My wife wanted a cat. I didn't want a cat. We compromised and got a cat...well this little fur ball has been fun. He's been getting real sweet too. He comes over to me when I'm relaxing on the couch azxf&#be...Get off cat! I can't even touch my iPad without him jumping on top of it.
Anyway, our dog Lieu (Standard Poodle) is pretty smart. He was always finding a way to get to Artie's (said cat) food. I had to figure out a way to get his food up to a place where the dog couldn't get to it. We had this wall space at the end of kitchen that my wife had been asking me to fix. It had tile on it and was a bit dated. So I ripped it out one afternoon and made the wainscot to cover the wall where the tile had been.
Funny story, while taking a sledge to the tile my 10 y/o came in and said "what are you doing dad? We're gonna have to hire someone to fix that now." I look at him bewildered as I pretty much fix everything around here. I even do handyman work on the side. The wife chimes in "We don't need to hire a man Jonathan, we have a man"
Photos of cat and dog included.
Step 1: Inspiration...
The inspiration for this cat climber wall came from two things.
1st: This photo. Very cool idea.
2nd: I hate those carpet covered cat trees you buy at the pet store. Sorry, I find them kinda tacky.
Step 2: The Build.
There really aren't too many pearls of wisdom or hacks to give you here. I measured the space, took notes and went to the hardware store to get a bunch of 1/2 pipe and couplings.
One thing I can tell you, is I first mounted the trees too close together and the cat didn't know how to navigate up and down. That's why you see the wall damage, I had to move the tree on the left over a bit. I used 1/2 black gas pipe. I used gas pipe because it's cheaper than galvanized. Quite a bit cheaper too. You'll have to spray it with polyurethane though, it will rust. Even from the oil on your hands.
I laid the pipes out on the floor and basically experimented with different combinations until I found one I liked. The platforms are just pine boards I cut to fit the position. I wiped black wood stain on them and then immediately wiped it off, that gave it the light black look, and it looked good with the black pipe. I also put grip tape on the platforms. This gave Artie a lot of confidence going up and down. Before that, he wasn't real sure of himself on it.
Oh, get thread lock glue. A good one too. You won't always be able to thread the pipe in all the way and get it level and set. The thread lock will allow you to glue the pipe in position if you can't tighten it all the way.
Step 3: The Bowl.
For the bowl, I used an old oxygen cylinder the FD was scraping because it was out of hydro. I used a metal cutting bandsaw to cut about 1/3 of the top off. I then went to the hardware store and matched up fittings for it to take a 1/2 pipe thread.
I filled in the hole with black epoxy and then painted the inside black. After that, I used bar top poly to seal the bowl up proper.
The rim was another matter, I was originally going to file and smooth the rim out. Once I started, I thought a softer touch would look better and went to work on making a rim out of red oak. I used my lathe to make a rough profile to recess and glue the O2 tank into. After that, I cut it out with my scroll saw and sanded and polished smooth. Glued overnight and done.
Step 4: The Cat House.
I made him a cool little house on the very top. I even lined the bottom with a scrap carpet tile. When I was done, I asked the Mrs to come up with a funny way to make the cat look silly when he poked his head out. I was thinking along the lines of maybe a sharks mouth or a sign that read, "beware of cat". My with came up with the top-hat and bow-tie. Absolutely brilliant and perfect for this little scoundrel.
I just free hand cut the top-hat and tie. Stained them the same way as I did the platforms. The red band on the hat is glued on felt.
Came out awesome!
Step 5: Just a Bunch of Photos Here.
Like I said in the beginning, the space you have will dictate how you make this so there isn't any detailed measurements or instructions.
Enjoy the pics and happy building.