GADGETS & ACCESSORIES

DIY Cat Window Perch: A Front-Row Seat to the Outside World

A cat resting in a Window Perch for Cat
Jeremy Vaughn
Written by Jeremy Vaughn

Cats enrich our lives, improve our health, and provide us with love, affection, and companionship. Some outdoor cats even show their appreciation by bringing home a freshly-caught bird or mouse and presenting it to their favorite human family member. Unfortunately, the outdoor is rife with dangers such as dogs, cars, other cats, and infectious diseases. You might want to keep your fur-child exclusively indoors to keep her safe. But then, you notice that she seems sad because she misses the outside world. To satisfy her longing, you should install a DIY cat window perch for her.

For indoor cats, those old-fashioned but very serviceable screened-in porches allow them to get a glimpse of the exciting outside world. Cat window perches are very effective at curing kitty boredom. We don’t all have porches, but if you’ve got a large window just begging to be tweaked for your cat’s convenience, you may well want to give your pet a comfy place to sit in where she can bask in the sun and observe her surroundings. A DIY cat window perch will also allow your cat to eagerly await your return and greet you at the door when she sees that you’re coming.

a cat relaxing in a Window Perch for Cat

With a little bit of handiwork and creativity, you can give your pet a spot to rest or perch on. In this article, we’re going to show you how you can make a DIY cat window perch from scratch. We’ve got three different projects for you to choose from. Even if you don’t have any DIY prior experience, follow our instructions through step-by-step, and by the end of the day, your cat will have a brand new favorite spot.

What is a Cat Window Perch?

An indoor cat can become prone to a sedentary lifestyle. This is bad because an inactive cat can quickly become overweight. If you have a cat perch, it can encourage your cat to leap up to a high place from whence they can survey their surroundings.

Cats love to watch things, and if your feline friend isn’t going to be kept as an outdoor cat, then you can at least allow her the chance to watch birds and the drifting clouds with a window perch. If you’ve got a day job, she’ll be able to sit on her perch and watch your comings and goings.

A cat sleeping in a Hanging-Basket-Cat-Perch

Your cat will have a front-row seat to all the activities going on outside, and you can bet that she’ll be happy—not to mention safe from all the dangers that roam the outside world. Of course, cat window perches are not limited to the indoors. You can also install one outdoors. They are easy to make, install, and even remove. It will quickly become your cat’s favorite spot!

Not all cat perches are made equal. Some may be more lavish than others, but the top concern with installing one is to make sure that it offers comfort, excitement, entertainment, and safety to your cat. You’ll find all the information you need to build such a solid cat perch in the section below. We’ve made sure to turn this article into a minefield of concentrated knowledge and expert advice all ‘under one roof,’ giving you ideas of different styles according to how your cat likes to perch.

3 Different Types of DIY Cat Window Perch

We’ve got a few DIY instructions for you, and you can freely choose which one you’d like to follow. When choosing, make sure to think about your cat’s physical ability to reach any window perch you want to install.

Image of a DIY Cat-Window-Perch

You’ll need to understand your cat’s health and agility before you discover how to satisfy her basic needs to climb and perch. If she is an older cat who has difficulties jumping and landing securely in high places, naturally you’ll need to make sure the perch is not installed too far off the ground. Also, you’ll want the surface to be large enough for her to sit up on or to sprawl out in and bask in the sun. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are a few easy-to-make DIY cat window perches that you can try your hands at:

DIY Window Perch #1: No-Screw Cat Perch

We’re going to look at a free-standing DIY shelf that doesn’t require any screws. This is the perfect option to go for if you’re renting a room and can’t afford to upset your landlord.

  • First of all, measure your window. This will include its width and the height of the window from the sill to the floor. Make a note of the measurements.
  • If you don’t already have pieces of wood to spare, buy 3 pieces of wood that are the same width as the window measurement. You will, however, be cutting the wood to make it shorter than the actual window measurements. So for instance, if your window ledge is 30 inches from the floor, you need to cut both your boards to 27-3/4 inches each.
  • Cut the 3 pieces of—approximately 1 x 12 inches—wood to the window’s width measurement, and mark each board with numbers 1, 2, and 3. Set aside no. 2 and 3 for a while as you’re going to be working with no. 1 for now.
  • Cut a piece of foam rubber to the same size as board no.1 1 and glue it to the top.
  • Measure a piece of strong fabric such as denim and cut it to a size that is 2 inches wider than board no. 1 all the way around.
  • Turn board no. 1 foam-side onto the floor and staple the edge of your fabric to the underside of the board about an inch from the edge. You will need a staple gun for this part of the job.
  • Now it’s time to deal with board no. 2. Drill a 1/16-inch hole into the middle and in each of the 4 corners, about 2 inches from the edge.
  • Making use of four one-and-a-half inch wood screws, fasten boards 2 and 3 to the top and bottom of the long boards.
  • Measure the box frame you’ve created. Draw a rectangle that size on a ¼-inch piece of plywood and cut the shape out, tacking the plywood to the back of the frame with 1-inch box nails.
  • It’s time to paint the perch unit as you like. Take your kitty cat’s health into consideration because some paints emit toxic fumes. Paint that is water-based is less dangerous than solvent-based paint, but VOC-free paints are the best as they’ve got no volatile organic compounds or very little of them.
  • Align the bottom of Board 1 with the top of the shelf on Board 2. Fasten the 2 boards together from the underside with 5 wood screws through the pilot holes in Board 2.
  • Place the shelf below the window sill. To prevent wobbling, you can add a bit of weight such as a couple of books on the bottom.

