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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a soon to be first time cat owner, I have been researching ways to spoil my cat silly once I have it. Cat condos became a obvious choice for me to have, partly because of the spoiling factor, and partly because a scatching post/cat bed/place for them to rest combo is rather practical.

But looking at various designs left my cheapskate side and my snobby-artist side whimpering (to be fair, I grew up in a house where we got L.L. Bean denim monogramed dog beds, so attending a art school only worsened my aesthetic snobbery).

So, I am making a cat house then! Problem is, I have never owned a cat, and when I discovered how very few artsy-styled cathouses there were I became worried that there might be a reason for the lack of them.

The Plan-


Excuse the poor quality. My sketches with pencils are much better, I swear. I just don't have a scanner. :patback (Also, I may have gone to a art school, but I was a English major. Words are my craft, not computer art programs.)

Anyway, I plan on using acrylic paint for the outside and for the stands holding up the cloud-platforms, as I read that this isn't harmful to animals. Please correct me if I am wrong on that.

This will come out being about as tall as I am (around 5"5 feet), and the box will probably end up being a little smaller than shown here (proportion wise).

Any tips on what I can do to improve it, make it more cat friendly (for instance, I am not super-attached to the sky-painted posts if more sisal rope would be more practical), and anything else more experienced cat owners would find to correct it. Thank you so much for your time. :)
 

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Make the base very heavy to avoid it from toppling when a cat gets up on top.

I would start with just the box and see how that goes. I've always had problems getting the carpet to fold right and attaching it to the box/poles/etc.

Your cat will love it whatever you do.
 

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Yep likewahoowad said - make sure the base if very sturdy - cats hate when they jump up on something and it wobbles. Or at least my cat does. LoL
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have actually been considering placing a slab of marble in the base between the two scratching posts- to add to the weight to keep it from wobbling, and also as a cool place for the cat to lay if the summer heat is kicking in and the air conditioning is off to save money. Buuuut... My cheapskate side is worried about how much that might cost. In the meantime, I plan to make sure the base is wide and thick.
 

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Your plan looks great. I've found with ours that Murphy only really cares about the top level; he just shoots up there every time. All the bells and whistles along the way are ignored. But who knows, maybe your midlevels will get some attention. :)
 

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With my cat, the taller the better! I have a five footish tree she likes, but a six foot one she LOVES. Definitely focus on stability though, if it wobbles, your cat won't want to climb on it. From your 2D drawing its hard to tell, but how many poles are you planning to hold up the house part? I would say 3 minimum. The more poles at the bottom, the sturdier the rest will be. I would say you can leave your cloud poles as is, my cat totally ignores the sisal rope poles on her trees, so just wait and see if your cat would use more sisal, easier to add it later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the compliments guys. :) I plan to spend a lot of time on detail painting it- vines, flowers, etc. So it won't be nearly this plain when done.

@October
Honestly, that is one of the reasons I want to make it pretty. I figure if it ends up that the cat doesn't like it, or only uses a bit of it, then it is best to have something I don't mind taking up space in my living room. XD

@applesparks
I considered making it taller, but the problem is that I am a short person. So, I figured if I only make it slightly taller than I am, then I wouldn't have a hard time getting the cat if they decided to flee up to the highest level in vet avoidance mode. And I was planning on two (as that is what many purchasable ones have), but your suggestion has me going back to the drawing board. Aaand I am now having some pretty cool ideas with what I could do with a third support (perhaps a board of equal height, painted like a hillscape? Hmmm....).

@KittieLover
Well, I'm lucky in that my dad volunteered to make it himself, so now we are making it together as a final father-daughter project before I am booted out of the house (I am squatting with them since I am in the just-graduated-but-looking-for-job-and-apartment phase). You could always ask your dad or mom if they would make it with you, if overseeing staples and saws is the issue for them. :)
 

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I'm short too! I have to use a stool to reach Lola if she's at the top of the six foot tall one, lol.
 

