GADGETS & ACCESSORIES

Cat Bridge DIY: An Enriching and Stimulating Environment for Your Indoor Cat

cat walking on bridge
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

Is your feline friend taking over your world? Is he the kind of cat that sleeps on your leather couches, perch on your expensive furniture, or darts too close to your valuable ceramic or soapstone vessels? Does he enjoy sleeping in your bed and leave you with no space to stretch out after a busy working day? Well, if that sounds like it’s you, we think it’s about time that you build some creative cat furniture for your feline friend instead. Take, for example, a cat bridge DIY.

Cat bridges are a good idea because they cater to your cat’s love of high places. Plus, they don’t take up a lot of space. There are many types of cat bridges available on the market today. However, due to their design and complexity, these cat products usually end up being sold at high prices.

cat sleeping on human bed

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a quest to renovate your living room into a kitty paradise. There are lots of DIY procedures you can incorporate to build a simple and stylish cat bridge that will not only cut your budget but will also fulfill your cat’s every desire.

Now, to guarantee your cat’s comfort at all times, this how-to article will give you an exclusive step-by-step procedure on how to build a DIY cat bridge at home. Our cat bridge is designed to offer a safe and entertaining haven where your feline friend can play or just rest on without worrying about anything. Before we move on to the actual instructions, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of building a cat bridge.

Why Consider Building a Cat Bridge DIY?

cat playing on bridge

There are many reasons why you need to build a DIY cat bridge for your feline friend.

Reason #1: Kitty Perch

First, your feline friend is very similar to his brothers in the wild. Although he doesn’t need to hunt or avoid predators, your cat will still most likely prefer resting on higher grounds to supervise whatever is going on in the household.

This is also the reason why cats love to climb trees. But climbing trees can be dangerous for cats, which is why you should provide a safer alternative for them.

See Also: How to Get a Cat Out of a Tree

Reason #2: Better Health

Another reason why a cat bridge is so essential in your home is that it provides a place to exercise. Fat cats can take advantage of to cut off excess weight.

See Also: How to Make Cats Lose Weight

Also, in case you live in a multi-cat household, an additional vertical space above the ground ensures that there’s enough space for all your cats—thus reducing the possibility of turf wars.

See Also: How to Tell If Cats are Playing or Fighting

Reason #3: Cost Effective

Finally, another reason why you need to build a DIY cat bridge is to avoid spending too much money on store-bought cat structures. Building your own DIY cat structure will cost you less as compared to buying a store-built structure, especially if you intend to set up a large and extensive structure.

Step-by-Step Procedure on How to Build a DIY Cat Bridge

great place for cat bridge

Follow these nine simple steps to build your very own DIY cat bridge. Your cat will definitely thank you for it.

Step #1: Finding an Ideal Location

The first step is to find the best location to build a DIY cat bridge. Here, you’ll have to think like a cat and recognize a strategic location where your feline friend will have a perfect view of his surroundings.

See Also: How Do Cats See

Now, since we want the bridge to be as safe as possible, locating the DIY cat bridge next to a wall—preferably in a corner—will allow your cat to feel more secure when resting with his back against the wall.

Step #2: The Materials

plywood for making cat bridge

Once you’ve recognized a perfect location to construct your cat bridge structure, the next step is to ready the materials.

Now, among the basic things you’ll require for your DIY cat bridge project include:

  • 2 x 2 inches birch plywood. Make sure that the plywood you buy is not treated or pressure treated. Treated wood contains toxic substances that are very harmful to your feline friend’s health. Make sure that the wood is cut according to your required measurements before transporting it to your home.
  • Premium pine
  • Upholstery tacks
  • Joints
  • Shelf brackets
  • Carpet. You can simply use your old house carpet to give the cat bridge a uniform color that blends with your living room interior décor. Make sure that the carpet is sturdy, scratch resistant, stain resistant, and durable enough to withstand possible wear and tear.
  • Sisal ropes. When purchasing sisal ropes, consider buying the cheaper option. Since you’ll need to wrap a lot of it around the tower, cheap sisal ropes will cost less as compared to buying hemp or other expensive alternatives.

Step #3: Build the Posts/Perching Spots First

Start off by taking precise measurements of the shelves, boxes, and other posts or perching spots you may wish to add to the structure. Cut each piece carefully and label them according to their build progression. Make sure that the boxes are at an angle of 90 degrees to avoid making the project too complicated.

After cutting the wood pieces, use plenty of glue to build the shelves. To avoid making any errors along the way, build small sections at a time until the shelves are all done.

See Also: DIY Cat Shelves

When you’re through, you can decide to paint the shelves to match the interior décor, or you can opt to carpet them.

Step #4: Build the Connecting Rope Bridge

connecting rope bridge

The rope bridge is designed with pieces of wood that are cut into equal sizes to make the slats. Place the slats on your workshop table and drill holes on both sides. Use clothesline ropes and large wooden beads to bind the slats together to form a stable cat bridge that connects the shelves you’ve built previously.

