Designing Your Cat Wall

There are many things to consider when building your cat the perfect habitat of their own. Here are some tips to get the best furniture layout for your space.

Choosing the room

Which room you install the furniture in can depend on how social your cat is. Do they hang out in rooms with you or like to be on their own? Keep this in mind when deciding the place to create their space.

Most stud are made out of wooden 2x4s and sit behind drywall in most modern homes. Every wall-mounted piece we sell is built to be installed into at least one wall stud. Most homes have 16″ studs, so that’s what we build our designs for. If you have other spacing, like 24″ studs, our furniture will still work.

There are also metal studs. For these, we suggest mounting the furniture using #8 x 2″ flat Phillips-head tek screws. If you leave a comment in your order, we can send these out instead of our standard wood screws.

Stud spacing will often change near doorways and windows. But keep in mind that all the doors, corners and windows will be framed out with 2″x4″s, providing additional mounting points.

understanding wall construction

Locate and mark your studs

We suggest using painter’s tape or a pencil to mark these stud locations. Painter’s tape works best, because it’s very visible and can be easily removed.

To find locate your studs, you will need a stud finder. Here’s a video we found helpful which demonstrates how to use a stud finder.

We typically suggest giving cats a route up the wall or to an endpoint like a feeder or a hammock.  A lot of our complexes are built with this already in mind, but if you’re building your own layout, keep in mind that in a lot of cases a cat needs motivation like food or a comfortable napping spot to traverse a route. We have multiple cats and try to avoid dead ends where we can. We think they feel more comfortable knowing they have multiple escape routes if approached by another cat wanting to paw at their face during a nice nap.

Starting and Ending Points

Understanding Your Cat

Is your cat young and agile or old and slower? This is important for spacing and the type of furniture you get and how you space that furniture out. If your cat isn’t very agile, then you might want to consider spacing the furniture out around 12″ or so apart, or not mounting as high on the wall.

Young cats love the Sisal Poles and Floating Sisal Posts.

Do you have more than one cat? For homes with multiple cats, we suggest making sure there are multiple routes around the layout to avoid altercations.

We have a heavy cat who we don’t want too high up on the wall, in fear of him falling. At around 4′ high, we arranged the furniture so that he wasn’t able to access the higher mounted stuff.

For cats that prefer a more secluded area or like to hide, we suggest adding Planters to sections of the wall. Our cat’s are obsessed with Areca palms.

Coming soon: We’re also launching a collection of canvas cubbies, which is another option for shy cats. To be notified when this product launches you can sign up for our newsletter or stay tuned on our Facebook and Instagram!

Corners, Doors, and Windows

Corners – One of our latest shelves is the 12″ Shelf which has a fabric pad attached and sits on a single mounting plank bottom.  Because you can stagger them back and forth on either side of the wall to create a path, this is a good solution for outside corners.

Doors and windows – These are perfect locations for hammocks and bridges. Our cats will hangout on them and wait for unsuspecting people to pass underneath so they can try to paw their head.

Installing hammocks over doorways

We’ve always struggled with how to mount our hammocks over doorways. The reason this is difficult is because the grommets are placed down our fabric in 8″ sections down the fabric, but doorways come in a variety of widths.

*It’s important to pull the fabric very tightly, so that the hammock is sturdy enough for your cat to walk on. We used a piece 8 grommets long.

With our latest collection of furniture, we’ve made the transition of sending out our fabric in sewn sections, rather then one long roll, to save the customer the hassle of needing to cut the fabric themselves. But you actually need a longer section to do this. If you’re interested in putting up a hammock over your doorway, here’s a link to a listing for add-on fabric.

  1. Start by locating the stud closest to the edge of the doorway. All doorways in homes with wooden doors are framed out by 2″x4″s.  Mount a plank into that stud.
  2. One the other side of the doorway, mount another plank .75″ lower then you did plank 1.  This is because the fabric will be going over the top of the plank.
  3. Next, attach your piece of fabric to plank 1, stretch it over plank 2, and clamp plank 3 over the last set of grommets, then tightly pull directly down from plank 2 and mark the bottom of the plank with a pencil.
  4. Next, remove fabric from plank 1, and mount plank 3 into the marked place. Now working backwards, attach fabric to plank 3, stretch it over plank 2, and pull it over to plank 1.

    Blocking routes

    These are some options which can be helpful for a few different reasons. We hear a lot of people talking about blocking routes to prevent dogs from accessing their cat’s food.

    For us, we had two reasons to block routes on this wall. One was to prevent our cats from being able to jump over our pet gate.  We originally had a couch against this wall, but we moved it after our cats figured out they could leap over the gate from the couch.

    Another issue we had was our heavier cat Bronson climbing too high on the wall. He isn’t as agile as our other cats and also is pretty heavy, so we’re worried about him hurting his legs jumping down from too high up.

    Using Fabric walls

    Fabric walls can be a great way to keep cats from jumping to unwanted areas. We’ve used these in the past to prevent them from jumping to shelves we didn’t want them on or wall mounted tvs.

    Creating awkward jumps
    The following are difficult routes we designed to try and keep our heaviest cat; Bronson, from getting to the top level. He hasn’t gotten past them yet.
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    They’re some good options to have before a more advanced level because they need to be agile enough to get there first.
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    One negative thing with these is that it also makes it more difficult for the other cats to get up. We have noticed that they were up higher more often than before we created these next steps.

    Jumping onto a Sisal Post is something that takes a little agility and balance. Here, we mounted it in a position where it’s awkward to jump to and then the cat needs to be able to jump through the hole from the pole.

    Another route was made with Steps, which are smaller shelves meant to be used as stepping stones. Bronson can barely fit on these shelves and we don’t believe he’s going to be able to get past this.

    We set up this so that you have to jump from an awkward angle. It’s now an area for epic battles. Here’s a video of our cat Heisenberg trying to make it seem better on the upper level than it really is.

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