Eva’s DIY Cat Shelves with Cushions and Sisal Scratcher

Moderncat reader Eva sent in these photos of the cat shelves and sisal scratcher that she made for her two beautiful Ragdolls, Ezra and Aurum. I love the cushions she used and how she added Velcro to hold them in place. Below, Eva describes how she made everything.

I always thought most scratching and climbing trees are not so attractive or, if they are nice to look at, very expensive. So I decided to make my own for my two Ragdoll cats Ezra and Aurum.

Things you need;
- wooden board of at least 2cm thick in whatever size you want
- sisal carpet
- strong and big enough brackets
- big wall screws and plugs
- little screws (for the brackets and shelves)
- cushions
- velcro
- sewing equipment
- water-based carpet glue
- water-based stain
- sanding paper
- tacking machine
- drill

After I sawed the wood into the sizes I wanted, I started by drilling holes in the 2x40x120cm wooden board (for the screws later), sticking sisal carpet on it with water-based carpet glue, and tacking the back for extra strength.

I sanded and stained the wood shelves (also water-based, of course) and tacked one side of the Velcro on the wood. Then I had to sew the other side of the Velcro on the cushion at the same place (hated that job, but it turned out great!)

I attached the brackets to the shelves and everything onto the wall with big, strong screws and plugs. Make sure to choose brackets that can hold the weight of your cats when they jump, since the weight is much more when jumping.

Now my two cats can jump, scratch and climb all they want! The thing they love most is to sleep on the cushions and climb up the sisal board and I just love looking at my two babies playing :)

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37 Responses to “Eva’s DIY Cat Shelves with Cushions and Sisal Scratcher”

  1. 1
    illy tung

    I need one so I can lounge around the house all day! I only have a cheap ikea chair right now, and its slanted and uncomfortable…it has to be strong for my boom boom too! yay!

  2. 2
    Kikusia 666

    Purrrrrrfastic idea !Thank you Eva!!!!:) I wil do it for our Totoro and Keiko !
    Meow :)

  3. 3

    Eva makes it sound so easy :) The shelves look great and the big sisal scratcher is nice. Beautiful kittes, too

  4. 4
    Tony Vincent

    would you produce these for purchase?

  5. 5

    Wow this a a great design… And my Kitty who recently passed was named Eva :0( :0) We are getting a new kitten friend and this was our Eva’s way of saying its okay.

  6. 6

    These look great!! Thank you, Eva, for sharing your pics and info :D

  7. 7

    I LOVE these. I’ve got shelves all made up, and I am trying to decide where to mount them. I’d love to hear about the mounting hardware – what kind of screws/anchors, are they in a stud, what kind of walls… Any chance of Eva chiming in?

  8. 8

    Always love to look at DIY projects! Looks great.

    For those who are looking to get another feline family member, please remember to search the Shelters, Rescues etc. even purebreeds are being turned in because they can not afford them in this economy. This non-profit, Fixnation.org, spay and neuter in LA takes in up to 50 could be more, not sure of the number of felines a day, mostly feral. A Lot of these cat & kitten are BEAUTIFUL. I’ve seen Seal Points, Persians, etc in the mix. and this was last year. I can image what this year looks like. Pets are being left behind when a tenant moves out.

    Sorry, I wish I can do more in my little studio apartment in adopting more, but great idea. Might be able to do it in a smaller scale instead of my x-stray using me has his climb post to get on the frig.

    Oh great shelf brackets, very modern looking, where did you get them?

  9. 9

    Beautiful! I was thinking about putting up shelves for my kitties around the house and wanted them to be padded, but didn’t know how I could make the cushions stick to the board, but now I know! Thanks for the great ideas!

  10. 10
    Ingrid King

    Very nice! I wish I was more handy with tools, but will pass this on to people I know who are.

