Pet Furniture IMG_4313

Published on January 28th, 2008 | by Jules Yap


a tree in the living room for your cat to climb

barna repurposed the stolmen system into a cat tree. here’s what he did.

“my girlfriend and i live with our three cats in a smallish apartment in san francisco. we wanted to give the cats plenty of vertical space, but we loathe both the fuzzy-cutesy look and the bulkiness/’unmodularity’ of regular cat furniture. i was inspired by an earlier post on your site that used stolmen components and came up with our own solution. this one has more shelf space, and the levels are not very far apart (one of our cats is limping a little). it is made of only stolmen components, except the rugs, though i imagine ikea would have suitable ones too. we currently have two of these trees set up, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.”

see similar hacks:
> stolmen cat gym
> cat stairs
> cat ladder

More hacks on

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

18 Responses to a tree in the living room for your cat to climb

  1. Blususiq says:

    We made the same cat tree after seeing so many hacks for it. Problem is, although we tightened it to the ceiling with screws and extended it as far as possible, it keeps spinning around. My husband tried to fasten the larger pole to the small one with a screw, it still spins :-?

    So now we are left with a gorgeous tree that the cats won’t use as they feel unsafe! It spins when they jump on an off!

    Any suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I looked up the pieces and it’s super expensive. Any other suggestions?

    • Anonymous says:

      I priced it and it comes to 85 dollars for a 3 shelf tree, that is cheap when I think of how many trees I purchased from cat craft that literally fell apart from use! They are 40 dollars a piece. This should last for a long time and will be worth every penny!!

  3. sakurazero says:

    I love this…. my cat is allergic to sisal and it seems every single freakin’ cat tree out there has sisal all over it. I’d love to make this… do you have a list of the specific parts and/or instructions typed out anywhere?

  4. Isaac Rabinovitch says:

    OK, that’s a clever hack. Still not the most compact Stolmen-based cat tree, though. For that you have to go aftermarket:

  5. Ruusu, if I understand your question, the metal plate comes with each Stolmen shelf. I was looking at the Stolmen system at the IKEA website and the parts that make up the cat tree.

  6. Ruusu says:

    Where did you find the part with this metal plate under the shelves? I haven´t seen those in Ikea anymore and would need those desperately!

  7. says:

    Need 2try it :)

  8. That is an amazing idea. Cats have a nature of climbing on anything. Like my cat. She always climbs in our cabinet that is why I make sure that all doors are locked. Because she almost break all our stuff in our cabinet.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Thanks for the idea! I built this 2 weeks ago, our 8 month old human will be crawling about looking for cat food/poo to eat so we wanted to raise the cat stuff up. Seems easy enough to put together but I did remember that going to ikea makes me want to poke my own eyes out.

    Any way…I just thought I’d post my thoughts for anyone deciding if this is for them…

    -our 2 cats have potential for fighting & this might be increased a bit as if they try to pass to the unoccupied shelf bed the other cat surprises them and launches at them.
    -maybe just my dopey cat but he seem reluctant to accept his food up there- too exposed?
    -the rope on the pole has hardly been touched (reused old rope from their 1st post- their scent etc) maybe diameter of pole to thin??
    -it looks alot better than the tacky pet store one anyday!

  10. shara says:

    It’s a great idea, to use Stolmen. Here’s what another designer did:

    using Stolmen posts and adding his own design of rug-covered “leaves” to the post. It is quite beautiful.

    The site is a bit tough to navigate but it’s worth it..


  11. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know if anyone knows an answer to this but I would love to make this cat tree in our new “stair-less” apartment so the two fat kitties can get a tiny bit of exercise but we have vaulted ceilings. I believe the Broder system has a way to mount to a vaulted ceiling but I wasn’t sure if I could make something like this using their bracket system. Anyone ever try something like that or have another suggestion?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’d highly recommend Sisal Wallcovering (search on google). My cats love it – it’s super durable and comes in about 12 different (but kind of similarly natural-ish) colors.

    Though the flor tiles would be really snazzy too.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would rather have something to torture cats. Dogs rule!

  14. Emma In France (lloer at lloeren dot com) says:

    Another idea for the carpet could be an obsolete carpet sample book.

    I carpeted stairs, a hallway and my daughters room with several of these many years ago.

  15. Barna says:

    Thanks guys! Our cats do love them as do any of our human visitors..

    For the rug I simply used “Lok Lift rug gripper tape” that I got at Target. It is sticky on both sides, but not sticky enough to damage either the rug or the shelf. It’s convenient because it makes the rugs easily removable and we keep all options open for the future.

    It may seem that the tape wouldn’t keep the rugs in place, but we have never had any of them move one bit. Since I sent this in we actually adopted another kitten, and the four cats really put the shelves to the test — never had a problem with slipping rugs. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    In the future I might consider using carpet tiles from (I only learned about those after the shelves were done in their current form.) They are stylish, come with their own adhesive system, and I think they fit these smaller Stolmen shelves quite neatly without cutting.

    Enjoy and again, thanks for the comments! :)

  16. Marissa says:

    This is incredible! I have 3 cats and am going to be moving into an even smaller space than I am currently in. I was worried that they would get bored, but I think if I make this they might really enjoy it.

    I would love to know how the carpet is attached to the shelves.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is great! Can you tell me how you attached the rugs to the shelves? I want to try something similar and wasn’t sure the best way to attach them.


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