I wanted to make a pedestal style cat tree out of things that I had around the house. Apart from some screws, I had all the materials I needed for this project.
I designed this to be nice and stable, hence the large base, but also large enough for a cat to stretch out on it if it wanted to. The top panel does not extend beyond the base so that the center of gravity is always over the base, even if the cat makes a jump for a table from the pedestal.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Here's a list of what I used for this project:
- 300mm x 600mm x 6mm MDF (the top board)
- 600mm x 600mm x 6mm MDF (the base board)
- 150mm diameter and 860mm high cardboard tube
- 8 angle brackets (I used shelving brackets and right angle brackets)
- Suitable screws or nuts (I used 24 of 3.5mm x 20mm / #6 x 3/4" countersunk screws and 24 of M5 pan head bolts and nuts)
- Spare carpet - needs to be a reasonable large amount due to this method.
- Sharp carpet knife or Stanley knife
- Staple gun
Step 2: Attach Base
I found the center of the base panel (the 600mm x 600mm MDF board) and drew where the brackets would go with respect to the cardboard tube. I then drilled holes for the bolts to pass through the base plate and pilot holes for the screws in the tube.
Using the screws, I attached the shelving brackets to the cardboard tube. Using a bolt and nut per hole, I attached the brackets to the base with the heads of the bolts going through the upper surface of the board (i.e. the nuts would be underneath the board).
The screws and the bolts were not flush with the surface but I dealt with that later on.
Step 3: Attach Top
Once again, I found the center of the underside of the top panel and marked where the tube and the brackets would be attached. I drilled holes again for the bolts and pilot holes for the screws.
Using the screws, I attached the right angle brackets to the cardboard tube. Using a bolt and nut per hole, I attached the brackets to the top board with the heads of the bolts again going through the upper surface of the board.
The screws were now hidden inside the structure but these bolts were also not flush with the surface.
Step 4: Cover With Carpet
Using the carpet, cover the surface of the top and have a reasonably large overhang. Cut out triangles so that when the carpet is folded over, it looks similar to the photos. This way, the carpet will cover up the protruding ends of the bolts so the cats won't hurt themselves on them. I used a staple gun to attach the carpet to the MDF in quite a few places.
For the base, use a similar method to the above but cut out a circle from the center and a line from teh circle to the edge of the carpet. Wrap the carpet around the center tube, fold the extra tabs over the edge and cover the bolts with the tabs of carpet. Staple down thoroughly. For any extra bolts that were visible, I stapled some scraps over them. This will prevent any damage to the floor that the pedestal would be positioned on since anything abrasive would be covered by carpet.
Finally, I measured around the circumference and the height of the tube. I then cut a rectangular piece of carpet that was the circumference of the tube in width and the height of the tube in length. Once again, I stapled this piece of carpet onto the pedestal and this covered up the brackets.
Ensure that there's no hardware that is protruding through the carpet and make sure there are no loose staples that could be easily snagged by cat claws. Remove loose staples and re-attach if needed.
Step 5: Admire Your Handiwork
Put the pedestal somewhere a little out of the way and lets your cat (or cats) play on it. It makes a good scratching post or resting place for cats and since this carpet was spare, I wouldn't lose any money if the carpet got ruined.
Thanks for reading.