This scratching post was made from a fallen tree on Martha's property. It's 18 inches tall, but you can make yours any size.

"If you are a pet lover, as I am, you will certainly understand my desire to make my pets' lives as comfortable and as interesting as possible," Martha pens in her monthly column for Living. "And because they are important members of my family, I celebrate their birthdays, include them in parties, and, of course, shower them with presents, especially at Christmas. (This year, all of them—dogs and cats and birds—will be receiving some gifts that are homemade and practical and others that are fun and stimulating.) For the December 2007 issue, Martha crafted a set of gifts for all of the animals on her farm. Martha elaborates, "The five Himalayan cats—four boys and one girl (brothers Vivaldi and Verdi, Bartok, Mozart, and Elektra)—love toys, snacks, catnip-filled objects, interesting perches, and warm beds, preferably ones located in pools of warm sunlight or very near sources of heat."

Cat shelves and perches—such as this tree—provides them a quiet retreat in your home. For more ideas, try mounting a basket to the wall or installing a fixture within the design of your home—a hammock underneath your side table or a drop-down windowsill perch. For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of cat crafts.


What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Use a tree saw to cut the trunk of a sturdy piece of branched wood so that it forms a flat surface.

Step 2

On a 1 1/2-inch-thick piece of wood that is wide enough to provide a stable base (this one is about 15 inches across), draw intersecting lines. On the base, mark the trunk's footprint at the approximate center. Mark placement of four 3-inch wood screws.

how to build a cat tree
Step 3

Drill the pieces together.

Step 4

Remove bark from the base if desired.


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