Introduction: The Cats Tower

Picture of The Cats Tower

The design concept of the cats tower is all-in-one-cage which is narrow for human being, but wide for cats. In the all-in-one-cage, cats can eat, can do exercise, can do excretion and can sleep in the cage.
Those are [1]high curiosity to environment, [2]high mobility and [3]high ability of self decision. The high curiosity to environment brings out high ability to move, and the high mobility brings out high ability of self decision. The curiosity is the path to the mobility, the mobility is the path to the self-decision. The three features are genetically pre-installed within cats, I guessed so.
Cats can't stop learning of environment. The curiosity is expressed as [1]freely exploration, [2]freely research or [3]freely strolling. It looks like action gathering information for keeping their own life.
Baby cats hate small cage. Under the situation of lost mobility, genetically pre-installed 'anxiety' come up within cats' mind. I guessed so. Cats want to always keep the high mobility under any situation. Baby cats genetically hate limitation of their own moves.
Freely exploration is necessary for cat's health, but sometimes human being want to confine cats into narrow area for some reason. Notwithstanding confining cats into narrow area, we have to provide environment to freely-explore in order to keep cat under health. The floor of cat cage must be enough narrow for human being, but must be enough wide for cats also. This is the main issue for designing of the cats cage.
As physical exertion for fighting is necessary for men's health, physical effort for hunting is needed for cat's health. It may be possible to keep normal gene without healthy life, but it may be impossible to evaluate normal gene without healthy life. How can we achieve narrow hunting environment in a narrow cage? In the narrow hunting area, cats have to do spiritual concentrating, exploration and running.One of solutions is  a Small Aquarium for hunting exercise.
Many cats owners may put cats under free-range in house, but this cats tower is designed for confining cats in house for some reason. Let us confirm you that the confining is not for punishment for cats, it is for human being's activity.
How long time can we hold cats in a cage? How long time can we put cats in prison? Basically, if there is no uncomfortable problem, cats will never cry. If cats is satisfied, they will never say any mew. When cats sense some uncomfortable matter, cats will throw any sign of "free us now!"
We want to define an idea of "patience limitation time" that is from when cats are imprisoned to when cats start to cry. The "patience limitation time" shows comfortability of the cage.
Generally, the reusability of the cage is important for environmental recycle. High frame reusability is considered at design of this cat tower.
The main frame of the  cat tower have to be reused for any other objectives such as an interior for human being. Basically, this cat tower is a kind of louver architecture, so  then it is useful as a  lighting equipment, an interior or indirect lighting. It can be used as planter for any plant also. In addition to that, it is well-ventilated and well flammable, so then it can be used as crematorium. Any cats cage has lifespan, any cats have lifespan also.
At the middle part of this cat tower, a 300x240x140 sized aquarium is equiped.  It is just an aquarium for human being, but it is useful for cats as training of hunting sense. Any cats tend to stare fish in aquarium with their own genetical hunting sence. I guessed that it is well for their brain.
Cats like hemp string as a toy. Hanging something interesting by hemp string from upper part of the cat tower, cats tend to enjoy climbing the cat tower. I guessed that it is well for their brain also.
The main gate of the cat tower can be used as a trap for capturing cats. By moving vertical bar of the gate, the gate will be closed automatically. If you equip this cat tower in your garden instead of your living room, it can be  a trap for capturing.

Step 1: Prepare Timber & Lumber

Picture of Prepare Timber & Lumber

At first, we had to prepare timber & lumber like below.
I choosed Japanese cedar, but any other wood can be substituted.

(600x40x30)  13
(520x40x30)  24
(100x40x30)  22
(20x40x30)   72(6x12)
(40x40x30)   5

(520x40x30)  3
(85x40x30)   2
(45x40x30)   2
(270x40x30)  2

(520x40x30)  4

(100x40x30)  30(5x6)

(390x40x30)  3
(490x40x30)  5

(520x40x30)  60(30x2)
(300x40x30)  6(3x2)
(350x40x30)  10(5x2)
(400x40x30)  10(5x2)
(450x40x30)  10(5x2)
(500x40x30)  10(5x2)
(550x40x30)  10(5x2)
(600x40x30)  4(2x2)
(20x40x30)   120(4x30)

Veneer board for Base
350x350   1
520x10    5 
520x400   1

Step 2: Building the Base

Picture of Building the Base

Building the base of the cat tower by wood glue.
The size is 600x600

Step 3: Building the Base Block 600x600x600

Picture of Building the Base Block 600x600x600

Building the base block 600x600x600

Step 4: Building Base Block(2)

Picture of Building Base Block(2)

Building Base Block, keep cats to be hold on it.

