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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:37 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I think you may be overreacting just a little regarding the wood. Most cat trees are covered in carpet and the wood is not exposed where the cat uses it. I just checked mine and the Armarkat is plywood, the Mollie & Friends is completely covered in carpet and sisal so I can't tell for sure (but it was an expensive tree), the North American is made of particle board (and it was more expensive than the Armarkat one).

By all means go with plywood with the next one if that's what you want to do. You have done a superb job. I'm guessing the kitty may love the top platform over the kitty bed. Now sure what size you made the kitty bed, but I thought a 16" one would do for my bengal, however, he gets inside and it's tight for him, even lengthwise. On the 15"x15" platforms, his feet will hang out in the opening.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:59 pm 
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Sherry wrote:
I think you may be overreacting just a little regarding the wood. Most cat trees are covered in carpet and the wood is not exposed where the cat uses it. I just checked mine and the Armarkat is plywood, the Mollie & Friends is completely covered in carpet and sisal so I can't tell for sure (but it was an expensive tree), the North American is made of particle board (and it was more expensive than the Armarkat one).

By all means go with plywood with the next one if that's what you want to do. You have done a superb job. I'm guessing the kitty may love the top platform over the kitty bed. Now sure what size you made the kitty bed, but I thought a 16" one would do for my bengal, however, he gets inside and it's tight for him, even lengthwise. On the 15"x15" platforms, his feet will hang out in the opening.


Ya i may have been overreacting a bit. I was kind of surprised when I read the info over again last night, but I think it will be okay. Just as an aside, Mollie and Friends does use pine instead of PVC for their posts, which is pretty clever seeing as pine is lightweight as well.

As for the cat condo that I built, Im going to quite honest, it didn't exactly turn out the way I saw it in my head. I didn't think it would be so big and heavy when I was drawing it out (although I am pretty certain it will never break LOL). I'm going to finish it off today -and then on to my last hurrah. I'm going to make a really really simple one for my kitchen, that incorporates one really long 6' scratching post, and only two to three simple perches. Going to try and make this one as lightweight as possible.

PS: Sherry, the size of my condo is 16 x 24. My initial idea was that I wanted to fit the cat bed (its actually a small dog bed) into the condo itself. After I carpeted the inside, I realized I may not need to put the cat bed inside after all, so it will go somewhere else. I mainly made the opening in case he wanted to use it to hide ever. Also, another thing: the opening/hole is so crudely cut. I am kind of embarassed at the way it turned out. It was originally a rounded shape opening but the carpet was so stiff it just screwed up my whole plan. Im going to have to borrow or buy a jigsaw next time. A hand saw just doesnt cut it lol

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Matt, stop being so hard on yourself! You did an incredible job for your first time! Honestly!!! Great size for the cat bed and I know your little one will use it. I would have all Molly & Friends cat trees, except they are super expensive, but so solidly made! With the tools you had, you created something awesome! We want a picture of it done and then a picture of your kitty enjoying it! My North American one is a stepper with a sleeper on top. Not much to it, but still expensive in my opinion. I think cats love more than one cat tree -- I know my Molly & Friends is in front of a window and Raiden loves to be there looking out. It is only 36" high


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:55 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Yea, like Sheri said, most of the, lets call them affordable commercial, cat trees have no exposed wood. 100% covered in either rope or carpet. And they use a lot of materials like cardboard, or that really thin fiberboard or stuff like that, strategically, to keep the costs down and make it lighter (although I'm not sure lighter is necessarily beneficial when you consider stability).

As far as it not turning out exactly like you envisioned, in times like that it's best to remember the Malcom Gladwell 10,000 hours thing, which basically states that you don't get really good at something until you've done it a lot of times. You're probably getting close to being able to make some incredible cat trees, but to do that you've got to make some that you're probably not going to be satisfied with first. And lastly, you haven't even met the expert in this field yet! You'll learn a lot by observing your new kitty and learning what she does and doesn't like.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:09 am 
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It looks fabulous!

I have a small scratching post (and a big tree). The small post just had carpet around it and in under a week my bengal had shredded it completely and you could see the material underneath. I have attached my own sisal to it and it works much better now, far less easy to shred.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Sherry, thank you! and great idea. I will probably put one or two of these cat trees near a window so Miko can look outside.

Brian- I read Malcolm Gladwell's book too but forgot all about it! (I read it in grade 12, years ago) but you are indeed correct. And this helped keep me motivated too, Brian. I was like "Ya! Next one I make is going be better, and then next one even better!" This next one I am building has a 6 foot round scratching post as a main support, and then 3 main perches at various heights, with ramps coming down from each. Included a picture at the bottom of my post.

