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How do I convert a ladder into an inexpensive cat climbing tree? Answered


I agree with Kiteman.

Cut the legs of the ladder off so that your ladder is the height you desire. Apply scrap carpet (usually available free/cheap from a carpet store) to the surfaces the cats will be climbing. If it's a wood ladder, you can probably leave it bare and the cats will still claw it up real good. This might be noisier than you want, but it is good to give cats something to scratch.

If the cats don't start using it, try leaving food at the top or rubbing catnip into the carpet towards the top. Cats will always find a way to get to the catnip. Always.

I've found that cats don't necessarily just like to climb. They like to climb to something, like a bed or perch or vantage point. If the ladder still has the "tool shelf" on the non-human-climbing side, consider adding a bed of some sort. Put the catnip here. If it has rungs on both sides, you could sling a bed between the two topmost rungs so the bed is "inside" the ladder.

If your ladder is the "lean against the house" type, then you could just lean it up against the wall and anchor it. I would still try to put some sort of platform near the top.

As always, make an I'ble out of the project :D

The cheapest way is to just put it where the cats can find it. If you're up for a bigger job, try cutting it into pieces to make an A-frame that fits better indoors, and maybe wrap the rungs and risers with rope or hemp sacking to make them more claw-friendly.