Cat Wall – DIY project

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.

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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.

 

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Wall mounted cat beds:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Sand down your rough edges and they will be rough.
  4. Make sure the bubble fits (top middle pic), I did need to make a few adjustments.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

2Brackets:

  1. Prime them, I did 2 coats
  2. Paint them, I did 3 coats.

 

3Shelves

  1. 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.
  2. I then covered the side shelf rails in wall paper. I used spray glue for ease and convenience.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. I then screwed the side rails to the main shelf.
  7. 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!

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Creating the cat wall

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. At this point because I was about to drill next to an electrical socket, I did turn off the electric to ensure no accidents!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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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!

Tales of a Crazy Cat Lady and her PPPs (pampered pedigree pussies)

I am a crazy cat lady.

Growing up, my family always had cats, much to my fathers own upset. It was uncommon for us to have anything less 5 cats and most summers we had more than 10.  Growing up, the main family cat was Cavity. As with all fun animal names, Cavity got his a result of a family dental trip on the same day we got him. As children our parents always reminded us and quizzed us over our toothbrushing habits and ‘have you brushed your teeth?’, ‘Are you sure you brushed your teeth?’, “let me smell your breath’, typical sayings parents use.  My father was keen to ensure that we brushed our teeth, as ultimately he was the one who’d pay the bill if we didn’t.  On the day we got Cavity, our family of five visited the dentist, the three kids and my mother had no cavities (WIN WIN), however my father wasn’t so lucky and had a few. As children we found this hilarious, given all the constant reminders we had and thought that we should name the cat Cavity as it what would be a 16 year reminder to my father to brush his teeth.

I adore all cats, I rub every cat I see, ok, maybe not the overly ill looking ones but Ive renamed all of my neighbours cats and they run to me when they see me.

Free to a good home. This is a slogan that I grew up with, was given cats on, gave many cats away on and truly believe in. This is a slogan is practically non-existent in the UK. The majority of people charge for kittens and puppies and basically any animal. Basic prices start at about £35 and go up to £200 ($40-$250) and this is non pedigree animals. People believe that they shouldn’t be out of pocket when their non-spayed animals get knocked up. Some people truly believe that charging a large amount ensures a good home. When I have previously suggested the idea of giving them away for free, eyes have bulged, gasps have been made, all followed up with severe head shaking. I think the British just aren’t ready for ‘free to a good home’. My own personal opinion is that paying for animals which aren’t pedigree doesn’t encourage the owner to spay their animal (and rarely do they use this money to spay their animal), it does the opposite, by encouraging them to allow their animal to procreate for profit.  I am all for spaying and believe that unless you specifically want a pedigree animal, shelters are great places to rehome a animal who needs a home.

I crossed paths a Maine Coon when I lived in the states and honestly, I just remember it being this massive massive cat, (I was a child and now kind of remember it being sasquatch sized, so not entirely accurate), with loads of fur and thinking I will have one when Im an adult.  I do enjoy the Snopes post of why the dog ran away.

As part of my divorce I bought two Maine Coons and have never looked back. I am now a PPP (pampered pedigree princess/prince or pussy) snob. Sadly what I have learned with pedigree animals is that they have substantially shorter life (RIP Maizy and Tillie) and that seeing the family line is vital when buying the pet. I now have two Maine Coon kittens (roughly 14 months old), Callie and George and they are brother and sister. When I purchased the two, I went to a fellow crazy cat ladies house who has 17 Maine Coons, I looked at her and literally said ‘You are my future’ and we both laughed awkwardly. She has lots of space and runs for the cats and is a proper breeder. What I was able to see was the heritage, she had the grandmother, grandfather and both parents for the kittens. Rarely are you able to view more than one parent when buying cats, so this was a major win and it was great to see their size, attitudes, personalities and life span of the cats. Its obvious that they have come from a great line of healthy cats, which is so important. After the ill health and loss of Maizy and Tilli, its not something that I am ever prepared to compromise on again.

George and Callie Maine Coons.jpg

Three cats.jpg

George and Callie Maine Coons.jpg

Elka (who is the non pedigree who has outlived many other cats), is also another member of the household and the matriarch. She is 11 years old with arthritis and tolerates the kittens, as best as she can.

Elka.jpg

Callie and George are both very quirky.  Callie is basically me in the cat form, so very very quirky and more than a little bit thick in the hip. George is very friendly but requires utter gentleness, which means hes not overly keen on me. They both want to be friends with Elka, however George just wants to play, which means he spoils it for both himself and Callie, as Elka just wants to sleep.

How are they getting to the land of clogs? I was keen to fly them, however, due to the George and Callies size, they are too big for the cabin (ideal solution) and the idea of putting them through as baggage has been panned by many of my colleagues, apparently this is cruel and can make them much more nervous than they already are. As they are literally treated like baggage, they go through the belt system and then literally sit on the tarmac as long a the luggage does with no special treatment and in all weather conditions. The noises and constant changing of surroundings are a sensory overload and scares the cats to the point of no return. My colleagues who have flown their cats as baggage have said they’d never do it again or allow anyone they know to do it either… So flying is not an option. Apparently flying them as cargo is an option (a very expensive option) and the animals are treated substantially better, however, because the distance I am going is only short, this is not an option available to me. Luckily there are courier companies who just deal with animals, HORRAY! So the answer to the problem is to have the cats couriered over, it ranges in prices but works out to be just over the price of flying them and it means that Im not the one having to drive them, listening to them howl for 12 hours straight, WIN for me.

Summer started off chill this year, so no summer shaves were given, however, they did have a belly shave to allow for some fresh air.  On the 5 hot days we’ve had my poor PPPs have now coped, so the answer was to get a hard swimming pool for them to play in and actually, its worked! They do love water anyway, so it seemed the right answer. The decision was then made to ‘pimp the pool’, a submersible pump was bought to give the water more movement (after these pictures were taken) and its even more of a luxury cool play area for them. Cats who require swimming pools to play in are quite possible too delicate to be shipped as luggage!