If you have a cat tree around, you might notice that it gets wobbly and might even break on the first try.
However, having a cat tree in the house supplies your feline friend with a lot of happy playtimes and saves both your cat and your furniture.
To help you find a solution to this problem, I present to you this handy guide on how to make a cat tree more stable. Let’s hop in! Be sure to check out these large trees for bigger cats.
Why Making a Cat Tree More Stable is Essential
There are many reasons that make stabilizing a cat tree a critical win-win situation for you and your cat. Be sure to check out these senior cat trees that will provide your older cat a safe place to relax.
To Avoid Traumatic First Experience
I’ve been around cats for a lot of years and this is how it always went for them. A cat jumps a wobbly cat tree, the platform loses balance, and the cat never uses the platform again.
In fact, I’ve seen multiple cases where the cat refuses to go anywhere near a brand new tree due to its traumatic experience with one.
To Protect Your Cat from Injuries
While cats have an agile body, they’re still prone to injuries even from small falls sometimes, especially that they sleep up there sometimes. Stabilizing the house will ensure that your cat avoid such unfortunate events
To Prevent Breaking Your House
The first impression lasts forever. If you bought a cat tree to contain your cat’s hyperactivity and it finds it wobbly, it’ll quickly return to wreaking havoc around the house.
That’s why I was saying that it’s a win-win situation, as you’ll be buying your peace of mind by following this simple guide.
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To Avoid the High-Rise Syndrome
High-rise syndrome is a condition where some cats tend to accidentally fall from high places while they’re handing around open windows.
A simple way to avoid that behavior is to supply them with a reliable cat tree that won’t fail them while perching.
How to Make a Cat Tree More Stable
Now that you know the importance of keeping the cat tree more stable, let’s head into our step by step guide to strengthen and stabilize the cat tree to handle the naughtiest and largest cats!
Step 1: Gather Materials You’ll Need for the Project
Before carrying on your improvement project, there are some tools and items that you’ll need to prepare for your project. Fixing your old cat tree can save you quite a bit, especially, since the quality cat trees tend to be pricey.
Luckily, all these items are available on the market with some of them actually found in your household! Here’s everything you might need for this guide!
- Metal brackets and screws
- Electric drill with a driver bit or a screwdriver
- Fleece or thick plastic fabric
- Cat-safe glue
- Sheets of plywood
- Hemp rope
- Measuring tape
Step 2: Take Note of Your Cats’ Weight and the Cat Tree Weight
Measure the weight of your cat (or cats) and check the overall weight and maximum weight limit of the cat tree.
Make sure that it can handle your cat’s weight and that it’s several times heavier than your cats’ overall weight. If you bought the cat tree when they were a young kitten, they’ve likely outgrown it and need a bigger one.
Step 3: Check the Cat Tree Base Width
As a rule of thumb, a stable cat tree needs to have a triangular structure that’s wider on the bottom and thinner on the top.
You can bypass this rule by having extra weight to the bottom to adjust the center of gravity of the structure, but it’s always wiser to have a wider base.
If the base is too thin that it can wobble easily, make sure that you extend the base area by attaching plywood sheets that are wider than the original base in the following step.
Step 4: Adjust Wobbly Bases to Have More Weight
In case you need to add more weight and stability to cat trees, you’ll need a sturdy candidate for a platform.
Sheets of plywood are a great option here because of its durability and weight, as well as its ease of handling and cutting to the shape of the base using anything from a folding hand saw to an electric jigsaw.
If the platform happens to be too light for your cat, you can add to its base weight by cutting plywood pieces into a similar shape then attaching them to the base of the cat tree. You can use either normal wood glue or screws to secure the plywood sheets.
While taking in dimensions of the platform, you might need a measuring tape. Any kind here will do.
In fact, if you don’t have any tool to measure the base, you can use the platform itself as a template for cutting the plywood.
Make sure that you use screws of suitable length and insert them from the top to bottom to avoid leaving any sharp bits poking out of the platform.
Before screwing or gluing everything together, make sure that the new overall is equal to or slightly exceeds the goal weight.
Step 5: Use Metal Brackets to Secure Wobbly Towers and Posts
Test the posts with your hand and see if they’re easily wobbling around with your hand. If you feel even the slightest level of wobbliness or flimsiness, they need to be fortified with metal brackets.
Metal brackets are L-shaped solid metal tools with multiple screw holes in them in both sides. It’s important to pick metal brackets and screws that match the thickness of the platform.
For example, 40 x 40 mm brackets are great for smaller cat trees. However, if you have one of those huge cat trees with towering posts, you may need some larger ones.
To fasten the screws into the brackets, you need an electric drill/driver. If you don’t have one, I recommend this Black + Decker cordless drill because it comes with different driver bits to screwdriver different sizes of screws.
You can always use a screwdriver for the job but it just takes a lot of time and effort to fasten each screw in this way.
Ideally, you need 2 to 3 brackets installed at the top and bottom of each post. Screw-in the tower side first then secure the base screws.
Step 6: Cover the Metal Brackets with a Safe Material
These items don’t serve any stability purpose. However, they’re essential to cover up the metal brackets and screw heads to prevent curious cats from messing around with them.
Additionally, they double as a cushioning factor that protects your cat from injury if it falls over these metal parts.
If you have any old kitty blanket lying around from the kitten days, you may use scissors to cut them into suitable pieces to cover the metal brackets.
A bonus tip here is to make sure that it’s colored similar to the cat tree to blend in nicely and keep your cat comfortable around its treehouse.
To make sure that any various parts stay in its place you need glue. However, cats can bite into that glue while playing, which is why it needs to be pet safe.
Ideally, I suggest that you use those adhesives used for pet nails, as they’ve been proven to be safe for cats.
Step 7: Use Hemp Rope and Dowel to Add More Weight and Sturdiness to the Structure (Optional)
An additional yet excellent method to strengthen the cat tree towers and branches are using the classic trick of ropes and sticks.
For that job, you’ll need small dowels and hemp string rope for the job. This one works great for worn-out branches and towers as well as bendable ones.
To make them more stable, attach 2 to 3 dowels of suitable length to the post and wrap hemp string rope around it. Lastly, finish the wrapping by gluing the last part with a cat-safe glue.
A Word of Caution
Some cat trees out there are covered with a warranty policy that prohibits any kind of tampering with the structure of the cat tree.
Before attempting the previous guide, you should know that such a fix can easily void the warranty.
If you’re trying to fix a broken part, you may also consult the manufacturing company about any reinforcement options that they offer.
However, if the product has no warranty or past the warranty time window, you’re free to attempt these fixes.
Make sure that your cat stays far away from the structure while you’re stabilizing it to avoid any potential injury or loosening any glued parts that are yet to solidify.
While it’s a fairly simple project, it’s always wiser to consult a specialist or have a helping hand if you’re unable to attempt these fixes yourself to avoid any possible injury.
Lastly, some cat furniture is beyond repair, and it may be time to throw out that wobbly tree. Take into consideration the age and quality of the furniture.
There you have it. A complete guide that walks you through every step on how to make a cat tree more stable and sturdy to handle your cat.
As you can see, all the tools and steps in this guide are relatively easy with multiple alternatives and room for creativity if you can’t find some of them at your disposal.
Remember that having a cat tree is always a great thing for your cat, as it’s an extremely versatile cat accessory.
That’s why it’s always safer for your pet and your house to have a fortified cat tree than not having a cat tree at all.