DIY Window Perch #2: An Attractive Hanging-Type Perch

There are those who just love the idea of a quick and easy DIY hanging basket cat perch. With just a few items, your furry friend will be snoozing and relishing their comfy window-bed.

A cat sitting in a -Cat-Window-Hammock

For this easy-peasy project, you won’t have to part with lots of cash. Within an hour your pet will be leaping into her comfy basket tray to sleep and watch the birds.

Here’s what you need to prepare beforehand:

  • Ensure that you’ve got a basket tray which can be bought at your regular home depot store.
  • You will also need some jute rope.
  • You’ll also need a thin piece of plywood that has been cut 2 inches smaller than the bottom of your basket.
  • The last item is a couple of brackets. These should be available at your local hardware store.

Got all the required supplies ready? Here’s how you put them together into a beautiful hanging basket perch:

  • Space the brackets appropriately according to the size of your basket and fasten them under the window molding.
  • Attach the plywood to the top of the brackets and place the basket on top of the plywood.
  • Drill two holes down through the basket and plywood
  • Allow a zip tie through both these holes and pull firmly underneath so that you’re securing the basket to the wood.
  • With a rope, it appears as though it’s a hanging basket when it’s actually not. The rope certainly adds an attractive touch to the design. To add the rope, push one end through the front side of the bracket and knot it on the inside. The rope can go up and over the curtain rod.

Now, all that’s left is to place a cushion inside to make it comfortable. If you don’t like the idea of a removable, machine washable cover for the mattress, you can use a clean newspaper instead. It is an excellent, cheap, and disposable mattress cover for your pet. It may not look particularly attractive, but it is highly hygienic which will suit a cat who likes it clean. Fleas and lice, for instance, can be thrown out daily with the newspaper and even burned.

DIY Window Perch #3: Softwood and Suction Cups

If you’re a beginner in the world of DIY and you’re looking for a simple project that won’t take more than half an hour to install, consider this option. You won’t even need to cut anything, so this is also one of the safest options. Here’s how you do it:

  • A simple piece of softwood that is about 15 inches in length and 0.1-inch thick can serve well as a cat shelf. Simply drill a hole into 2 corners on the one side of the shelf for the nylon rope or string to go through.
  • Make use of industrial strength suction cups. Wipe the window surface first to make sure the suction cups can adhere powerfully.
  • You should first attach the cups to a kitty-tray, which can literally be an unused tea-tray or a piece of lightweight PVC. The side of the cat tray that doesn’t have the nylon string is nestled onto the window-sill.
  • A kitty-tray like this is designed for just one average-sized cat and no more. You’ll want to inspect it often to make sure the suction cups are still well-secured. To enhance suction, you can add a tiny dab of cooking oil to the rim of the cup.

Well, that’s all for the instructions on how to make a DIY cat perch. Before we wrap this up, we’ve got one last tip for you. You should place a scratching post inside or beside your cat’s new perching spot.

Mother cat and kitten resting in a window  perch

Cats sharpen their claws to mark their territory and to remove dead layers of the protein keratin from the surface of their claws. By installing a scratching post alongside a window perch, you provide a wonderful opportunity for your feline friend to enjoy herself to the utmost. She may even stay in there all day if you let her!

Yes, you can buy a ready-made scratching post, but you can also make your own very easily. Just remember that the post will need to have some form of a base to prevent it from falling over.

Wrap Up

It is imperative to provide the animals in your care with proper care and attention. Good food, fresh water, a warm bed, some toys, and lots of love are the basics. A DIY cat window perch isn’t a necessity for your cat, but when you think of how your cat adds to the quality of your life—how she is your confidante and friend or how she brings therapeutic value to your life—you will want to do everything you can to provide her with comfort.

Cats love to explore, especially when their exploration areas are off the ground. Cats certainly love to lounge in an elevated spot with a good view of their surroundings. With a window perch, they will be safe from other pets and boisterous children.

Multicolor cat resting in a DIY window perch

If DIY isn’t your thing and you just want a temporary solution to a window perch for your fur-baby, why not place a small bookcase, a chest of drawers, or a chair near a window so your cat can safely explore the outside world with her eyes? Even if you live in a small apartment, you should be able to find places for your cat to climb up to and enjoy the view. Just remember that it is important that the place you choose for her window perch isn’t too warm or too cold.

Are you ready to tackle this simple and cost-effective DIY project? What other types of cat furniture have you previously built for your feline companion? We’d love to hear all about them, so please place a comment below!

About the author
Jeremy Vaughn
Jeremy Vaughn

Jeremy Vaughn is a member of Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, who lives in Winnipeg. Creating new looks for cats and other pets is his passion. Jeremy shares his house with the wife and wonderful Siamese cat.

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