Step 5: Set Stairs Within the Base Block

Picture of Set Stairs Within the Base Block

Set stairs within the Base Block by wood glue

Step 6: Setup Toilet Within the Base Block 600x600x600

Picture of Setup Toilet Within the Base Block 600x600x600

Setup toilet within the base block 600x600x600

Step 7: Building the Tower Parts

Picture of Building the Tower Parts

Building the tower parts on the base block


kirnex (author)2013-07-05

WOW. This is beautiful! I don't even have cats, and I want to build this. It would be great modded as a floor lamp--it's really beautiful. Thanks for sharing this with us. I feel inspired to do some building this weekend.

thattori (author)kirnex2013-07-05

Hi, thank you for your comment. If you created something like that, please let see.
I used cedar trees. Because it was very easy to get in my living town. When I choose timber, I was considering the visual pattern of wood. Various wood can be considered for this.

This sized tower is suited for kitten. When they grow up, they use the tower as a private room. When my house keepers use cleaning machine, they tend to go up to the upper part of the tower.

This is a kind of MASONRY structure. Stone block or brick are usually used for the structure. But for a inner room furniture, wood is suited for.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-01-16

This is so awesome! You should enter it into the Holiday Gifts Contest!  Also, you have the cutest kitties :D

My kitties became young cats, so they can go up stairs faster. They frequently go up to the top of the tower saying mew.

Iggylu (author)thattori2018-01-14

Couldn't find the comments box... Absolutely beautiful job! Also, did you make or buy the little round bed?

siamesederp (author)2017-04-17

I am building it, should be done in about 50 ish days. I am not a skilled in making things like this.

EllieB28 (author)2017-01-11

Hi, it's been about 5 months that I have been searching for a cat tree for my cats. my 14 year old cat preshus past away and her favorite spot was jumping on top of the fridge then onto the entertainment center, my 10 year old cat has been doing the same lately. however when I saw the DIY projects, I just love them. I have a small desk with a removable drawer outside in the porch and my 20, 19 and 10 year old cats love laying on it and sunbathe but it can hold only 2 cats at a time. I also have lots of rope just sitting in the shed. When I saw the DIY cat towers I was thinking maybe I can make something, but what and how? The legs are thin about 2x2 all around and I thought the drawer can be turned into a bed but then there will be a small open space where the drawer belongs...I'd love to have some ideas but I don't know where to start. I want to give my cats a nice place to play and stay because they are getting very old and my 19 year old has lost a lot of weight, he is not muscular any more because he has kidney disease and bone loss but instead of slowing down he has been more active, that is why I'd love to make something with stuff I have laying around the house. oh yeah I also have unused any drawings, pictures or sketches would be greatly appreciated. ^;^

AlexT112 made it! (author)2016-04-29

I pretty much had to when I stumbled across this project.

Originally I purchased 311 Ft. of 2x2 In. furring strip boards from big name home improvement store and intended on building a clone of what OP designed, minus the front gate since I don't need a cage. The 2x2 In. boards actually measured out to 1.5x1.5 In. or about 35x35 mm.

After seeing each individual frame built and stacked on eachother in a dry run, I knew right away that the original design wouldn't be stable enough for my cat. I Was right too, because I constantly hear her manically running up and down the tower.

The base of mine is built to spec of the original design. The tower is not and was built with a secluded nap zone above the entry. I also didn't use any frames with the lengths of 300 or 350mm since those seemed like they would take on a lot of stress and be a point of failure. The ones I built were repurposed for another project.

Below are the number of frames for each size used on the tower.

(300x40x30) Not Used
(350x40x30) Not Used
(400x40x30) 3
(450x40x30) 4
(500x40x30) 5
(550x40x30) 5
(600x40x30) 4

The inside platforms are close enough to another to negate the need for dedicated stairs, and significantly more sturdy. There are four of them which are glued and nailed in place.

