Cats love jumping, scratching, playing and sleeping. Usually cats have their fun on our furniture and woodwork, but with their own room or play station, they can have all the fun they want without ruining the furniture. Cat hair and scratched upholstery are only a couple of the concerns pet owners have. Often cats choose our favorite chair to take their nap, do the unthinkable like jumping on the kitchen table, or just stay underfoot. But if they have their own room or area they’re much more likely to be at peace – and so will we.
Whether you have a small room to dedicate to your cats or just a small area you can build a fun station that will provide hours of comfort and playtime. There are lots of common things that you may have around the house to help build the fun station. Cardboard boxes or wooden crates are good examples. Glue old carpeting pieces to the interior and exterior of cardboard boxes for cats to sleep or climb. Throw a soft pillow on top of one to make a nice bed.
How you arrange the play station, how many different objects you use, and how you attach them together is up to you, according to how much space you have. Ideas for setting up the play station include arranging it next to a window, and connecting boxes with other boxes, stacking boxes that get smaller as they go upwards, cutting holes in boxes for large tubes through which cats can crawl, or hanging strings of stuffed toys at various places on the play station.
Most any kind of tube, as long as it’s sturdy enough, will make a cat very happy. They love to walk on them or scratch at them. Some tube ideas are ones that posters come in or tube mailers. Use spray adhesive to attach shag carpet and stand it upright then secure or position it between two boxes. Other tube ideas are carpet-covered pieces from an old swing set, legs from an old table, or a no-longer-used pole lamp.
Purchase tubes that are much larger for cats to pass through on their way to another area of the station. The tubing can be found at home improvement stores, usually used as duct work. Line the inside of the tube with carpet or heavy fabric, like denim or corduroy, so the cat won’t scratch holes in the duct work.
Measure the area where you will set the play station then pencil in a sketch of where and how things can be arranged. When the cat first approaches the room or area a set of steps is a good way to get him immediately to the top section. Or, he can choose from one of several “beds”, on floor, mid-section, or really high. If he’s not in the mood to rest or climb have some toys scattered around or hanging from higher positions.
Extension ladders work well to build extra floors in the room. Lay them across step ladders or secure them to the walls. Stretch half-inch foam across the ladders then cover with carpeting. A sheet of plywood or paneling is another way to make a floor for the second or third story. Align crates and boxes to where the cat can walk across the paneling and choose a crate with a bed, one with dangling bells, one with stuffed toys on elastic pieces, or just an empty crate that he can make his own.
To get other ideas look online at some pictures of cat play stations and substitute the plastic pieces you see for boxes, poles and other things around your home. Your cat will love you for it and you’ll have some peace of mind.