Help me build a better cat tree.
February 16, 2008 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Help me out with building a cat tree.

I normally build my cat a customized cat tree and have no problem with the construction and safety aspects but I always have difficultly laying the carpet around the wooden platforms and legs.

I have seen some trees that have the carpet laid over all the surfaces of the tree as opposed to just the tops and the sides. I normally have the platforms and legs totally wrapped but end up with seams at corners and joints. These all inevitably end up shredded, tattered and requires me to constantly prune dangling strands of carpet. Does anyone have any tips to make it clean and sharp like this?
posted by bigcheesegump to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The key here is stretching it, what I do is stretch it, clamp it, stretch it again, clamp it, then tack it down, cut. The kind of carpet you use is also pretty key.
posted by iamabot at 10:36 AM on February 16, 2008

You can also try carpet tack strips, I suspect those cat trees use them and wax the seams.
posted by iamabot at 10:54 AM on February 16, 2008

This isn't *quite* the answer you are looking for, but I did just see this really cool cat tree design on Ikea Hacker. This design only uses the carpeting on the top of the platforms, but still looks pretty sharp.
posted by evilcupcakes at 11:35 AM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I made mine from a carpet remnant about 7 years ago and it's only just now starting to shred. I used a couple of 4x4s for the posts and cut up a pine 1x8 for the platforms. I used carpet tacks (requires hammering) to attach the carpet to both the posts and platforms and it worked very well. Clamping does indeed help.

You might look for some sort of industrial carpeting rather than anything shaggy. It's the shag stuff that tends to create carpet shrapnel.

I'd personally avoid the carpet tack strips mentioned above. I've stepped on them before and it hurts like hell. Secure the carpet with something that points down, not up, so you don't puncture kitty's paws.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:42 PM on February 16, 2008

Carpet tack strips will poke through and hurt you or the cat. Glue or a staple gun are the best ways to go.
posted by eclectist at 11:51 PM on February 16, 2008

Can you singe the edges ot the carpet with a lighter to seal the threads? I haven't tried this on carpet, although it works on some crafting materials I've used, so test it on a scrap before you send your cat tree up in flames, please!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:25 AM on February 18, 2008

even the clean-line example that you linked to will eventually get scratched and worn and frayed at the ends. I don't know that there is really any way to avoid this, if your cats actually use it. We have (a purchased) one like that, and it is well-worn, but the good news is that our couch is in tact! :)

Now, the cat tree is too ugly for the living room, but they love it too much to throw away, so we put it in the garage (where our cats are allowed to roam sometimes) and they get excited every time they see it.
posted by giddygirlie at 6:15 PM on February 23, 2008

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