Uber-eco Moderncat Find: Helical Cardboard Cat Tower

Helical Cat Tower

I had to post this in anticipation of Earth Day! This serious piece of cat climbing furniture comes from the eco-friendly folks at The Sustainability Workshop in Ithaca, NY. “Part sculpture, part cat gym, part contribution to a green and sustainable future,” this unique cat tower is made from re-purposed cardboard (originally used to ship solar panels), diverting a huge amount of cardboard from the landfill.

You can purchase a kit that you construct using your own central pole cut to the right height. The kit includes the components and cardboard sections, which can be rotated around the pole in any configuration.

The kit sells for $375 US on the Sustainability Workshop’s Etsy shop. They say that the cardboard is the highest quality and will last for years. This tower would be quite the conversation piece in an eco-conscious moderncat home, and I’m sure the cats would love it!

Helical Cat Tower Diagram

Thanks to Jenny for the find.

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34 Responses to “Uber-eco Moderncat Find: Helical Cardboard Cat Tower”

  1. 1

    this is amazing!! eco-friendly and cats will love it. win- win!

  2. 2

    I’d love it, but don’t want to supply my own pole and then have to glue the pieces to it. Too much work for $375!

  3. 3

    This is awesome, definitely bookmarked for when we can afford the space.

  4. 4
    Debra Pringle

    Wo, my caats would love this in their playroom…..Wish it did not cost that much

  5. 5

    Cool design… but will it last if its made of cardboard?

  6. 6

    Fantastic! I know my cats would love that!

  7. 7
  8. 8

    Gorgeous, fun for the kitties, eco- friendly for the green minded, a focal point in any room.

  9. 9

    This is beautiful, but how can any cat furniture made of cardboard last for years?

  10. 10

    Soo Cool! My kitties would love this. I like that it is environmentally friendly. What a great product!

  11. 11

    INCREDIBLE! Beautiful, functional AND “green” — what more could any ModernCat ask for?

  12. 12
    Sarah L

    That is so cool.

  13. 13

    THis is a piece of ART

  14. 14
    Donna Lenz

    I have to agree with Jessica – it’s awesome – but for that kind of money you have to supply your own pole AND build it?

    And I would be curious to know how long it would actually last in a house with multiple cats.

    But still a beautiful work of art.

  15. 15

    I want one for my cats! It’s amazing!

  16. 16

    That’s really cool looking. Cardboard does actually hold up well despite scratching because cats will only realistically scratch it several times a day and cats claws aren’t alien razors from outer space. The price is not that bad either, considering the cost of other designer cardboard furniture on the market. My only issue is the pole– it really needs to have something other than PVC (just about the nastiest manufacturing process out there) for “eco” and aesthetic purposes. At any rate, bravo with the beta, now polish this up and enjoy that pina colada on the beach.

  17. 17

    Wow, this is great. My four cats would love this. They love to be up high and love to climb. It’s all there, plus the bonus of being “green”.

  18. 18

    Great idea ! I love it !

  19. 19

    Wow!! That is so cool!

  20. 20

    PVC pipe (which they gladly list as a major component) is NOT uber-eco green ! PVC pipe is loaded with toxins and petroleum. Granted it’s easy to get and cut, but there’s better ‘green’ alternatives.

    Otherwise… pretty nice looking.

  21. 21
    Glynn Bebee

    Hi, my name is Glynn. I design and build these towers at The Sustainability Workshop. Thanks everyone for the support and compliments!

    I totally agree that the PVC pole is not ideal. Nasty, really. I suggested it because it seems easier to cut than metal or wood. Since shipping the unit assembled would cost way too much, it comes as a kit. And since everyone has a different ceiling height, it seemed natural to have the buyer supply the pole of the correct diameter and length. If I had my choice, I would indeed mail these assembled and with all parts included.

    I also agree that the cost is a bit high, due primarily to the labor required to manufacture all of the individual pieces. It was the only way to get the gentle curve up and around the pole. Thus, it really is as much art as it is a climbing tower.

    Concerning longevity, this cardboard is as thick as it gets. I sometimes install solar arrays, and the cardboard that packages solar panels for shipment across the Atlantic is extremely durable…because each box can have well over $1,500 of materials inside! It is also usually very clean, since no shipping company ever wants to deliver glass panels in a destroyed box.

    Please note that later versions have the double helix shape as in the computer drawing, not the single helix shape shown in the photograph, depicting my own cat Lily on the very original prototype. She absolutely loves it.

    Finally, these are each one-of-a-kind. If you have an idea, and you want one, please tell me!

    Thank you MOD ERN CAT for being so supportive!

    Glynn Bebee

  22. 22

    As a friend of the Ithaca Sustainability Workshop, I received the second prototype. Mine is a double helix cause I’m a biology nerd and think it’s awesome. (As shown in the specs above) My two cats ADORE their helix. They regularly take naps on the platform above and “crazy time” frequently involves chasing each other up and down.

    One of my cats in particular loves scratching her claws on the $cheap corrugated cardboard scratching posts you can get from grocery stores/walmart etc. that you throw on the floor. Because of that I was concerned about the lifetime of this helix. Even with her love of cardboard, for the 6-7 months that I have had the helix there is only minor claw damage to the cardboard. Because the individual pieces are rather thick, after a lot of use the whole thing could be sanded down to increase it’s life. I can guarantee that this piece will last for several years.

    Installation was amazingly simple. Because the object would come in pieces, you are not restricted to the helix shape but could come up with your own fun cat-friendly design if you desired. Assembly is easy and no more labor intensive than most do-it-yourself furniture and personally, it’s way more satisfying than any old bookshelf or cupboard!

    A piece like this will last at least as long as any of the cat furniture you can buy at Petsmart etc. It’s just as entertaining for your catsmand since it’s made completely of recycled cardboard it’s well worth the cost. You will never regret this purchase!

  23. 23

    This looks Awesome! I wish it was more afordable.

  24. 24
    Rossnina Ruggieri

    Truly magnificent, the way of the future for cat accessories!

  25. 25

    Truly beautiful! I know my cats would love it. However… THE COST!!! I understand the reason for its cost. But I can’t buy it, even for my beloved kitties.

  26. 26

    Meow…My Kitties asked me to place this on their wish list!

  27. 27
    Le Chat Noir


  28. 28

    lovin’ this. i already have the marmalade lounger and the cheeky chaise for the cats when they want to lay about. both are made of cardboard & are VERY sturdy. i was also lucky enough to score a lotus cat tree at less than half price from craigslist, and i have one cat who’s especially fond of hanging out there.

    this would be a lovely addition. definitely bookmarked the site for a future purchase!

    lovely design, glynn!

  29. 29

    WOW! This is really beautiful!

  30. 30
    San Diego

    LOVE this cool climber, but I too, wish it wasn’t so expensive, or at least it should come already assembled for that price point.

    Great creative work!

  31. 31

    Thats an impressing cat tower….maybe, the reason why our cat never used her “tower” was that it was much too boring and not as high….next time (cat), we know which tower we use….

  32. 32

    Cat needs this,it’s Soooo Cool!

  33. 33

    Would you consider releasing a set of patterns for this so those of us so inclined could try a DIY version? I have access to tons of surplus cardboard at my job and would love to find a cool use for it like this.

  34. 34
    Cynthia Ciarpella

    Very cool design but my cats would shred this over time. Too expensive for that reason.

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