The Agony of the Cat Tree

My cats need a cat tree. I am sick of them perching on things they shouldn’t be perching on. I feel they are desperate for a cat tree.

Moosh on a box.

First of all, can anyone tell me why cat trees are so expensive? It’s wood. And carpet. I haven’t priced out carpet or anything but wood ain’t that bad. I’m a handy girl. I craft. I refer to Home Depot as Michael’s on Crack.

I have a Dremel, even, and a fancy accessory kit for it. I can use a real drill, too. I can sand with the best of them. Even with a power sander. Yup, I’m that awesome.

I am a little iffy about using saws. As a superklutz, a spinning wheel of doom may not be what the doctor ordered. Even the boyfriend cut his knuckle on one, nicked a tendon and ended up needing surgery (he wasn’t even going to go to the ER, silly boy). But hey, they can do that for me at Home Depot.

The reason I’m thinking about making rather than buying is that I cannot find one that I like in a reasonable price range. I’m not really surprised. I can go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls or whatever and manage to only like the most expensive thing in there. It’s like this horrible gift I have.

This Wohnblock one is awesome. It’s also 1590,00 €. I have no idea what that converts to in U.S. dollars but it sure as HELL isn’t in my price range.

Catswall. Also super awesome. But guess what? ONLY AVAILABLE IN TAIWAN. Way to go, America. We can’t even win the cat tree race.

Back to reality, and the cat trees I CAN afford. They kinda all look the same, and boring. Also somewhat cheap and unsturdy, but that’s me being picky. Which brings me back to making one. I hate paying money for something that I feel like I can make myself. I think I’m going to attempt it today on my day off. I’ll at LEAST try the carpet store. If I don’t blog for awhile, it’s because I put a nail through a body part or something.


  1. hatzihatzi

    I bought a very cheap cat tree from Wal-Mart. Though it looks boring to me, my cats love it. I love both the ones you posted! Good luck trying to make one.

  2. Oldcat

    I’d imagine a lot of the priceyness of cat trees is the size and weight. They take up a lot of space to ship and hold in inventory.

    You can always use a hand saw for a cat tree. There aren’t that many cuts, or have them cut the material at the store into convenient sizes. Back in the day, I made these little boxes (think one shelf of a bookshelf on its own) and made a two-sided bookcase wall, higher on one end so the cats could run up and down it or lie on the different levels. The cats liked it a lot, and the books kept it from falling over.

    • MEOWhearthis

      Hah I actually am more likely to injure myself on whatever the “safer” option is.

      That sounds like an interesting idea, though. My friend used ikea shelves on her wall for cat climbing, maybe I could do something similar with the boxes you suggested, like steps, rather than a tree or hang shelves on the wall. Plus, I DO have a lot of books!

  3. Baseball Serendipity

    I wish they were cheaper too but I have to tell you that I had my dad make one for me once and its not as easy as you would think. He used to building houses for a living and is a GC and he had a hard time making one that looked as good as the ones you can buy. It was his first attempt so with practice and trial and error I am sure he could perfect it but it wasn’t as cheap to make as you would think either. 😦 I would try foster and smith. I bought one off ebay once and the cats LOVED it. It was about $120 with shipping and it wasn’t the sturdiest but it did the trick. Good luck! If you can figure it out you can probably make a living off of it. 😉

  4. emma

    Please! Not the expensive one. Take a trip somewhere instead! My husband and I go to the local Habitat for Humanity thrift store If you don’t have that, you probably have some discount lumber and supply store (less expensive than Home Depot) and buy an assortment of wood and carpet remnants and then build away. Uh, I design, he builds. I’m tool-deprived, so to speak, and he refuses to make another emergency room trip. We just make our own and our three very picky cats love them. Well, at least they shred them, sleep on them and fight over them so I think that means they love them!

  5. Xenoia

    Wow those things are amazing! My cats would adore that top one!

    Having said that though, I have a combined cat house/tree thing that was about 40 quid (so what…$50 or so) and they have had it for YEARS! I tried to throw it out, got them a new one but they love the old destroyed one so much. So, my advice? Make it so that you can stand to look at it for the next 7 years 😛

  6. Russel Ray Photos

    I didn’t want to spend all that money on a cat tree and not have Zoey the Cool Cat use it so I borrowed one of my mother-in-law’s boyfriend’s cat trees. ZCC looked at it and said, “Get that out of here!” She doesn’t seem to like the things that normal cats like — cat trees, catnip, cat toys………

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