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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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...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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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I love your idea! I also vote for no lacquer!
You'll have to share pictures of your project with us!!:p:D
 

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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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When I was building the trees in my 8x4x8 foot iguana cage years ago we brought a hockey bag full of drift wood home from the west coast. Bleached it to disinfect, but didn't varnish it. The drift wood just saves on time since the bark doesn't have to be removed.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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If you are going to wrap rope around it you will need to air dry the branch for a year or more. It needs to shrink to the fullest extent possible or you will have saggy rope. I agree that most of the bugs are going to be between the bark and the wood. You could take the bark off in strips, then reattach after drying out. BTW, be sure a dry it out somewhere other than the house - like a garage or you will have the creepy crawlies in your home.
 

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For what it's worth the wood prep really is essential and your choice of which type of wood is part of that. Fortunately cedar is both common in your area and one of the better choices for this use. The oils in cedar make it somewhat naturally insect repellent, the bark lays tight to the wood and tends to shred rather than pull off in large chunks when dried well. And if you look up cat furniture that uses natural tree limbs/branches a large portion seems to be made of cedar. (I wish I could remember which site I read all about why using cedar was such a better choice on but I just can't - sorry)
I would love to see what you come up with.
N
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks everyone! no lacquer it is. we plan on putting platforms for sleeping/spying posts and plenty of sisal for scratching. we'll keep you updated!
 
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