One of the most prevalent stereotypes about cats is that they're lazy creatures who love to sleep throughout the day. However, they are also known for being curious and oftentimes playful as well. These quirky characteristics, among many others, make these charming felines one of the most popular household pets around.
It is important to have toys and various items around the house to keep your cat content and entertained. While they are perfectly happy with a plain cardboard box, one loving cat owner went above and beyond to spoil her kitty. Cynthia, who goes by the username cdstudioNH on Instructables, decided to build an impressive "Cat Adventure and Escape Wall" for her beloved pet. "I wanted to design something for the whole wall, something that would be a bit artistic, sculptural, and somewhat functional for us (besides the entertainment factor)," she wrote of her project. After observing other DIY projects like the one she envisioned, she came up with a fully functional yet aesthetically pleasing wall structure for her tabby.
What you'll need:
- 1.25" x 8" x 8' premium pine (2)
- 11.25" x 48" stair tread (1)
- 2' x 2' birch plywood
- .25" x 3" x 48" strip of poplar
- 4' blue carpet runner
- Upholstery tacks (a few dozen)
- #10 biscuit joints (10)
- Biscuit joiner (Ryobi)
- Scroll saw
- Various types of shelf brackets (7)
- Arduino Uno kit
- LED strip
- Turning Knob
- Drop cloth
She started by putting some of her ideas onto paper. She then used these sketches to make some rough models of the potential structure with strips of paper.
After the initial drafting stage, Cynthia decided to first work on the rope bridge. "I cut the strip into six pieces for the slats and decided to experiment with different finishes that I had, as the winner would determine what would be used for the rest of the project finishing," she wrote on her post. After trying out three different options, she decided that the tung oil/wax mix was the winner. If you decide to use a similar mixture, keep in mind that it is thick and has a mild smell to it.
"I am glad I made a paper model of what I wanted to build," she wrote. "I am also especially glad that I labeled everything with letters according to their build progression [...] This made things a lot easier, as challenging as this project was." This would be terrific advice to remember when you try to make your own! Take it from someone who has been there and done that.
Next, it was time to take out the biscuit joiner (she used a basic Ryobi) and cut the mouths into the pieces of wood. She used #10 biscuits, two per width.
The next part of the project called for a lot of clamping. Cynthia advises to proceed slowly, only do small sections at a time, and to have various types of clamps at hand. You will also need to have glue, a damp sponge, a rag, and a drop cloth during this stage.
While the clamp-drying was slowly taking place, Cynthia returned her attention to the rope bridge. After drilling two holes on each end of all six slats, she used some large wooden beads and clothesline rope to string them all together. This cool bridge leads the feline adventurer right up to the awesome Cat Cave, as seen in the bottom right photo below.
Now it's time to make the wooden cat! Using a scroll saw, she cut the outline of the wooden kitty, as well as the holes for the "eyes" that the real kitty can use to observe the humans.
Next, she cut the stair tread so that it aligned with the bottom of the wooden cat cutout. She then routed a 1/4-inch groove and used a generous amount of glue and backer blocks to secure the cat silhouette.
Time to really bust out the elbow grease for the sanding and oiling! To ensure that the structure will be safe for any pets to use, it is important to give everything a good sanding. For her design, Cynthia also attached an LED strip into the groove. She then used shelf brackets to affix the complex onto the wall (she planned to put books and other decor onto it, so the shelf brackets will not be visible in the final phase).
The next part was to install the electronics, which included drilling holes into the wall for the LED cables and connecting them with the Arduino kit. If you have any trouble with the LED color scheme coding, you can refer to the code found here.
To complete this incredible structure, Cynthia laid out the carpet runner and pinned it down with upholstery tacks.
All that's left to do is to bestow this wonderful gift upon your kitty. Cynthia's cat absolutely loves the complex - and there were many parts of it to explore! Although the project was not easy, it was definitely worth all the time and hard work that was put into it. It's so rewarding to see the tabby enjoying every inch of this amazing escape wall. To view the full details of this incredible project, be sure to check out Cynthia's post here.
Don't forget to SHARE this marvelous creation with your friends and family.