Maine Coons - Cat Tree
A fairly simple Cat Tree you can make at homeWe made this cat tree from an 8-foot long piece of 14-inch diameter cardboard tubing. The tubing is normally used as a form for pouring concrete pillars, etc. You should be able to get a piece of it from a local supplier of concrete fabrication tools and supplies (www.sonoco.com's version is called "Sonotube").
We cut some cat-sized holes (rectangular, with rounded corners) in a helical pattern going up the tube. We used a hand-held electric "saber saw" for this, but a "keyhole saw" would also have worked. The horizontal platforms (which sit an inch or so below the holes) are 24" semi-circles, cut from 1/4" Masonite (in our case, an old green chalkboard!). Do NOT use plywood for this; you don't want splinters!
The platforms should be a "press fit" into the slits, as only friction will be holding them in. Enlarge the first slit until the desired amounts of platform an sit inside and outside of the tube, then make all of the other slits to match. On ours, a 5"-wide "shelf" sits outside the tube. As you may be able to see in the picture, we rounded the "corners" of some of the platforms, so they wouldn't injure passing humans...
After all the holes and slits were cut, we rolled up the tube in a piece of industrial-type carpet, overlapping the circumferential edges by several inches. We used pop rivets, every few inches up the tube, to secure the carpet to the tube. Each rivet goes through the outside layer of carpet, through the inside layer of carpet, through the cardboard tube and finally, through a washer.
Using a box-cutting knife, we then cut an "X" in the carpet in front of each hole and used pop rivets to secure the resulting flaps to the inside of the tube. Each rivet goes through the outside layer of carpet, through the cardboard tube, then through the inside "flap" of carpet and finally, through a washer.
At each end of the tube, we trimmed the carpet to stick out a couple of inches past the cardboard. We then folded this flap inside the tube and attached it (like the flaps described above) with pop rivets. Finally, we inserted (wedged) the platforms into their slits, first cutting slits in the carpet just outside of the slits in the tube.
We have a split level house with a high-ceilinged entry; the cat tree sits by the front door. For safety, we attached the tube to the upper railing, set the tree on a piece of rug, and pushed a pillow into the bottom of the tube (to soften accidental landings).
The cats can go up either the inside or outside of the tube. They also like to mix things up a bit, mixing inside and outside passages. They like to sit on the platforms, greeting us at eye level when we come home. They also like to run up the stairs to the landing, leap to the cat tree and use it as a fast 2-jump elevator to the next level of the house.
The construction of the cat tree took two of us a few hours. Finding and getting the necessary materials took about the same. The materials should not cost more than $50. The tree has been in use for several years; every cat we've had thinks it's just superb!
Do you have a nifty cat tree? Have you seen one? Discuss cat trees at Ann Elizabeth's forum.
For information, to ask to have a pointer to your site added, or to tell us about your wonderful trusted Maine Coon breeder so we can add them to this site, please contact: Vicki Brown firstname.lastname@example.org