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7 DIY Cat Ladder Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

Homemade cat ladder with ornaments

Just like their wild counterparts, pet cats love to climb on anything and everything they can find. Regular furniture isn’t safe for cats to climb, however, and you may not want little paws all over your counter or tabletops.

Fortunately, cat ladders provide an excellent climbing alternative to cat trees and look much nicer in your home than a metal ladder from the hardware store. Best of all, you can make them yourself with easy-to-find materials and a few hours of your time.

Check out these 7 DIY cat ladder plans you can make today!


The Top 7 DIY Cat Ladder Plans

1. Step Ladder Cat Tree

Materials: Old stepladder, wood, twine or rope, pre-cut hardware tube, carpeting
Tools: Nails or screws, glue
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This Step Ladder Cat Tree uses a repurposed step ladder transformed into a cat tree with a scratching post. The design is simple to make since you already have the frame of the step ladder and provides a fun spot for your cat to play and explore.

You’ll need an old step ladder, a hardware tube, twine or rope, some wood, carpeting, and glue or nails for this project. To make things easier, get a pre-cut hardware tube and pre-cut wood planks. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the style or features to personalize it for your cat.

2. Recycled Ladder Cat Tree

Materials: Old wooden ladder, scrap wood, scrap carpet
Tools: Screws, screw gun, staplers, staple gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This simple Recycled Ladder Cat Tree is easy to make and saves you money. Instead of buying an expensive cat tree that your cat will wreck, you can use an old ladder and create fun obstacles and perches yourself.

This tutorial provides the basic outline and steps, but you can make it your own by including different lengths, different perches, and carpeted areas. If you want more enrichment, include some rope with hanging toys or carpet some rods and secure them for scratching posts.

3. Cat Ramp Ladder Thingy

Materials: Wood fence planks, hinges
Tools: Chop saw, square ruler, pneumatic brad nailer, molding brads, screws, router, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This Cat Ramp Ladder Thingy is the perfect design for your cats to climb or enter your house from outside. The creator of this tutorial built her ramp ladder to allow her cats to get inside, but no other animals.

This project takes a little more DIY know-how, but you can make it easier by getting pre-cut wood planks. Be sure that your ramp is secured to its attachment, whether that’s another cat furniture piece or your home.

4. DIY Cat Climbing Ladder

Materials: Wood planks, carpeting, sisal rope, toys
Tools: Screws, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This DIY Cat Climbing Ladder is a fun addition for your cat to climb to high places, such as cabinets, and observe its surroundings. The design is relatively simple, and you can jazz it up with carpeting, sisal rope with hanging toys, or perches.

You can use scrap wood or pre-cut wood to your specific measurements to limit the work involved. Otherwise, all you need is some scrap carpet, sisal rope, a drill, and screws. Be sure to attach the ladder to the wall or cabinet to keep it secure for your cat to climb!

5. DIY Cat Tree from Old Ladder

Materials: Old wooden ladder, carpeting, hammock, cat beds (optional)
Tools: Nails or screws, glue
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY Cat Tree from Old Ladder uses a repurposed old wooden ladder to transform it into a cat ladder and play place. The best part about this design is that you have freedom to find a vintage ladder that suits your décor, and you can customize it to your cat’s needs.

Once you find the ladder, you simply add carpeting to the platform and rungs to create lounge or scratching areas. You can also add another wooden plank to create another perch or add small cat beds to make it more luxurious. A pre-made hammock gives your cat another spot to lounge.

6. DIY Cat Tree

Materials: Large branch, twine, rocks, wood or MDF board, baskets, stain, and sealer
Tools: Chainsaw, jigsaw, table saw, drill, contour gauge (optional), handheld sander or sandpaper, screws, torque wrench, socket, staple gun
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This DIY Cat Tree is an attractive design that’s fun to build! While it takes a little more work and know-how, the result is worth the effort and creates a unique design that you can tailor to the space in your home.

Unlike other designs, this design uses large, sturdy branches and planks or baskets as perch areas. If you have a dying tree or shrub, you can cut the branch and treat it. You may also use an artificial branch from a craft or floral store. This project takes some time, so set aside an afternoon for planning and building.

7. Cat Tree on the Cheap

Materials: Old ladder, wine box, wood planks, sisal rope or twine (optional), paint (optional), cat toys (optional)
Tools: Nails or screws, screwdriver or drill, glue
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This Cat Tree on the Cheap is a versatile design that adds some rustic charm to your home. With a little paint and some fun accessories, you can create a fun cat ladder that your cat enjoys but doesn’t mar your beautiful home.

All you need for this project is an old ladder, a wine box, some wood planks, and some tools. If you choose, you can add some twine or sisal rope as scratching areas or suspend toys for your cat to play with. Beyond that, the design and color choices are up to you.

hepper single cat paw divider


While you can find many cat ladders and trees on the market, it’s more fun to create something yourself that works well for your cats and looks nice with your décor. We hope these cat ladder plans give you plenty of inspiration for your DIY cat ladder build!

Featured Image Credit: blende12, Pixabay