Activity/Playing/Training Kitty Kare Korner

DIY Cat Shelves

How to build cat shelves on your own … with a little help from Home Depot.

Cats love elevation, and I decided DIY cat shelves were the way to go because the really nice ones are priced around $100 for one shelf.

Black and white male cat sitting on shelf
Timmy sitting like a loaf on a shelf.

It was easier than I thought.

Bare wall.
Bare shelfless wall.
  1. To get started, I needed help, so I went to the lumber section of Home Depot, grabbed an expert. You should have seen the look on his face when I said, “I’m building wall shelves for my cats.” He was confused at first, but then excited because the people at home improvement stores love a unique project,
  2. He helped me pick out the wood, and then he cut the planks at different sizes based on the size of my cats.
  3. Next, he helped me pick out white metal brackets and carpet tape.
  4. I decided the colors of the steps had to match the decor in the living room, so I bought three different colors of paint at Michaels to match and painted the shelves teal, green, and gray.
Painted wall shelves.
Three different sizes and three different colors of wall shelves.

Next, using leftover carpet from replacing it on my steps, I used a box cutter to cut pieces of carpet for each shelf. Each piece covered the step, but also left enough room to attach the bracket on the bottom.

Carpeted shelf
Shelf with carpet attached.

To reinforce the carpet, I used an industrial stapler.

Table of carpeted DIY cat shelves
Table of carpeted cat shelves with Dolly’s approval.

With a drill and screwdriver, I attached the brackets to the bottom of each shelf. Large shelves got two brackets.

To hang my DIY cat shelves, I screwed most brackets and at least one of the brackets on the larger shelves into the wall studs.

Hanging DIY cat shelves
Process of hanging cat shelves.

Once they were up, I let the kitties explore.

DYI cat shelves
Beaker, Vito, and Dolly explore the cat shelves I made them.

What I would do differently next time.

I’d make less shelves overall and opt for bigger shelves, like five or six big shelves.

White female cat relaxing on DIY cat shelf
Dolly relaxing on one of the medium shelves I made.

Instead of using the smaller brackets on some of the shelves, I’d use big brackets on all shelves. Beaker has pulled some of the smaller ones off the wall and I’ve had to replace them with bigger brackets.

Would you rather buy premade shelves? Check out these shelves from ContempoCat.

By LizsKittyBootCamp

Hi, I'm Liz, and I'm a cat behaviorist who provides advice and insights on cat behavior.

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