Cat Stairs and Scratching Post

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Project by Nkosika posted 12-29-2013 06:57 PM 2010 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So an aging cat that has more and more issues with getting on the bed prompted a build of stairs to help him out. The idea stage took a couple of months because I wanted to do some joinery that I wasn’t familiar with.

As you can see from the rough draft, the original plans included duel stringers that would later be dropped just for one. The cat scratch post also was not included into the original plans but would be opted later to provide stability and weight and provide a dual purpose for the project.

Joinery – Steps are glued to stinger using a halved joint with a opposing 45 degree angle meet. So tight that the glue actually wasn’t needed. On the stinger, band saw only and on the step band saw and then a 45 degree jig with a first for me, chisel.

Base to Stinger, Mortise and tendon. Also my first time using this joint.

Top Step or platform. This was not really in the original plans either and came only after deciding to add the cat scratching post. Wood Dowel My second time using this type of joint.

Design – I’m not an artist so I had to look at tons of stencils online for what cat paws looked liked, then freehand draw and then free hand route, keeping in mind that the stringer would be at a 45 degree angle and not a 90 degree angle. Issues – probably should have thought more about where the steps would be and if they would block the designs.

Front of Base. I used a lid to a bucket for my router guide. I used this bucket lid before in a desk project and learned that it likes to bend, so I learned to clamp down very securely.

Catch Scratch Post – Miter cut lengthways, glued. 4 pieces. The hardest part of it was trying to figure out how the I could make a cut down the center of one of the pieces to meet the stringer and have a 45 degree miter joint. I had already joined the post! Horrible planning. So I hand chiseled the whole thing .

Carpet was glued and stapled, rope was glued and nailed, all staples and nails would be on the back half where the cats wouldn’t claw at. Then everything clamped down just to make a good seal.

In the end, it all came out well and the cat actually does use it! Granted, cat nip was added to entice the cat to become friends with it.

4 comments so far

View jeffswildwood's profile


4253 posts in 2585 days

#1 posted 12-29-2013 11:41 PM

This is very nice. I really like projects that help kitty. You did a great job on this and learned new skills that will come in handy of future projects. Great work!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View clieb91's profile


3701 posts in 4543 days

#2 posted 12-30-2013 12:48 AM

Nice. Thanks for the very detailed explanation. This sort of thing is something that may be on my build list in the not too distant future as my wife’s cat is also starting to have a hard time getting in bed.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Nkosika's profile


20 posts in 2848 days

#3 posted 12-30-2013 01:10 AM

Thanks Jeff and CtL!

CtL if I can make a recommendation, I would suggest wider steps for the cat, I think I made them a little too short and if I had to do this again, I think I would have made them about 4 inches wider.

View Nkosika's profile


20 posts in 2848 days

#4 posted 12-30-2013 01:22 AM

Not wider, longer actually.

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