I made two separate sections for the tower and base pieces so that disassembly is possible. These are held in place by 8 small wood blocks with countersunk bolts which can be seen from the front and back. The bolts are attached to boards that are mounted to the base of the tower.

BreRoz (author)2016-04-01

This is beautiful!

SirCooksalot (author)2016-02-05

This is gorgeous. Once again, I'm humbled and impressed by Japanese building technique, design, culture. Not to mention they have crazy beautiful lumber. The author says its $87 worth of materials... I'll bet you could get just about enough Japanese cedar to make a nice back scratcher for $87 here in the U.S.! The tower could be customized in infinite ways, you could easily string up a nice car hammock or two, add swinging toys, wrap some hemp rope around a couple of pieces of wood for a scratching post, and on and on... Love this.

daxamill (author)2015-08-11

Looks really good. My cats are going to love there's when I'm done.

sredden-robinson (author)2015-06-03

This cat tower is awesome! I'm in the process of pricing treated pine wood for 8 of my rescues that are now my forever babies! Now if my local Lowe's or Home Depot doesn't cut wood in mm; I'm going to have to break out the math and try to remember how to convert to feet or inches. 5

Green Silver (author)2012-12-06

Trouble is, with my fat cat and E=MC2.. It's lightly to topple over when she jumps from the top of it! :}

clazman (author)Green Silver2012-12-07

I think that is "equal and opposite reaction". :-)

schwabj (author)clazman2015-05-10

Yes clazman, it is one of Newton's equations not Einstein's. Also moments and inertia are in play here. So, a weighted bottom can overcome the height and the "fat cat" components.

dfodel1 (author)2014-11-25

How are you clamping all the glue joints? It looks like everything is glued together, so I am wondering if you glue and clamp as you move up a section at a time on the tower or build a small section at a time and then glue those sections together? I guess with the right clamps, one can fit the "nose" of the clamps in the gaps between rows and then do it a section at a time? Beautiful structure, just wish there was more detail in the actual construction of the tower section.

fayerz (author)2014-05-14

You my friend just solved my problem on fostering kittens while having 6 adult cats. You're a genius.

mrkey (author)2014-02-21

Hi, do You remember what was the cost of that tower ?
From my calculation it's about 334,2 PLN (100$)

Base on information from "Step 1: Prepare timber & lumber", whole construction took 95480mm (95,48meter)

Cost of timber (40x30mm) per meter is 3,5 PLN <-in my local hardware shop, so total cost is 334,18PLN or 109,98$

thattori (author)mrkey2014-02-22

What kind of timber do you consider?


mrkey (author)thattori2014-02-26

Only pine is available in my local hardware shop (probably because it is the most popular tree in Poland) and it's ~3,86$ for 40x30x2600.

For other types of wood or better price I would have to go to some lumber mill.

I asked about the cost, to have a comparison.

thattori (author)mrkey2014-02-28

For a cats tower of this, 52 pieces of 200x40x30 of lumber is required.

In my home town of Japan, the price of set of six pieces of 40x30x2000 of Japanese ceder is 980yen. It's about $9.63, according to the ratio "$1.0 = Yen 101.7294". The cost of the 9 sets of the 6 pieces sets was $86.67.

Because of not only for the cost of lumber but also the beauty surface pattern, I had chosen Japanese cedar.

For example paddock, ebony, teak, pine, ceder..., any other choice can be considered, according to various situation of each nation.

catsnow (author)2013-10-17

Way cool, I bet your cat has a lot of fun with that.

puahina (author)2013-05-13

this will help a lot my cat loves to climb

WaltNewman (author)2012-12-11

This is seriously a beautiful piece. It would be nice if more cat towers had both functional and aesthetic value.

