I turned my bookshelf into a cat-approved climbing tree

Guest post by Ellyiar

cattree1-1For years I’ve wanted a bookcase that incorporates a cat tree. I think it’s really important for my cats to have a designated place to scratch that isn’t the furniture and a way to be the tallest thing in the room without knocking over breakable stuff I care about. BUT I hate the look of cat trees. Hence, the cat tree bookcase.

I had visions of one of those cool maze half-cat climber half-bookcases that you can find online, but are WAY too much money. Also, you still end up with a giant piece of furniture almost entirely dedicated to cats.

Then I had a brainstorm. We had an old crappy bookcase that I was about a second away from tossing out and a cat tree I couldn’t figure out where to put in the house that wouldn’t drive me crazy. INSTEAD, I figured out how to make them into exactly the piece of furniture I always wanted.

cattree2I positioned the book case in an empty corner, putting the back against the wall but leaving about two feet between the side and the other wall.

I took off just a couple of the scratching post pieces from the cat tree, and two of the platforms (you could probably make your own platforms — but I was being lazy and didn’t want to waste what I already had). Then I screwed the scratching posts into the side of the bookcase facing the wall.

I wedged one of the platforms between the corner and the bookcase, just above the two scratching posts, maybe 3-4 feet off the ground. Then I screwed it into the bookcase and both walls (I was paranoid about it breaking when the cats jumped on it, so I probably overdid it.)

Then I screwed the other platform directly into the top of the bookcase so my cats had somewhere nice to sit at the top.

And they love it! Total success. I finally got something I’ve wanted for a while, and it didn’t cost anything.

Comments on I turned my bookshelf into a cat-approved climbing tree

  1. I love this! We’ve been trying to think of ways to give our kitties more climbing space in our tiny apartment, great idea!

  2. Dude, that’s a great idea! I have a cat tree in a corner by a bookcase too, and now you’ve got me scheming about how I can make this work in my place!

  3. So cool! Have you had any problems with them trying to climb in the bookshelves? Or do they stay in the cat-designated areas pretty well?

    • They haven’t tried to go on the bookcase itself at all. Or at least not while I’ve been watching…

  4. My cat would see this as an invitation to climb in the shelves and knock everything off.

    My cat is a jerk, though.

    • Mine too… We found a way to keep one of them out of a shelf with a sheet of plexiglass, but eventually she found a way under there and sat pleased as punch amongst a dozen warhammer models…. We taped it down after that.

  5. Very clever idea! I actually have a bookshelf that is stair-case-shaped, so I leave the top uncluttered and it’s like a cat tree for my furry baby 🙂

  6. I like it!! My cat has already figured out how to get from our desk to the top shelves of the bookshelf, but I’m sure she would prefer a route to the very top. Clever and simple solution!

    • That was part of the reason I made it. I’ve found with my cats that they get on less things they shouldn’t if I provide better places for them to jump on and scratch.

      • I was just planning on adding a shelf between our two wardrobes because our kitty has learned to leap from my other half’s nightstand to the top of one of the wardrobes – knocking over most of the things on the nightstand in the process! Sometimes it’s just safer to make it easy for them. This will be a big help, thank you 🙂

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