Pet Furniture

Published on February 26th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Cat climbing shelf in one compact Billy

Cave Lion fashions a fantastic Billy Cat climbing shelf. It looks pretty easy to do too. Looks fun!

“I made an Ikea hack of my own a few weeks ago and thought you’d like to share it too. The shelf is made from a 40cm wide Billy shelf and it cost only 15€ (the shelf was a bit damaged at the store but it suited our purpose fine) and 5€ for the carpet (so that it’s not slippery). We also added a few corner irons and bolted the shelf to the wall so it wouldn’t fall when our cats play in it. …

40cm wide might be a bit too small for most cats but not for this breed. The shelf fits in the tiniest area, providing our cats access to the top of a closet with minimal damage to the walls of our rented appartment. The pics propably say more than a thousand words about how the shelf was altered, but I must say that we did use a lot of glue on the boards so they wouldn’t flip (in addition to the corner irons).”

See more of Cave Lion’s Billy Cat climbing shelf. (It’s in Finnish but you’ll get the picture.)

Related hacks:
- Stolmen cat gym
- Living room cat tree
- Simple cat ladder
- Stairway to cat heaven

You may also be interested in this ready made cat tree condo scratcher.

More hacks on

Bedside lamp and shelf
Bench and coffee table in one

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".

24 Responses to Cat climbing shelf in one compact Billy

  1. Kay says:

    I made one quite like this 3 years ago and my cats never liked it, except Mama Kitty, she stayed at the top. Maybe I didn’t make the openings big enough…no I think it was the ugly carpet I used.

  2. David says:

    Is there anything you can’t do with a Billy unit? Genius!

  3. 5-shelf says:

    I love these. you did a great job. I love that you can see the cover too.

  4. Steph says:

    That’s fantastic! I’ve been planning to build a “cat tree” for a long time now, but this would be so much simpler, and I know my cats would love the climb. I would consider covering the bottom section with sissel rope or carpet samples so it works as a scratching post, but I would also be worried about stability – so I’d probably want to attach the shelves to the wall if I used full height shelving. If you used shelves half that height and/or were sure they were stable/anchored to the wall, though, you could easily add dangling-type toys to attract them / for them to play with, either inside or on the outside edge. I got my cats one of those plasticky “cat jungle gyms,” and while they love climbing on almost everything, they don’t trust the vinyl or whatever the material is enough to walk on it, so I knew I’d need to build something more solid out of wood or similar. The “as is” section of IKEA is sounding absolutely perfect for this project.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For the Maine Coon owners: you can also try Besta or ultimately, Broder.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That exposed wood area without the laminate where the holes were cut will attract and hold cat fur. Just saying.

  7. Kelly says:

    We have a Billy bookcase that’s still being used to store books, and one of our cats regularly jumps from the floor to the top to perch. I wonder if he’d prefer to be able to climb, or if he’d just keep jumping. Great idea!

  8. Cave Lion says:

    You guys have excellent ideas how to improve the shelf! I like this idea myself too, since it’s so easy to modufy to suite every cat and home. A Maine Coon would probably need a bit bigger shelf, though :D

  9. Anonymous says:

    My huge male Maine Coon lives to climb, too. He weighs three times as much as a normal cat. He could probably fit his head through one of those openings, but then he’d get stuck like Winnie the Pooh after a honey binge. I might be able to get out my Dremel and cut holes in the shelves of some steel industrial shelving. :)

  10. Mo says:

    Now why don’t Ikea have cats in store to show us the potential of the famous Billy.

  11. DJinny says:

    This is Great!! and I really like the comments add-on ideas! About putting a door, on all, or a part of it, and especially to use some of the space for storing stuff!!

    And very well done too! The hack, of course, but also the pictures, it’s pretty interesting the comic like serie!!

  12. m.winter says:

    “falnfenix said…

    m.winter – Siamese cats are climbers, and WILL get to the highest point in every room. why not make it a safer climb?”

    That is great, but I do not own that type of cat. :P

  13. Anonymous says:

    Excellent idea!
    By the way, Your cat looks exactly the same as my cat Camillo, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago.

  14. Gazete Oku says:

    Hi, thank you very much. good job.

  15. Anonymous says:

    THis looks cool but if I were gonna do this I would use the walmart shelf for $25.

    • criticCritic says:

      Ikea might cost more but it is typically better quality than the China-imported Walmart garbage. Saw into a Walmart product and you will be risking the destruction of the item itself from splits. Ikea particle board and wood seems to cut better (never had a split or crumble problem). Consider that you get what you pay for. Ikea’s stuff is not going to be hardwood, but it WILL certainly be more dense and stable after cutting.

  16. Phil says:

    I *love* this idea. Alas, the other half doesn’t like having anything without doors on due to dust. Our cat used to love climbing around on top of our Billy’s until we got the height extensions.

  17. falnfenix says:

    m.winter – Siamese cats are climbers, and WILL get to the highest point in every room. why not make it a safer climb?

  18. m.winter says:

    I like the idea. But i would be worried my cats would further like to climb every piece of furniture afterward.

    • criticCritic says:

      Oh. You’re one of THOSE people that believe that somehow the cats have not already climbed on every piece of furniture already. You have cats. Surrender your furniture. Fighting the cats will only frustrate you. The cats don’t care and will be on your favorite prohibited surface when you are not looking. Using shelves creates another energy outlet for cats other than scratching up your furniture or even wanting to lay on your furniture since the shelves are higher and cats like height.

  19. auntiemichal says:

    I bet it would work with a door on it–of course with an entry opening near the bottom. The very bottom shelf could be used for storage of cat paraphernalia (or even litter box if the cabinet were large enough) if the staircase began on the second-to-bottom shelf.

    My Siamese-mix cat loves high places (he’s on top of the monitor right now), and I have an under-utilized bookcase….

  20. anne says:

    That is so funny! My cats would love it

  21. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful cats. I love to see what people do to entertain their pets with Ikea hacks.

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