The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Cat Perch

My niece sent me a photo of a cat perch, and she wanted me to build her one.

Google Reverse Image search

Using this image, I searched and found that Petco sells this model for $150.  The ad also had the dimensions for this unit, and it about 58" tall.

I read the reviews, and many purchasers complained the $150 unit fell apart after a couple of months of use.

We have a small cat perch, and I know they are cheaply made, using cardboard instead of wood.  I decided to make my design Caterpillar D-11 bulldozer tough, so it would last for years.  I don't really want to do the carpet part, or wrap the posts with rope, so she agreed to do this part.

1 Piece or Transportable in pieces

When I showed my wife the design, she said you better make it transportable, because my niece's family no longer has a pick-up truck.   I decided to update the design so it would be transportable in a car. Here is an exploded view showing how it will be assembled.

Although not yet shown in the drawing below, I added a 45 degree lead-in chamfer on each of the 1-7/8x1-7/8" blocks that insert inside the 3.5x3.5" columns.

Start of Construction

I could use 3/4" thick plywood for the base and shelves..........but I hate lifting and breaking down the very heavy 3/4" plywood panels by myself.  So instead, I glued up 1x12 pine pieces, and used Kreg pocket screws. I glued and clamped the 3 pieces needed for the base, to keep the boards from moving when I installed the Kreg pocket screws. This is a fast and easy way to make big boards.  I am not sanding the joint, which is the worst part.....because they will be covered by carpet.


I could have used 3 or 4 inch diameter PVC drain pipe for the columns, but they are difficult to attach things.  Instead I made wood box columns with an outside dimension of 3.5 inch.  This allowed me to use standard 1x4's for 2 sides of the box, then rip the 1x4 down to 2" wide for the other 2 sides.

Starting Assembly

I made a lead-in chamfer on the solid wood posts that fit inside the box columns. I screwed the 3 posts to the base unit.  I cut the columns to their final lengths.  I used the jig saw to trim the 1st shelf to its final dimensions with a fine blade........which gave a smooth cut........also to cut out the 4 square holes for the posts.

Cat box and shelf above it done

Making 2 top perches

Ready to Paint


Completed Unit

Closing Thoughts on this Project

There were no real unexpected challenges on this project. 

Part way through this project, I noticed my Kreg pocket screws were protruding through the wood on a corner joint of 3/4 thick woods.   I checked the Kreg drill depth, it was correct.  Then I checked the angled fixture, and it had slipped down from the 3/4 to the 1/2" notch!!  I guess it pays to check for the correct setting each time you use the drill and fixture.