Office Catification Moderncat Style

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

Climbing & Perching, DIY Projects

I thought I’d share one of my own Catification projects with you today. Ever since I moved into my condo and set-up the office, the cabinets over the desk have been off limits. I think at first I thought I was going to display breakable things up there, but I never did and I finally realized that the space makes a perfect cat perch. They just needed a way to get up there.

So, on either side of the cabinets, I added two little steps for the cats to go from the desk to their new perch on top of the cabinets. I used the Wall Attach Steps from Whisker Studio and I absolutely love them! They are perfect little platforms for cats to climb from one place to another. They measure 8.5″ deep by 9.5″ wide and attach to the wall with pelican brackets. The rounded shape is elegant and I like that there are no sharp corners. These shelves do not have carpet on top, but instead have grooves to provide a little traction.

The Whisker Studio Wall Attach Steps are also very affordable. They come in unfinished MDF for just $10 each, unfinished birch ply for $14 each, clear-coated birch ply for $17 each, and espresso stained birch ply for $22 each. Save some money by purchasing the unfinished steps and painting or staining them yourself. The brackets are $10 a pair if you purchase them with the steps, but you can also pick them up at your local home improvement store for a little less (I paid $7.50 a pair at Home Depot).

I added a strip of sisal with a non-slip backing to the top of the shelves. The cats love the texture and I think they are more likely to go up there with the non-slip covering. I buy sisal rug remnants on eBay, which can be easily cut to any size with just a pair of scissors.

As you can see, everyone loves their new perch (of course, Ando is still on the desk). I’d like to encourage all of you to look around your home for existing surfaces that — with just a few minor changes — can be turned into awesome Catification projects. And please be sure to send me your photos!

. . .

The artwork on the wall over the desk is from (l to r): The Dancing Cat, CZM, and Matte Stephens.

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25 Responses to “Office Catification Moderncat Style”

  1. 1
    MM Merryfield

    We just moved into a new house that is all on one floor (last house was on 4 levels) and it is much smaller so our two Abysinnian boys don’t have stairs to race up and down. We have a cathedral ceiling in the living/dining room. I am wondering how high it is safe to put these steps on the wall? Do people put them up 10-12 ft or more? Just worry about possible falls and our new house has tile floors.

    The boys jump up to the top of 8 ft rattan book cases from a buffet and that scares me each time as the space they jump from is right next to our plasma TV. One even got on top of the plasma to jump up on the bookcase top.

    Any advice?

  2. 2

    Re: MM Merryfield

    One of my mother’s cats would scare her every few weeks by jumping from the second floor railing to the tile floor below. He always seemed ok, but I don’t think you want your cats scaring you all the time. If your boys are comfy with the 8 ft book case, maybe 8 ft should be your upper limit. Cats seem happy as long as they feel high up, even if it’s not really high. As long as they can look down on you, they’ll probably like it. Also, you might not want any steps higher than you can reach with a step ladder, in case someone has a hairball up there or they escape up there when it’s time for the vet. I think a step next to your tv would be good, so your boys stop using your tv as a launch platform.

  3. 3
    Pat DeWald

    Okay, I gotta slow down. When I looked at the rounded “steps” I thought they were toilette seat lids. Your kitties must be exceptional at filing. Look at how neat that desk is.

  4. 4

    “…at first I thought I was going to display breakable things up there…”

    Who needs breakable objects when you have beautiful cats posing on there? :)

    Looks really nice!

  5. 5

    The office looks fantastic!! I have a huge cat tree (that has survived over 15 years now) beside my desk. The desk is in an “L” shape, so the left side of is usually covered with at least one or two kitties. I’d love to use shelves for higher perches! It’s just not that high on the priority list, yet :D

  6. 6

    You’re amazing, Kate! Not only does your finished project look great, but I can see the CATisfaction on those happy little faces, which is the best reason there is to catify. ;)

  7. 7

    That desk is way to clean. No fair. One of my kitties is in a similiar spot above my desk right now. She gets there by climbing the shelves. No pictures though, the desk is extremely messy.

  8. 8

    WOW that is a gorgeous set up and I’m sure your cats are thrilled with their new space. You’ve inspired me to re-think my office set up to better accommodate my kitties since they are always in here with me while I’m working.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Lyvonne (

    Your office is gorgeous! What a fantastic set-up for your cats. I’m perusing your site today for cat product ideas to add to our stores. Thanks so much for such a great blog!

  11. 11

    I love your office! Those wall steps are really cool and a perfect addition to the office. I bet the cats love to watch you work from atop the cabinets :)

  12. 12

    love the idea, I’m just not a “big project” handy, the husband can’t be bother, but maybe I can try it anyway for my furbabies.

  13. 13

    That’s fantastic. I have a small armoir beside my desk and two open shelves. They are full of stuff so the kitties don’t get up on them. I would love to know where you got the cabinets because I’m thinking about replacing my shelves with something closed like that. Fabulous!

  14. 14

    Amber, the desk and cabinets are all from Ikea.

  15. 15

    These shelves are really neat! I should get some for my office.

  16. 16

    our kitten would love this!

  17. 17

    Thank you so much for showing this solution! I’ve been looking for nice, affordable wall steps and I think these would be perfect. Now I’m just hoping that they ship to Sweden…

  18. 18

    My cats would love to have some climbing shelves, but the landlord would not hehe. For the future though i will have to make some similar things :)

  19. 19

    Wonderful on so many levels!! Love it – great inspiration – thank you….

  20. 20

    I am concerned about the lighting-whether it gets too hot for the kitties roaming around under the hot lights!

  21. 21

    The lights are actually far enough away that the cats have plenty of clearance, plus they are angled away from the catwalk area. I also have the lights on a dimmer and they are usually on a low level. Simba absolutely loves the warmth from the lights. I’m sure that will make it a popular hangout in the winter!

  22. 22
    Joan L.

    I have 3 of those beautiful Galant desks from Ikea, but I bought mine off CraigsList (assembled!) for $60 each with a chair from local businesses relocating/changing their office furniture.
    They are around $200 new.

  23. 23

    I would love to see a complete house tour from you!

  24. 24

    As far as height goes…

    There have been a number of studies of cat injuries from fals, some of the findings are disputed.

    My thoughts are this:

    The higher the perch, the more easily it should be grabbed with claws in case of a slip. Cats tend to roll off of things while sleeping, or occasionally misjudge a jump (I had a cat lost his eye, and it took him a couple years to get good at estimating his jumps.)

    High perch. Textured surface, perhaps low edging boards.

    Try not to make the distances between high perches (vertical of horizontal) too extreme.

    10-12 feet is definitely withing jumping range, though it is best if the landing is carpeted for traction.

    Cats have fallen as many as 46 stories w/o major damage.

    Low falls may be worse, simply because a short fall allows very little reaction time to reorient for a 4 paw landing…and permits landing on the back.

    Not a lot of cats are injured by falls…they are very very good at acrobatics, and they are very well adapted to absorbing the energy of landing.

    Of course, we’ve all seen them run headlong into a solid wall too…hey! I meant to do that!


  1. [...] We’ve previously featured stories on how to catify your house. Catification expert Miss Moderncat Kate Benjamin took the concept one step further. In a recent post on Moderncat, she featured her newly catified office. With a few simple modifications, she added vertical space for her nine cats, and of course, she did it all in her signature Moderncat style. I love the look, and I also think it’s a brilliant way to keep cats off the desk (at least some of the time)! For all the details, and photos of Kate’s catified office, please visit Moderncat. [...]

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