10 DIY Cat Shelf Ideas to Create Your Own Cat Wall Playground

Consider these 10 simple DIY cat shelf projects to create a vertical playground that'll take your cat to new heights.

Updated December 6, 2023
Interior shot of a living room with cat's trees on the wall and sofa for people.

While most cat owners have cat trees, a new trend is to install actual cat wall shelves and perches in your home to create an enriching cat-friendly space. This is essentially a cat playground and any feline's dream. 

Even if you're not a proclaimed DIYer, these step-by-step instructions are incredibly easy to follow and require a lot less equipment than you might think. Decide what kind of design will work best in your home, then create your very own DIY cat wall playground. Your feline friend will pawsitively love it. 

Quick Tip

Don't trust yourself to make something like this? No worries. Enlist the help of a handy friend or find something similar on Chewy or Wayfair. We'll never tell! 

1. DIY Floating Cat Steps

You can install floating cat shelves in a series of steps going up a wall. The "steps" should be high enough to encourage your cat to jump but not so high to make it difficult. Stick with just the steps, or place a deeper shelf or cat bed capsule at the top for your kitty to stretch out on. You can carpet the steps, stain them, paint them to match the décor or cover them in rope as Sean did in this tutorial. 

2. Turn Shelves Into a Cat Walkway

Creating a walkway along a wall lets your cat move high up around your home and is a good option if you don't have a lot of open wall space. 

3. Mounted Boxes For Shelving & Cat Hiding Spaces

Another option is to create shelves that are covered along the top with areas for the cat to move in and out to other shelves. Or form a box shape missing the left or right-side panel. Cats can move about up and down the shelves but also take a break and nap in one of the boxed-in areas. You can even put a cat bed in the boxes for them to rest on, but make sure it's secured firmly inside the box.

Need to Know

With any of these DIY cat shelves, you’ll want to make sure you use a stud finder and appropriate mounting techniques, not just for your wall but also for your cat’s safety! You don’t want anyone falling.

4. DIY Wall Shelf Cat Hammocks

We all know cats love snoozing in hammocks, but what about a hammock mounted on the wall? This DIY project involves PVC pipes, rope, fabric, and mounting tools to create a magical place for your cat to lounge. Just make sure you don't put it so high they have trouble getting into the hammock. A series of steps could definitely help here! 

5. DIY Cat Shelf Bridge

Are you feeling extra adventurous? Try your hand at making a DIY cat bridge for your wall. This type of shelf will test your cat’s balance and keep them (and you!) entertained for hours.

6. DIY Cat "Bowl" Perch

Fish aren’t the only pets that can hang out in bowls — cats can too! This DIY tutorial on how to make a floating cat bowl opened our eyes to a whole new world. And if you make one yourself, it’ll definitely give your cats a new perspective on their world. The instructions are incredibly easy to follow, so give it a try!

7. Create a DIY Cat Wall

If you have the space, why not dedicate an entire wall to your cat? This DIY cat wall includes shelves and a vertical sisal-wrapped board that the cats can run up. There will never be a bored moment in your house with this kitty playground.  

8. Corner Cat Shelves

Even if you don’t have a ton of space in your home, chances are good that you have an available wall edge. Build a few shelves up the corner, like Emilie did here, for your cat to climb and lounge on. Covering them with carpet adds a nice aesthetic touch, though you might need to replace them frequently if your cat decides to scratch on them.

9. DIY Outdoor Adventure Catio

You don't just have to use indoor space for your cat's wall playground. Consider room you have in your catio or enclosed patio. This cat playground is every cat owners’ dream. It has shelves, ladders, boxes, and even a suspension bridge for the cats to play on. Follow the instructions to make one of your own.

10. Renter-Friendly DIY Cat Bookshelf Option

We absolutely understand that it’s not always possible to drill holes in your walls for shelves. If you’re a renter, consider using a bookcase and modifying it to be your cat's wall playground.

Why Cats Love Vertical Spaces

These DIY cat playgrounds aren't just cute. They provide your cat with a lot of necessary enrichment. How? There are many reasons why providing vertical spaces for your cat can improve their life:

  • For many cats, sitting in high places can make them feel safer, especially if you live in a home with multiple cats or dogs.
  • Cats also inherently seek to climb, which is likely due to their predatory nature.
  • Cats can develop behavior problems such as aggression, obsessive grooming, and anxiety without proper enrichment. Placing some shelves and perches near a window gives them a chance to watch the world outside and provides mental stimulation.
  • Indoor cats can easily become overweight and providing them a way to move about and have some fun is a great way for them to have physical and mental exercise.

DIY Some Cat Shelves And Enjoy Watching Your Cat Play

If you want to provide an enriching atmosphere for your feline, installing cat shelves and perches is a great choice. You can make them fun for your cat while decorating them to fit your home perfectly. Just use precautions to make them safe, then let your cats play while you watch their antics. 

Trending on LoveToKnow
10 DIY Cat Shelf Ideas to Create Your Own Cat Wall Playground