question about building a cat tree from a tree - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Question question about building a cat tree from a tree

hi everyone!
my boyfriend and i have decided to take on the challenging task of building our babies a new cat tree, out of a tree! we saw some online and thought they looked awesome and great for the kitties. we have found some trees in the woods that have recently fallen and want to cut off a good branch. we were wondering how we need to "treat" (disinfect? de-mold? get rid of insects...ewww) the branch before we can really use it? has anyone else done this before on the board here? thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 05:28 PM
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Um, not for this...no, but I do have wood used in my reptile tanks.

This is what I'd do:

-Wash thoroughly
-Spray with a bleach solution and let sit in bright sun for a day or so, then flip over and spray the other side before letting it sit in the sun.
-Sand that sucker down to the wood.
-Use baby-safe laquer to coat all the exposed wood
-Let it cure
-Use heavy duty bolts to bolt it to a very sturdy base, add platforms.
-Cover the bottom of the platform in something, to protect your floor from the bolt-ends, cover the platforms with your covering of choice.
-Add sisal wrap if you want.

I think that's about it.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 05:38 PM
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I thought youd enjoy these two Utubes of cat trees as an inspiration.

DIY Cat Tree | Cattree | Kratzbaum | D.I.Y. | Karl & Elmo - YouTube

Cat tree built from real logs - YouTube
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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thank you guys! the reptile branch instructions are def useful and i really liked the youtube videos! especially the first one, great inspiration. i want to leave the bark on though because it will be better for scratching, so i was thinking no lacquer... is that a bad idea???? i've found like a fallen oak tree in the back that will seriously make a gorgeous cat tree. i don't know exactly how long it has been fallen, but the wood is definitely not rotted at all. about how long do you think it will it take to cure?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 06:48 PM
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...You can leave the bark on, but that pretty much guarantees you'll get boatloads of bugs. Also, trying to lacquer bark would be a GIGANTIC PITA. The bark would suck up the lacquer like crazy and you'd have to get into each little nook and crevice...*shudders*
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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ok so shaving off the bark is the best plan (oh man it would be so pretty though).
as far as lacquer... will that prevent the cats from being able to scratch the natural wood? what if one of my idiot cats (ahem dutch, though i love him) wants to EAT the lacquer...
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 07:07 PM
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It shouldn't...But that being said if you just sanded it down you could probably leave it natural. The lacquer would just preserve it better and prevent any...unwanted fluids...from wrecking it.

Maybe it's just MY cats that feel the need to hack hairball from the highest of heights, lol.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 07:27 PM
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This is a really neat idea for a cat tree, but I'm in agreement with the no lacquer. While it might not last quite as long without, your kitties will probably scratch it all up anyway, and the natural wood might be more satisfying for them to scratch up.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 08:27 PM
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I love your idea! I also vote for no lacquer!
You'll have to share pictures of your project with us!!:p

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 12:55 AM
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check with your paint dept at one of your big box stores or local hardware store. They have products for sealing wood that would seep into the pores of the wood and when dry should not be a problem for your cats. Also, mine like the jute back side of carpeting. You might attach a piece near the base of your tree that they would use as a scratching post. Or wrap with that rope they use on cat posts that you buy.
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