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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.