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I think the condo looks great! But besides the base needing to be really heavy or maybe wider, too... is the cream/yellow area going to be wood on the outside? Because cats can scratch at wood a lot and eventually the wood would look terrible and the cats might get splinters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Glad I'm not the only one who has to tote a stool around for certain things. :lol: The majority of my family is 5"8 and over (most of that percentage over six feet) so I'm the midget in my house.

And Carmel, the outside will be painted wood, so that is one of my concerns that a cat might want to scratch the paint. However, the roof (the front is going to be like a western-style facade; taller than the actual house) will be flat and covered with carpet, with only the sides being actual painted wood. So they would have to contort a bit to get to the sides, but I guess it would depend on how determined the cat is...
 

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My two cents, mainly on the base. I strongly concur with those emphasizing stability and width. I have three cat trees. FYI, the most stable have four sisal posts at the bottom and a base of 28 inches by 24 inches. Three posts may work ok, but I think four posts are better. My other is 24x20 and is stable, but less so. Also, IMO marble in the middle would do little for stability, since it is how wide the base is and how far apart the sisal posts at the bottom are that mainly determine stability--weight in the middle will not do as much as you'd think to prevent wobbling.

Also, I might be misremembering, but if your cat condo/cubbyhole only has one cutout opening, you might consider a second one. That allows the kitty to feel safe but also not to feel cornered if you ever have more than one cat and the second comes up to the first while in the condo.

By the way, the sisal posts are really sturdy, get a lot of use and I have found still show virtually no wear after a year of constant use.
 

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Well I actually made alittle cat condo plan last night. My Dad is okay with it but my Mum think's I'm just drawing it up for fun. I'm going to start soon. It not that big, it's about nearly a metre tall. I know you can get way higher but I don't really want a big, huge one. It's got a ladder on the bottom with a sisal post behind it then up the ladder is a hidey-box; on top of that is another sisal post that leads up to a cradle kind of bed. The bottom base is a big carpet square. I'm going to make it myself,(DIY Sarah, lol), I'm not that handy but I guess my Dad will help me out;)
 

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Dads are good at helping out with that. I remember when I was a kid, my dad made me draw the plans for the cat condo/cat tree, and then he helped me build it. We used a hollow tube (concrete cast I think) for the main up part. We somehow put carpet on the inside and outside of it, and had three holes cut with little perches inside. Then it had some scratching posts, and short, medium, and high roosts. I can't remember what we used to weigh it down on the bottom, but I remember it being a big deal. It took us 4 weekends to finish and I was so proud!

I went the easy route with the kitty I have now, and got him a shortish one from Petco. He thinks it is funny to knock it over. He does it by standing on his back legs and pushing until it gives. Then he gets the kitty crazies and jumps all over it. Then he meows until I put it up again. Repeat process!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
NRD; My current plan is to have the 'third post' be the entire board that makes up the back of the house come down to attach to the base. I figure it will add extra support, and give a extra semi-cave like area for the cat. The two posts will be moved forward a bit (and I am considering adding two smaller posts to connect to the back wall and add even more support.) I will go over support issues with my dad definitely; he is a former construction worker so I am lucky enough to have a expert on-call if something doesn't work. :lol: I will also be widening and thickening up the base majorly. Gotta make sure it doesn't move a inch!

Also, I have a second hole in the roof for them to jump up. Do you think that will be enough, because of the placement? Thanks for all the suggestions. :-D

And that's awesome KittyLover! :-D As morse said, dads are always great for this kind of thing. And it sounds great, should be fun to make! (I can't wait to start on mine, but I have to wait until my next paycheck. :p)

And that is hilarious morse! I originally based the size of the base off a lot of store bought cat condos, so it's good to see the flaw in that- but awesome that your kitty enjoys it! (Every once in awhile, animals find a way to enjoy something in a manner completely different for what it is intended, and that always makes me laugh.)
 

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Also, I have a second hole in the roof for them to jump up. Do you think that will be enough, because of the placement? Thanks for all the suggestions. :-D
)
Probably so. At least you can try it out that way. Sounds like the base will be solid as a rock, which is good. And good luck with this, show us the pix once it is completed.
 
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