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Building Safe and Sturdy DIY Cat Shelves: A Step-by-Step Guide

Most cat lovers know how much their feline friends love to climb, explore, scratch, and relax. Providing a space that meets these needs can be challenging, especially for apartment dwellers or those with limited outdoor space.

Cat shelves are an excellent solution to this problem. Not only do they provide a highrise space for your cat to climb, but they can also double as a cozy spot to rest.

In this article, we will take a closer look at how to build DIY cat shelves and why it’s essential to ensure they are sturdy and safe.

Building DIY Cat Shelves

Before you get started, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary supplies. You’ll need wood, brackets, screws, staple gun, shelf covering, level, and screwdriver.

When cutting the wood, make sure to measure the size you’ll need for your space. Step 1: Cutting Wood

Once you’ve measured your space, start cutting the wood according to your measurements.

It’s best to use a table saw to ensure even cuts. If you don’t have a table saw at home, you can get your local hardware store to cut the wood for you.

Step 2: Attaching Brackets

Next, take the brackets and screw them into the bottom of the cut wood. Make sure they are evenly spaced to support the weight of your cat.

Step 3: Covering Shelves

To cover the shelves, use a staple gun to attach the shelf covering material. It’s best to use a non-slip material to prevent your cat from slipping or sliding while climbing.

Step 4: Mounting Shelves to Wall

Finally, use a level to ensure the shelves are even before screwing them into the wall. Make sure to use screws that are long enough to support the weight and securely fasten the shelves to the wall.

Importance of Sturdy Cat Shelves

It’s essential to ensure that cat shelves are sturdy and durable enough to withstand your cat’s weight and activity levels. Your cat’s safety should always be the top priority when building or purchasing cat shelves.

Exploring and Climbing for Cats

Cats are natural climbers and love to explore their surroundings. Providing cat shelves gives them a safe space they can climb to satisfy their natural instincts.

It also helps keep them entertained and prevents destructive behavior.

Safety Considerations

When building or purchasing cat shelves, make sure they are sturdy and safe enough to hold your cat’s weight. Avoid using materials that could easily break or wear out quickly, such as cheap plastic or weak brackets.

Ensure all screws and fasteners are tight and secure to prevent accidents.


In conclusion, building DIY cat shelves is a great way to provide a safe and fun space for your feline friend. By following the steps outlined above and ensuring the shelves are sturdy and safe, you can rest assured that your cat will have a highrise space to climb, relax, and scratch.

With a little creativity, your cat shelves can also double as a beautiful addition to your home dcor.

Materials Needed for Cat Shelves

If you’re planning to build DIY cat shelves, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials beforehand to ensure a smooth and hassle-free construction process. Here are the primary materials and tools you’ll need:

Wood as a Primary Material

Wood is an excellent choice for cat shelves because it’s sturdy, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. When gathering wood for your project, you can start by checking if you have any scrap wood lying around the home that you can upcycle.

If you don’t have any, you can visit local furniture stores or home improvement centers to purchase wood slabs in the dimensions required for your project.

Brackets as Support

Brackets are a crucial element in ensuring the shelves can support your cat’s weight. When planning your project, make sure to select brackets that meet the size and weight requirements.

Be sure to purchase brackets that are sturdy and reliable enough to hold the weight of your feline friend. It’s essential to note that you may need to add more brackets for larger or heavier cats.

Tools for Construction

Having the right tools is crucial when building cat shelves. Basic hand tools such as a saw, hammer, drill, and screwdriver are necessary.

For a more efficient and precise job, you might choose to use power tools like a table saw or circular saw. Safety goggles should be worn to protect your eyes throughout the construction process.

Shelf Covering Options

Covering the shelves is an important element of the construction process. It will provide a non-slippery and comfortable surface for your cat, providing an enjoyable climbing experience.

There are different options for shelf coverings, depending on your preference and your cat’s needs. Some popular options include spray adhesive covered with commercial grade carpet, textured vinyl, or a shelf liner.

Steps to Build Safe and Fun Cat Shelves

Building cat shelves might seem daunting, but it can be a fun and enjoyable project that you can share with your feline friend. It’s essential to follow the proper steps to ensure that the shelves are safe and durable for your cat.

Here are the necessary steps to build cat shelves.

Measuring and Cutting the Wood

The first step to building your cat shelves is to measure and cut the wood. Measure your space and cut the wood to the necessary dimensions, using either a table or circular saw to ensure clean and even cuts.

After cutting, sand the rough edges for a smooth surface.

Attaching Brackets to the Wood

After cutting the wood to size, the next step is to attach the brackets to the underside of the wood using screws or bolts. Make sure that the brackets are evenly spaced to ensure that they can support your cat’s weight.

We recommend spacing them no more than 12 inches apart, depending on the size of your cat’s climbing perch.

Adding a Covering to the Shelves

Attaching a covering is an important part of building cat shelves as it provides a safe and non-slip surface that your cat can climb on easily. Start by mounting the shelf on a work table so that you can easily cover both the top and bottom surfaces.

Position the covering material and use a staple gun or adhesive to secure it in place.

Mounting the Shelves to the Wall

When your build is finally complete, it is time to secure the shelves to the wall. Measure and mark the position where you want to put the shelves, making sure that they are level.

Once you have determined the correct location for your shelves, mark the positions for the screws and drill pilot holes into the wall. Finally, screw in the hardware and attach the shelves to the wall.


DIY cat shelves are a practical and affordable way to provide an exciting play and relaxation space for your cat. With the correct materials and tools, you can easily create a one-of-a-kind space that meets your cat’s climbing, exploring, and scratching needs.

Following the steps outlined above will ensure that you end up with sturdy and safe shelves for your feline friend. In conclusion, building DIY cat shelves is an affordable and fun project that provides a safe and exciting space for your feline friend to climb, explore, and relax.

It is important to gather all the necessary materials and tools, including wood, brackets, safety goggles, and covering materials. Building sturdy and safe shelves is crucial to ensuring your cat’s safety and enjoyment.

The main steps involved in building safe and fun cat shelves are measuring and cutting the wood, attaching brackets, adding a covering, and mounting the shelves to the wall. With the right materials, tools, and construction process, you can create a one-of-a-kind space that your cat will enjoy.

Remember to prioritize safety and quality when building your cat shelves, and seek professional help if necessary.

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