Introduction: How to Make Hand Crafted Cat Shelving or Cat Wall

About: I'm an artist, designer and high school teacher. I teach digital media and graphic design. I love to create. I love working with wood, paper, clay, pen and ink, photography, videography and beyond. There is a…

Introducing the Cat Shelf Wall by Andrew Jones

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Some years ago I created some basic cat shelving in the basement, shown in the very first section of the video above. The cats loved it, but I recognized some flaws in the design and after some inspiration, created the Catwalk for Kitty. Although I did start a business selling these online for a little while, demand was such that I could not keep up with the orders in a timely manner. It was simply too much work for one person to do.

I was even approached by Jackson Galaxy, in order to have my cat shelving on his TV show "My Cat From Hell". But due the the fact I was presently no longer making them, he did not want to show a product that was no longer available. (sadly) I initially contacted Jackson through his facebook page and he was so awesome to respond!

Of Course, when he did reach out to me for his show, I didn't believe it and thought someone was pulling our leg, so asked them to prove it. He then sent me this image:

We had lost our chance at making the show as I had already moved out of the workshop and had no space to create them for now.

Our thoughts moving forward is that if we can find someone to pre-cut the designs I have created, then we might be able to out-source the creation of the catwalks, and once more have them on sale on our website.

But for now, here is how I make my Cat Shelving.

The Cat shelf is created using the following:


  1. 1 piece 1/2" x 4' x 1' Birch Ply (I purchased this in 4' x 8' sheets)
  2. 2 pieces 1/2" x 4' x 1' Birch Ply (for sides)
  3. 1 piece 1/2" x 2.5' x 1' Birch Ply (for bottom)
  4. 4 x 1/2" or 3/4" inch birch ply strips (inside each corner re-enforcing strips)
  5. Wood Glue
  6. 1" Bard Nails
  7. 4' x 1' of carpet of choice.


  1. Table Saw
  2. Sander of Choice (for edges and all rounded corners)
  3. Furniture Brad Nail Gun
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Router & Bits
  6. Templates
  7. Clamps of Various Sizes
  8. Stain
  9. Polyurethane Sealant

The large 4' x 8' sheets are cut into tops, sides and bottom pieces.
You can create your own design, but I used:

top: 1 piece of 4' x 1' (rounded all 4 corners on a sander)
sides: 2 pieces of 4' x 1' (cut each each with a bias to add some design element, plus rounded all 4 corners on a sander)
Bottom: About a 3' length x 12" (edges only sanded, but left with square corners)

The inside side pieces, were routed with a groove of 1/2" wide, about 1/4" deep, almost the entire length on the top and the entire length on the bottom.

A bead of wood glue was run along the inside of the routed grooves of both inside, side pieces

The bottom pieces are then slotted into the lower groove and the top piece slotted into the upper groove.
The unit as a whole was then placed into a jog that helped it stay square and true while I then nailed the unit together with brads along the top and bottom, joining all pieces together strongly as a whole unit.

I created a template of a square cut-out for the top entry hole for the cats. And designed some cat paw, fish, bird etc. shapes for the sides facing outward from the wall for the cats to look out of.

After all rough edges were sanded, I stained (or not) to the color of my choice and allowed to dry for a few days to allow the finish to de-gas. Then finally a Polyurethane coat was added to seal the finish and allowed to sit again prior to mounting on the wall.

On the rear facing side, holes were drilled into the cat shelf, centered at 32" apart so they align with the wall construction of the wood studs. High strength steel screws were used in order to fix the shelf to the wall, making it extremely strong, able to hold 90lbs plus! Easily able to handle all the running, jumping and pounding they get every single day from our cats.

Our Cats LOVE Our Catwalks
To Make Them Right takes Time
I Create Mine in ALL Different Shapes and Sizes
I Love Creating

If you wish to check out the old website, here is the link. We might kick it back into action again, if we can work out some issues having the wood pre-cut etc.

Pet Contest

Runner Up in the
Pet Contest

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest