I started working on the cat wall last year, approximately 9 months ago. Thanks to self isolation and social distancing, I found myself with more time than I know what to do with. Last week, I also had two days of holiday with my destination as the shed(topia), so no excuse not to finish this lingering project.
I originally had much bigger plans than what it turned out to be, however, the two other walls I was going to use aren’t suitable to have anything of any substance put into them, so it was scaled back to a one wall feature.
So heres what I bought to make this wall possible
- 2 Bubble Domes for the bubble seats from Amazon
- 2 Wall mounted cat beds from Zooplus
- 8 Wall brackets from Ikea – I used Ekby Valter but is no longer available
- 4 Shelves from Ikea
- Wood and screws – I had some left over from the pond enclosure I made last year
- Primer, paint, paint brushes and clear acrylic spray paint
- Wallpaper and glue – I used spray glue but if I had to do it again Id use Mod Podge
- Wall plugs – extra heavy because I have Maine Coons
- The small scratching post as a step up to the cat wall for the cats
I actually made 4 shelves but I only needed to use 3
Now the step by step tutorial on making a super awesome cat wall, which to date my cats are still not very impressed with.
Wall mounted cat beds:
- These automatically come with velcro stapled onto it for the cat bed to attach to it, get your pliers out and remove ALL of the staples, this is tedious and I was hoping my circle would be big enough that they would be cut out but sadly no.
- Using the Bubble Dome fence attachment bit (technical term and refer to above picture, top left) mark out the size of the circle, inside circumference of the circle and then saw it out. It was a tight squeeze with the saw at the bits where it mounts to the wall. I did drill a few holes first around the circle to fit the saw blade into.
- Sand down your rough edges and they will be rough.
- Make sure the bubble fits (top middle pic), I did need to make a few adjustments.
- Drill the holes as per the fence attachment, which is how you will attach the doom at a later stage. I made the mistake of doing this after I painted it and had further chipping from the wood, which meant more painting.
- I then primed the wood and then painted them the different colours. I knew the cat wall shelves were going against a very white wall and wanted them to visually pop, hence my choice in colours. I also fell in love with the wall paper and then found the paint to match it. I did 2 coats of primer and then 3 coats of the colours.
- Prime them, I did 2 coats
- Paint them, I did 3 coats.
- Because my cats are big, they like to be enclosed, ie not fall out when they roll over. I realised that I needed to create an enclosed shelf, to stop any injuries. I had wood left over from making a pond enclosure from scratch last year and measured it all out, cut it all down to size – 1 front rail and then 2 side pieces per shelf, sanding down all the wood edges.
- I then covered the side shelf rails in wall paper. I used spray glue for ease and convenience.
- I screwed the front rail into the shelves, so that you wont see the screw when its covered in wall paper and on the wall.
- I then covered the shelves with wall paper. I decided to cover the bottom of the shelf, wrapping the paper over the front and having it finish on the inside of the front shelf. People cant see into the shelves, so no need to cover them and I thought the cats might damage the paper with their claws, so just leave it as is.
- I glued the bottom of the self first, attached the paper and then glued the front, edge and back of rail, wrapping the paper over the rail, in 2 steps.
- I then screwed the side rails to the main shelf.
- I then spray painted them with a clear acrylic for extra shine but also to cover any stickiness left over from the glue. I really dont want the cats to stick to the shelves!
Creating the cat wall
- I measured out my wall to understand what my mid way point was and then measured out the space I wanted between the shelves or vaguely where I wanted the shelves to be – I used a foot between the shelves but given the size of my cats, I could easily gone for 18 inches instead. To be fair I also did this on paper to see if a visual would help and it did in terms of measurements and knowing the midway point and where I would put all the shelves.
- I had a few ideas but I wasn’t really sure how I wanted it on the wall, so rather than making LOTS of holes in the wall, I put it all the floor and measured it out to what it would look like on the wall. I tried a few ideas and sent a few messages to friends for their opinions.
- At this point because I was about to drill next to an electrical socket, I did turn off the electric to ensure no accidents!
- I then marked on the walls with the shelves where the wall plugs should go (with a level!!) and drilled the holes and inserted the wall plugs. Four hands at this stage would have been incredibly helpful and saved me time but being a single cat lady means I could only use the two that I have and proves that one person can do this project.
- Get your level ready and start putting up the shelves. For the domes you will need to remove the dome to get the screws in.
SUCCESS!!! You’ve completed your cat wall, be very very proud of yourself.
I really enjoyed this project, I wont lie. It absolutely built my confidence around my DIY skills and ultimately whilst my cats aren’t very impressed with the wall, I most certainly am!