Instructables

Ikea Hack Cat Tower

Picture of Ikea Hack Cat Tower
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This is a hack of Ikea GORM shelving for a cat tower. It was inspired by photos of outside cat stairs I have long since lost the link too and a need to keep the dog out of the cat food. 

If you live close to an Ikea you can purchase the individual pieces. If you mail-order the pieces you may have to purchase a shelf set as a base unit. This Instruable can be built with only the Ikea wood parts to minimize wood working requirements. Some disassembly is required and you may have some pieces left over. If you have some scrap wood, a drill, and a 3/16” bit you will only need a minimum of three short shelves.

Note: I used more but 3 is the minimum. You can use either long shelves or corner shelves as the steps. Long shelves will be cheaper. I had some corner shelves I no longer needed so used them on my second tower. Once you get the idea you will see there are many ways to do this. I show a couple of variations at the end. Here is the list of Ikea parts I used:

4 uprights Width: 3 7/8" Length: 68 1/2" Thickness: ¾”
5 short shelves: Width: 19 5/8 " Depth: 12 1/4 "Thickness: 5/8 "
NOTE: Two short shelves will be disassembled for parts. They may be replaced with 3 each minimum ¾” thick by 12-1/4” long boards that will require drilling.
5 long shelves: Width: 30 3/8 " Depth: 12 1/4 "Thickness: 5/8 "
- OR -
1 long shelf: Width: 30 3/8 " Depth: 12 1/4 "Thickness: 5/8 "
And
Two corner shelve sets: Width: 29 7/8 " Depth: 12 1/4 "
One solid 3” X 12” cinderblock for ballast
NOTE: The fractions are metric conversions so are not as exact as Ikea states.
Tools required:
Measuring tool (tape measure, yard-stick, Ikea paper tape, folding rule etc.)
Claw hammer
Wood chisel
Optional:
Drill motor
Small bit for pilot holes
(Drill Bits - Use a 1/8" for the hole in a home-made shelf support. If you want to drill a larger hole through the upright it isn't necessary but use a 1/4" Why? My handy Make: makezine.com Pocket Reference Guide by Thomas J. Glover recommends for soft woods a 55% thread penetration with the hole 1/8" deeper than the length of the fastener.
The Ikea wood screws shank and threads are the same width, 6mm or ~ 15/64" or .234 . This is also a size "A" bit. But we need a bit that drills a hole only 45% of this or  .129. Well .1285 is a #30 bit and .125 is 1/8"  or "Close enough."  By accepting as Ikea does the need to thread the screw through the upright as well as the shelf support a you can get by with one bit.)
 
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Shiseiji (author) 1 year ago
Nice kitty! Yes, the both use them to eat on, keep the dogs away from their food. Bella likes to lie on the 1/2 tube and watch what's going on. You could put carpeted tubes in the GORM shelving too. Cut holes in the tube for Benny to go through from one level to the next. I once made a cat feeding station built into a passage way/laundry room that was the same deal, holes and shelves for Tiger to zig zag through to get to the top. She likes that one too.
lydiatyler1 year ago
Benny
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lydiatyler1 year ago
I am gonna try and make this for my Bengal kitty Benny!! He loves to climb. Do your cats use it alot now that they are used to it?
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Shiseiji (author) 1 year ago
I doubt it, shelter resuce, I suspect a ferral, classic "random-bred domestic cat". I sometimes call her "ABC" for the Almost Black Cat as she has a large white patch on her belly and a few stray white hairs on her chest.
Shiseiji (author)  Shiseiji1 year ago
LOL ops, I didn't look, sorry! That's Tiger Lilly my GF's cat in the picture. I think Tiger is the same deal, a random-bred domestic cat. She's over 18 at this point, and doing pretty well. I ended up making two towers, one for each cat. Bella goes on Tiger's to eat her food. Little witch. :-)
lydiatyler1 year ago
Hi is your cat a Bengal cat?
ChrysN3 years ago
Cool idea!
Shiseiji (author)  ChrysN3 years ago
Thanks!