Home Cat shelter This built-in cat tree is made with IKEA floating shelves

This built-in cat tree is made with IKEA floating shelves

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LACK Wall shelf – white 11 3 / 4×10 1/4

When designer Tammer Hijazi and his wife, Caitlin Mociun, started talking about having a Bengal cat, they found themselves falling into a den of design requirements. “From all of the research we did on the breed, it looked like these cats were going to bounce off the walls, and they loved having high places to jump and so on,” recalls Hijazi, a partner of Bower Studios. A standard beige cat tree wasn’t going to cut it, but designing and making custom shelves just for the cat that’s coming soon seemed … a bit of a stretch. So Hijazi took matters into his own hands and decided to create a hacked version using a set of floating IKEA shelves.

Never mind that the cat, Cleo, would rather burrow into a pile of dirty laundry than jump from one shelf to another. (“Pet design tip: meet your pet first and find out what they like,” Hijazi explains.) The setup turned out to be beautiful and saved the couple time. and money. Here’s how Hijazi managed to create the look, in case you want to go from a cat tree to a pet store and already know your cat loves to bounce above eye level!

  1. Buy prefabricated floating shelves “I bought the longest floating shelves you can get at IKEA,” says Hijazi. “It was a time saver.” Check the maximum weight before purchasing so that you know your pet can safely climb on it.
  2. Cut them to fit your space The piece of wall Hijazi chose was narrow and ended at two corners. He cut the shelves so that they spread out slightly on the wall. This is what makes them so personalized and allows Cleo to switch from one to the other. (Hijazi used a stud jig to align them precisely, too.)
  3. Hang them up! Assemble the shelves according to the brand’s instructions, making sure they are perfectly secure for the safety of your pet.
  4. (Optional) Add cover If you really want to pamper your pet, protect its paws (and shelf surfaces!) by adding a plush faux fur blanket.

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