Step #5: Build a Cat Cave

Since the structure is a do-it-yourself, you can also try to be more creative and think of something super epic and adventurous for your feline friend. For pet parents with large living rooms, you can decide to add bookshelves, boxes, ramps, and caves to create more space for your feline friend to relax and play.

When you’re done, pick a Sonotube or rather a cardboard tube and use it to build a cat cave your feline friend can hide in when resting. Sonotubes come in varying sizes including 8, 10, and 12 inches. Cardboard tubes are easy to use and are perfect for building cat condos, perches, tunnels, and other cat structures.

See Also: DIY Cat Cave

Step #6: The Wooden Kitty

wooden cat decoration

This step isn’t mandatory, but it’s great for decorative purposes and to keep your feline friend captivated at all times. Here, you’ll need to draw an image of a kitty on a piece of wood, then use a scroll saw to cut through the drawing gently.

When you’re done, use fine sandpaper to smooth the shelves, the cat bridge slats, and the wooden kitty before oiling them or applying some clear varnish.

Step #7: Attaching the Structure to the Wall

When the structure is ready, it’s now time to attach it to the wall. Here, you’ll need to place an L-bracket along each side of the shelves to mark the areas where you’ll drill the holes.

When you’ve marked the points, remove the brackets and drill the holes using an electric driller. Make sure that you drill the exact points you’ve marked to avoid any complications when bolting the shelves to the wall.

When you’re through, feed the bolts to each bracket and ensure that each shelf is steady and firm.

Step #8: Carpeting

carpet pieces for cat bridge

Now that the brackets are firmly fitted, it’s time to carpet the base of the shelves, the cat cave, and the cat bridge to give your feline friend something more exclusive to smile about.

Here, you’ll need to get a piece big enough to cover the entire structure from the base of the shelves to the sides. Also, there should be several leftovers to fit on the sides of the shelves, the cat bridge slats, the cat cave, and the posts.

Set the carpet pieces on the base of each shelf and mark where you’ll need to cut through. Do the same for the cat bridge slats and the cat cave.

When marking the carpet, make sure that you leave some extra material that will extend under the base of the shelves for stability. You can use short wood screws to attach the carpet to the structure, or you can simply use a staple gun in case the wooden screws are too long.

After securing the carpet on each side of the shelves, the slats, and the cat cave, it’s now time to attach the structure to the wall. Remember, there are two DIY methods for designing an affordable cat bridge. Some people might prefer to attach the structure to the wall while others might prefer building it independently using supporting posts (to resemble a cat tree).

In our case here, we’ve decided to use shelves which will be attached to the wall then linked with the cat cave and the wooden kitty shelf via the cat bridge. The best thing about this type of cat bridge is that the shelves can be used to display your valuables while the top will be used as perches your feline friend can rest on.

For those of you who prefer supporting the cat bridge with posts, you will need to wrap them with sisal or carpet to secure them from possible wear and tear while still providing your feline friend with the perfect place to play or sharpen their nails.

Step #9: The Lights

Finally, after everything is set up, you can add an LED strip to the structure to make it more appealing. Most people use upholstery tacks to attach the LED strip to the shelves while others use glue or staple gun to do the same.

The addition of LED lights to your cat bridge DIY is not necessary. However, since this structure serves a double role of entertaining your kitty while still offering space to store your books, there’s the need to make it appear more glamorous to give your living room a more modernized appeal.

How to Lure Your Cat into Using the Cat Bridge

cat sleeping on bridge

Will my cat appreciate my effort? Perhaps you’re wondering whether building a DIY cat bridge is really worth the time and effort or not. It will depend on your feline friend’s spirit of adventure, how welcoming the cat bridge is, as well as the location.

Earlier on in this post, we mentioned that when building a cat bridge, you’ll need to think like a cat and identify a perfect location—preferably near the window so your cat can relax and sunbathe. Apart from the sun, such a location offers a perfect view of the yard, the trees, and the birds, so it should appear appealing to your cat.

Now, in case your feline friend doesn’t appreciate the new structure, don’t despair. Simply sprinkle some catnip around the structure or place some treats on the shelves, the cat cave, or the cat bridge to lure him in.

If you’re not busy, you can try playing with your feline friend around the structure as well as congratulate him whenever he climbs on to give him a positive mentality of the new structure.

Wrap Up

cat enjoying his bridge

If your cat is an indoor one, the best way to keep him fully entertained is by providing him with a sufficiently enriching and stimulating environment. Apart from offering ample space for your cat to rest on, DIY cat bridges also provide a simple and strategic place to keep your books and souvenirs for easy allocation.

See Also: Indoor Cat Lifespan

Building your own DIY cat bridge will save you a lot as compared to purchasing a readymade unit from cat stores. Finally, we hope that this step-by-step guide on how to build a DIY cat bridge was educative for all pet parents looking for a more creative way to stimulate their indoor feline friends.

If you really enjoyed the guide or maybe if you think we left something important behind, please don’t hesitate to send your thoughts in the comment box below. Does your cat still prefer your kitchen countertops even after you’ve built a cat bridge for him? Try this article to find out more about how to keep your cat off of counters.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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