  11. 11
    MC of TenHouseCats

    these are indeed wonderful, and i greatly appreciate the instructions! now if i can just get the persians to stop lying around being pretty and start being useful, we could make our own!

    and thank you, jgmc, very much, for pointing out what so few folks seem to realize: there are ALWAYS purebreds and mixes in shelters and rescues, and yes, it is MUCH worse now. not only are critters being left behind with the appliances in houses and apartments, we’re seeing heart-broken families having to chose between their human and furry children, and a particularly miserable situation, we’re seeing, dumps by people who thought they’d make their fortune (!) by indiscriminate and random breeding who walk out on dozens of cats, many with health problems.

    http://purebredcatbreedrescue.org/rescues.htm has a list by breed of purebred rescues, there’s also listings by state at that site. you can search by breed at http://www.petfinder.com as well. it’s a great way to experience the particular beauty and characteristics of a purebred, without encouraging bad breeding practices.

    while on the soapbox, if any one has ever considered fostering, THIS IS THE TIME! the need is greater than i can say.

    blessed be.

  12. 12

    Aww, great job! I really need to do something like this. This my favorite pet blog so I’m thrilled to find something here that I can pass on to my own readers. I’ll be linking in today’s Daily DIY. Love this!

  13. 13

    Really nice. All of them together make a very stylish and oh, so Moderncat area!

  14. 14

    to tony vincent; yes i would produce these for purchase. contact me at foreva-art@hotmail.com!

    to fluffy: my wall screws and plugs are 6-8cm long and they can be used for different walls. go to your local diy store, they should be able to give you advice. my tip; make shure they are at least 6cm long! this has to do with the strength they must have to hold the weight.

    to jgmc; i got the shelve brackets at my local design store

    love, eva

  15. 15

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these!

  16. 16

    I love these, too, and I wish I could install a few. I’m just worried our walls aren’t strong enough to hold my kitties!

  17. 17

    Love the beautiful design of your kitty perches!

    Mine are more utilitarian:


    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  18. 18

    These are great….with 7 cats I have thought about building my own stuff but have not gotten around to it. Thanks for the instructions! I will attempt this very soon.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Michael Spencer

    How the heck do I get Ying Yang and Yoda to use this wall scratcher? they are just SO liking using the furniture!

    Seriously. How do you get the little critters to actually use the wall mounted scratcher?

  21. 21

    Great design and instructions. Eva, could you be specific where the brackets came from? I’m going to make some shelves and now I want no other bracket. Thanks for sharing.
    Our kitties will have to hold out just a little longer for some clever perches! Though we should add the scratcher asap. From reading about one of the more expensive cat scratchers, I wonder if a layer of foam under the sisal would make it even more enjoyable for kitties. Thanks for sharing your cool project.

  22. 22

    to alison:
    unless you live in the netherlands i can´t help you… i wish i could, but the store i got those brackets only has stores in the netherlands. :S

    to michael:
    my 2 cats started using it on their own. didn’t have to do a thing. but if yours don’t use it on their own try and stimulate them by rubbing their paws over the sisal and play with a toy on the sisal. that’s what i would do anyway :)

    love, eva

  23. 23

    Love the idea. I was wondering… any hints on where to find sisal carpet?? I’ve tried nearly everywhere and I can’t find any.

  24. 24

    to alison:

    i was thinking, if you really want the brackets, i could buy and send them to you. let me know at foreva-art@hotmail.com!


  25. 25

    Eva —

    These are great — we just made our own version! Can you tell me where you found cushions that are the right size? I can only find 18×10 lumbar pillows, which are too fluffy (and expensive)!


  26. 26

    to jo:
    the cushions i found to be the right size and firmness are cushions for garden furniture! i just cut off the fabric strings that are used to fasten it to the chair.

    love, eva

  27. 27

    I would love to know where you found the sisal carpet as well. I wanted to build a scratching post for our kitten that is arriving next month, but could not source the sisal carpet that I needed (without it costing an arm and a leg!), ended up just buying the ‘ultimate sisal cat scratching post by SmartCat’, as it was much less expensive then the project would have cost me on my own.

  28. 28
    USB to Serial

    oak wood seems to be the best thing to use on garden furnitures but hardwood is always the best `~.

  29. 29

    Wish I understood better how the scratcher was attached to the wall.

    What type of brackets?

  30. 30


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