SaveOurPaws (author)2012-12-10

That is a very nice, well-built tower, but cats should not be confined. Even with all of the excercise and entertainment inolved with exploring the cat tower, cats still need human companionship. NEVER leave your cat unsupervised in such a place for any length of time. They will consider that to be cruel of you. Plus, they may get injured: YES, cats do miss their mark when jumping and can also lose their balance and fall, just like people. * * If I were to make one, I would make the spaces between the boards large enough for the cats to climb through. That would keep them even more entertained. When they had enough fun and exploration, they could make their way to your lap for that long winter's nap all cats enjoy! :)

gecko_girl3 (author)SaveOurPaws2012-12-11

I'd first like to start by saying I agree with you, cats should not be caged in their home environment (shelters are obviously different situations). The only disagreement I have is although the maker of this 'ible refers to this structure as a "cage", you'll notice there is no door or gate to actually keep the cats inside of the structure at all times. There is a generous opening at the ground level, allowing the cats to come and go as they please. I believe all this talk of caging cats is merely a result of translation difficulties.

That being said. Thank you for educating people on proper cat care and to the maker of this fine cat tower, way to go! This thing is amazing!

Ooohhhh working on tatami? My mom would have killed me hahaha

Awesome cat tower! It looks so fancy and so much better than carpet towers!

makemyday (author)2012-12-08

This is so beautiful and practical! I am impressed with the amount of thought for cats well being that went into this. Excellent Ible that I (and my cats) can't wait to get started on.

OutlawKtulu (author)2012-12-06

Excelent Idea, but what are these measurements in? It looks to be centimeters?

clazman (author)OutlawKtulu2012-12-07

1500 mm is equivalent to the height of the average person.

clazman (author)2012-12-07

I love to read the comments on a project. Some very good ones here.

Oh! Very nice project!

rolltidehank (author)2012-12-07

It might be better or more convenient to move or add a higher level for the litter box. That way the smell rises away from the food and it would be more easily accessible if you added some kind of hinged or sliding panel for removal. Awesome cat structure!

theal8r (author)2012-12-06

WOW! I want to be reincarnated as one of your cats. My cats give you 5 stars.

mstroudm (author)2012-12-06

I can't wait to get my husband started. However, i would like to point out that cats don't like their cat boxes to be near their water and food. We might have to add a tunnel and this will be exciting for two DIY challenged humans.Thank-you from our siamese and burmese, for a beautiful structure that has purpose and is so pleasing to the eye.

jovino (author)mstroudm2012-12-06

mstroudm is right. Food and excrement belong in separate rooms.

LesB (author)2012-12-06

I see this as a nice cat accessory even if the cats don't need to be confined. Just make a door so they can enter and exit as they please. I think many cats would like to hang out inside this structure.

One could add carpet to one section to add a function a scratching post function.

I'm adding this to my project list!

suayres (author)2012-12-06

I agree with the other poster as regards whether cedar might be contraindicated. We have a vet appointment; I'll run it by her to see what wood(s) would be most cat-safe. In any case, the design is beautiful, and looks to be wonderfully enjoyable for cats of any age, particularly cats of the "tree-dwelling" persuasion.

AnnaLove (author)2012-12-04

I hope it's used as an exciting cat toy instead of an imprisoning cage until they reach their "patience limitation time". Yikes. Very cool as a toy cats can climb and explore though.

lamerc (author)AnnaLove2012-12-06

I'm pretty sure that's a translation/language problem. The emphasis in the text is on how best to keep them from feeling bored, anxious, or trapped when they need to be kept to a confined area. :)

saintneko (author)AnnaLove2012-12-06

I'm guessing this would be useful for those who have to foster kittens and have a reason to not let them out into the general population - beats the heck out of a nasty old cage!

Dowaine (author)2012-12-06

i need to make a extra large one for me :p

realife11 (author)2012-12-06

Even if you don't have a pet, this would be great just as a giant lamp structure. It's beautiful on it's own.

bkennelly (author)realife112012-12-06

I agree. And made from cedar it would smell lovely, as well

CatDoc (author)2012-12-06

Cedar can be irritating to respiratory tracts. This is usually a problem for animals kept in spaces much more closed than this (eg: hamster on cedar chips in an aquarium), but I've seen a few breathing problem over the years with cedar bedding or cedar-lined closets.

misko13 (author)2012-12-04

I'm sure my kitten will LOVE THIS!!!!

M.C. Langer (author)2012-12-03


gosphero (author)2012-12-03

Looks like the perfect kitteh jungle gym.

kmkennedy88 (author)2012-12-03

this is incredible

PadiDiver33 (author)2012-12-03

What!? I love it!

jessyratfink (author)2012-12-03

This is amazing. :D I need one!

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