Bookcase Cat Climber

Did I tell you we got kittens this summer. O-M-G they're so adorable and sweet. A friend was fostering their litter when I first fell in love. Having lost our 19 year old cat back in the spring, I was really missing having a fur baby (or two) around the house. We were able to adopt our babies through Meow Cat Rescue and I got to pick out the babies I liked best from the litter while they were still staying with my friend. I picked good ones too.

I knew before they came home that they'd need a cat climber. I wanted something they could climb quickly to get away from the kiddos but also something with some scratching space on it. I wanted it to be in a location where they could watch us moving about the house.

Well, the location was easy but it would mean displacing a bookcase. This bookcase:


I'm going to be honest here, I don't miss that AT ALL!!! The thing was though, that bookcase matches one across the room and I like it. Our house is small so matching furniture does wonders for keeping it from looking too crowded. I also didn't want some carpeted monstrosity right there so I hit Pinterest looking for attractive cat climbers I could build.

I found nothing I loved. Nothing I wanted as a focal point in our living space. This is easily viewable from the dining room, kitchen, living room and hallway.

Then it hit me! Get rid of the clutter and make THIS the climber.

I cleared off the clutter and cut a hole in each shelf.


I used the hole guide on my Dremel Trio tool.

Then I stepped back to assess what I'd done.


I loaded it back up with just a few books and games as well as a scrap of carpet I got from a friend.


Oh, I was very happy with where this was going. I found a photo of book spines, printed them out on photo paper, mounted them to cardboard then taped on an "L" bracket and put them (as well as a real book) on the top shelf to give the kitties a pass-through to the top of the shelf. I also put a cool basket up top. Don't worry, it's on some no slip padding so it doesn't slide off.




Teddy investigated and approved it. (Nom nom nom)


Eating Books

Amelia tested it out too.


I also added a carpet-covered strip of wood to one side so they can sharpen their claws on it.


I see one or the other (or both) up there every single day. The carpeted layer is just high enough that they can escape the 2.5 year old's reach and they can scale the climber really fast when they need to. They also like to play on it.

And now, a few final pictures:

Snuggles 2


Thank you for reading,

I'm linking this post up at the following link parties:


  1. this. is. AMAZING! i want this for my cats. also, i want my cats to get along all snuggly like yours, instead of hissing and growling. adorable! enjoy!

    1. Mine do their share of tumbling around, wrestling, biting one another's ears (and butts) but that's usually at night when we're trying to sleep so the camera isn't out. I hope you can make one of these for your cats. Thank you for reading!

  2. Such a clever idea and it looks so simple and effective. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Please be sure your bookcase is secured to the wall. As the kitties get bigger and are tumbling about, it wouldn't take much to topple the unit over. Or your children could pull or bump it and have the same thing happen. Too many accidents happen like this and can be easily prevented....

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  13. This is amazing. Can you explain what you meant by the “pass through” on the top shelf? I am a little unclear on the function of the fake books.

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