats were ever domesticated. They had to adapt in order to survive, and that meant getting as high off of the ground as they could. Since they were both predator and prey, staying high up in trees helped them live. It gave them a great spot to evade predators, such as coyotes, and to spot potential prey, such as rabbits and rodents.4
Of course, cats were still vulnerable to predators such as eagles and owls, but the leaves in trees helped give them cover. It reduced the chances that they could be surprised. Today’s cats still have that desire to climb high – many domesticated animals still have survival traits that have been ingrained since the time of their wild ancestors.5
Have Fun With Your DIY Cat Shelves
So, now that you know why cats love to perch high up, you might have a little more of an appreciation for how much they’ll love it if you make them some shelves. Take your time, get creative, and have fun. You’ll definitely find that this DIY project will be worth the effort.
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