Make a Flea-Free Cat Tree

You're just a few steps away from giving your cats a cute cat tree that won’t harbor fleas.

By Kristina Lotz

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Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
My husband and I almost admitted defeat on the war against dog and cat fleas. With five indoor pets, fleas kept coming back despite all our effort. We were so desperate, we removed all the carpet in our house and replaced it with vinyl flooring. As I scanned my house for anything else that could possibly harbor those pesky blood-suckers, I spotted my kitties happily napping in their carpet-covered cat tree. Agh! It had to go.

We immediately threw it away, but then my displaced cats began adverse behavior like sharpening their claws on my leather dining room chairs. I had to come up with a solution quickly, or the rest of my house would be destroyed. How to give the kitties a snuggly cat tree with removable pieces for washing or discarding to help prevent not only fleas, but illness as well? Here's my simple 10-step solution. You, too, can make your kitty a nice tower in any color to match your décor. Feel free to change the sizes – widths, lengths, heights – to fit your living space.

Supplies
  • 6 pieces of vinyl-covered plywood cut into the following boards:
  • 1 36-inch long x 20-inch wide
    2 18-inch long x 14-inch wide
    1 16 ½-inch long x 4-inch wide
    2 14-inch long x 4-inch wide
  • 2  3-inch diameter poles:
    1 32-inch long ;1 16-inch long
  • 22  1½-inch long wood screws
  • Hand or circular saw
  • 150 weight sandpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil or pen
  • Drill
  • Glue gun
  • 100 feet of sisal rope
  • 4  1-inch wood nails

  • Optional
  • 16-inch of adhesive-sided Velcro
  • Donut bed
  • Mat, blanket or pillow
  • Paint
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Directions

    Step 1. If not pre-cut, cut wood in above measurements and sand rough edges. We recommend either cutting or rounding off edges with sandpaper to make them less sharp.

    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Step 2. Take one of the 18-inch-long by 14-inch-wide boards (this will end up being base of top box) and measure 9-inch in on the short side and 7-inch in on the long side to mark the middle of piece of wood for the position of your pole. Mark this place with a pen or pencil.

    Step 3. Measure ½-inch out in three directions from the spot you marked in step 2. Using a 11/84 drill bit, drill 3 guide holes.


    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Step 4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 with the second 18-inch-long by 14-inch-wide board.

    Step 5. On one of the 18-inch long by 14-inch wide boards, use a 11/84 drill bit to drill 3 holes along one long side and 2 holes on each short side for screw guides.


    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Step 6. Screw the 16½-inch long by 4-inch-wide and 14-inch long by 4-inch wide boards to base from step 2 to make box. For security, screw side pieces together at corners, after drill guide holes.

    Step 7. Take the 36-inch long by 20-inch wide piece (this is the base of your cat tree). Measure 7-inch in from one short side and 10-inch in from long side, make a mark. Repeat on other short end.

    Step 8. Measure ½-inch out in three directions from the spot you marked in step 2. Using a 11/84 drill bit, drill three guide holes.
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Step 9. Screw poles to base. Then screw the box onto the higher pole and the flat board onto the lower pole. If you are painting, do so now.


    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Optional: Paint the exposed wood edges with a complementing color. We used black to match our black-and-white color scheme.
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Step 10. Cover poles with sisal rope using hot glue gun. For ease, nail one end of rope to pole before gluing and wrapping. Once done, nail other end to pole.
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Optional:

    Add a cat bed to the top box and a pillow or mat to the bottom step by attaching with adhesive Velcro. Cut Velcro into eight 2-inch strips, four for each bed. This will keep them from sliding when your kitty jumps, but will allow you to remove them for washing or for throwing away.

    Now your cat has a comfy spot to sit and you can have a house free of fleas!

    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree
    Make Your Own Flea-Free Cat Tree


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    Reader Comments

    M    Lake City, FL

    10/6/2013 11:56:29 PM

    What an incredibly useful idea! Thank you for sharing the idea and instructions!

    Michalle    Portland, OR

    10/4/2013 3:46:58 PM

    This a cool design! It's also most likely cheaper cost than buying one at a pet store - They can be expensive!

    Bill    Hempstead, NY

    10/3/2013 4:35:07 PM

    Thank you, Ms. Lotz, for this wonderful DIY project. If I may offer one suggestion, I believe a tube of Liquid Nails (Wal-mart or any hardware store) would do an even better job of securing the rope to the pole, and if you don't already have a glue gun, much cheaper in the long run as well.

    Finally, if you have an indoor cat or cats, you may also like this item of cat furniture. It's a cat window patio that fits in the window like an air conditioner. Check them out here: LINK

    Claire    Port Jefferson, NY

    10/2/2013 9:12:15 PM

    Cool

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