Custom Cat Furniture

Cabinets Complete 2′ deep by 3′ wide and 6+’ tall.

One of the many aspects of woodwork I enjoy is the variety of work you’re able to do with so many different types of materials.  The last project was made from Baltic Birch and this project is a continuation of that theme!  That project was for the Scottsdale Artists School and although complicated, pretty straight forward.  They are cabinets where artists can place their work to dry over-night during their workshop.  I’m using a technique I started when making a taboret that uses clear coat Baltic Birch plywood.  The beauty of that product is that virtually nothing sticks to the coating, the downside is that it’s very heavy and in order to make good joints (my goal) the plywood under the coating needs to be exposed  so that glue can do its’ thing!  No pocket screws in my work, just time proven dados and rabbets to lock everything into place which is assembled with glue, oval head screws, and finish washers for an industrial look.  Anyway, lets talk about this latest project — cat furniture for what I hope will be our future cat.

Those of you who know me or have seen either my instagram or facebook entries remember that I had a wonderful Oriental Shorthair cat named Ali.  She and I had a bond unlike any pet I’ve ever had!  After living a full life we needed to put her down a few months ago and it’s unbelievable how I miss her companionship.  I contacted the breeder we got Ali from (Susanna)  and let her know we were looking for another wonderful cat like Ali . She mentioned that she indeed had a possible cat for us, one who was having her final litter and would probably be available for a “forever home” after that.  At this point it’s a good bet we’ll be able to get her so I’m pretty excited about that, she may be my Christmas present!

Scale Model by Diane

Diane and I decided that a new cat would need a new place, she’s not going to be a replacement for Ali but a new chapter in our lives so everything will be fresh.  Ever look at Pinterest and various search engines for Cat Furniture?  Wow,  there’s a ton of it out there and much of it is super expensive and seems to be made in Europe.  Well you know who decided he’d make it himself and it would fit our space exactly.  It was quite a long process but we came up with several ideas and finalized what we wanted.  Diane was busy in her studio with mat board, tape, and an X-Acto  knife and made this scale model.  Now the balls in my court to turn it into reality.

The over-all concept is that there will be a tower for her to climb on and get away from it all.  These are C-shaped pieces and will provide a safe sleeping place as well.  The cabinet below is for the litter box which and the top of it is where her food will be safe from a little Dachshund with a never ending appetite!  The doors are centered in the opening with a notch used to open them.  The tower will be centered as well.  The cat can easily access the first step to get to her “safe place” and the litter box entry; that step is too tall for Brandy.  Here’s some details of the build for the cabinet, keep in mind that the plies need to be exposed for the glue to penetrate and the screws keep it all together.

The tower was quite complex, not only to cut but also to figure out how to assemble it. Those C-shaped sections are grooved for 1/2″ plywood and joined with lap joints and brads on the ends.  They’re housed the tower section which was dadoed to accommodate them.  The screw goes through the tower, into the C piece, and then into the plywood.  The longer C piece will rest against a wall and the shelves will be covered with peel and stick carpet.

That’s it for now, the exposed edges of the plywood have been sanded and sealed with polyurethane.  The carpet should arrive the middle of next week so there’s plenty of time to put it all in place.  As much as I enjoyed this project ready to go back to working with real wood — Diane needs about 3 frames and I’ve been contacted about making a small run of tables but that’s just in the “talking” stage.  Looking forward to having a new, cat buddy. She had her litter and Diane and I have received several video’s of her and the babies.


About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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