Fernstar- Eek! The carpet better not rip off of mine LOL, but I guess if it does, it will be a learning experience ^^

Sorry again for the sideways pictures. The pictures are right side up before I upload, but after I upload it, Tinypic likes to change it up on me lol. Heres two pics, one of the new one in progress, and then a picture of the two I have finished (cat condo is basically done, minus a hanging ball, and some carpeting) Excuse the mess please :) My baby comes home with me this coming Monday so the house will be immaculately clean before he gets home.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:52 pm 
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Wow, lovin the look of the Rev 2 model :biggrin: I would buy that! The main challenge will be giving kitty a way down when she scales that thing and gets to the very top. But there are many ways to achieve that. If I had that cat tree, I would probably use wall shelves as the way down.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Holy Moly, Matt! How many cat trees are you making? It's not fair for the cat to have more furniture than you! :biggrin: :biggrin: Great job!!!! You have a talent.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:48 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Brian, wall shelves are a great idea. I might have to try that, it would work well with the unit I just finished today. I may also just add two extra perches on the main posts (one on left, one on right) as intermediary steps so its easier for Miko to get down.

Sherry, if I had the tools to build my own furniture, I probably would :P Woodworking is such an expensive hobby though.

Here are some pictures of the newest one (6'+) as well as a 4' scratching post that I also started today. Unfortunately, I ran out of staples and glue, and Im working the next few days so the scratching post will be "To Be Continued".

Humorous Note: I completely forgot to attach a lip on all of the perches so that when a cat is sleeping up there, they won't fall off as easily. I had planned to attach these nice triangular cedar cut-offs I had from before, but in my haste, I forgot all about it and didn't realize that I forgot to put them in until after I finished carpeting LOL. So I will be attaching them on top of the carpet on certain edges. The top perch will have this triangular edging on 3 sides.

BTW, what do you guys think of the ramps? Think a cat will be able to get down those safely?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Very impressive build!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I don't know about the ramps. It's easy to climb up them. You have them covered. I guess you will have to wait and see. Mine jumps from the middle of the tree down to the ground and doesn't use the shelves that stagger. I guess you are like my husband (who also loves woodworking and has a Shopsmith). No "blueprints" are necessary! Not me. Here is what I designed and he built years ago for an outdoor cat we had. We currently have an outdoor cat that is using this. Doesn't look quite as new as this anymore, but the upper room has a heater and heated bed and with today's snow and high of 27 degrees, the cat is comfy inside.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:25 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Sherry wrote:
I don't know about the ramps. It's easy to climb up them. You have them covered. I guess you will have to wait and see. Mine jumps from the middle of the tree down to the ground and doesn't use the shelves that stagger. I guess you are like my husband (who also loves woodworking and has a Shopsmith). No "blueprints" are necessary! Not me. Here is what I designed and he built years ago for an outdoor cat we had. We currently have an outdoor cat that is using this. Doesn't look quite as new as this anymore, but the upper room has a heater and heated bed and with today's snow and high of 27 degrees, the cat is comfy inside.


That is an awesome cat condo for outside! The heater and heated bed must be a nice touch for the kitties :) Your cat condo puts mine to shame haha :P

I've worked in a woodshop before making furniture and cabinets for the local school board here and during that time, blueprints (we call them "drawings" or "plans") were absolutely essential for our projects. When doing that type of woodworking, we had to be correct with our measurements and cuts, down to a 16th of an inch, sometimes even to a 32nd.

I no longer have access to a full woodshop, but I was telling my friend: If I did have a full woodshop and no budget (LOL), imagine the amazing cat trees (and other things) I'd be able to make. Maybe my dreams will come true one day :)

These cat trees are fun for me to build because they don't require too much thinking. It's like building with lego for me, I just cut what I need and screw it in lol. I have been looking at some of the ways these other big brands put together their trees though, and it's pretty interesting the different systems that they use. (Much more user-friendly and way easier to assemble)

Btw Sherry, here is a little "treasure" box (originally made it as a jewelry box for my mum, but it turned out a little bigger than I'd planned in my head) that I made last year. My boss allowed me to work on a personal project once in a while when I was at that woodshop so I went to the lumber yard, picked up some cherry and here is what I managed to come up with. (First time doing dovetails!)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Matt, that treasure box is gorgeous!!!! I'm sure it means the world to your mom. Not everyone has the talent to woodwork. In the 80's, we built house and built all the bathroom vanities (7), utility room cabinets, and wet bars (2) ourselves. We had the kitchen ones made. It was a project and a half, but we enjoyed it. There is something special when you take pieces of work and construct something wonderful. Your passion now are cat trees! And it sounds like you will have a houseful of them!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Wow! What a talent you have! That is one lucky kitty!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:14 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Sherry wrote:
Matt, that treasure box is gorgeous!!!! I'm sure it means the world to your mom. Not everyone has the talent to woodwork. In the 80's, we built house and built all the bathroom vanities (7), utility room cabinets, and wet bars (2) ourselves. We had the kitchen ones made. It was a project and a half, but we enjoyed it. There is something special when you take pieces of work and construct something wonderful. Your passion now are cat trees! And it sounds like you will have a houseful of them!


Wow, I cannot wait until I can buy a fix-er-upper of my own and re-do all of the interior. Im sure you are so proud of the work you did on your own house. I really believe it's one of the best ways of doing things, if you can actually do it right. The plumbing must have been a little tricky with the vanities and the wet bar though, so great job for even attempting that! And Im sure you and your husband did a fantastic job :)

And thank you Jacqueline, really appreciate it!

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