Catification in a multi-pet household helps keeps peace and reduces stress. By expanding vertical space for your cat, you create more territory and places for your cat to explore. When you have multiple pets and even species in one house, it allows for new ways for cats to walk around each other to avoid conflict. Finding ways to catify in an attractive and budget friendly way is always my mission!
This Ikea Cat Hack, is on overall on the easy side but it does require some power tools. This cat hack is in our living room, which is the main room where all of our animals and humans hang out. If you like modular and modern looking furniture, this tv set up with the cat steps could find a pur-fect place in your house! The living room is prime real estate for our two dogs and two cats (Momo is kept seperate) and they need enough of space to lounge. Our house is small and it can get a little chaotic in this room that is used the most.
IKEA ITEMS NEEDED
(1) Ikea Lappland Tv Storage Unit - $150.00
This comes in black or white and for how large and attractive it is, I thought this was a really great price for an entertainment area.
(1) Ikea Ekby Jarpen Shelf 31x 7.5 - $9.99
(1) Ikea Ekby Jarpen Shelf 46 x 11 - $14.99
(2) Ekby Bjarnum Brackets 11" (2pack) - $20.00 ($10 per pack)
(3) Ekby Bjarnum Brackets 7.5" (2pack) - $30.00 ($10 per pack)
(2-3) Ikea Lynas Door Mat or carpet of your choice - $3.99 each
For the carpet on top of the Lappland I purchased some car floor mats from Home Depot. They are regular carpet but have seams so it looks more attractive. I've also purchased sticky carpet tiles from Ollies who carries them for very cheap $1.50 each that I opted to use for something else or you can but expensive Flor carpet tiles.
Total Costs: $232.00 estimate (w/o tax) Keep in mind though, this includes the tv furniture, if you already have an entertainment piece that will work with the shelves it will only cost $83.00. The most expensive thing besides the Lappland unit is the brackets.
Circular Saw or Miter Saw (I recommend the circular but I ended up cutting it on a miter)
Cutting Mat & Utility Knife
All purpose wood glue
Strong Anchors ( I used Ikea brackets but they are not the best out there)
Ikea does have other shelves that I have seen other people use in cat hacks. For instance, I've seen people use the little Lack shelves but they do not have the strength to support a cat's weight without using additional brackets, so it will not have the floating look anyway. When we were in the store this seemed the strongest and most cost effective solution. The reason why the Lappland brackets were chosen, even though they are more expensive than other ones, is because they are strong and hide the edges on the cut shelves. If you choose another bracket you will have to paint the cut edges and also make sure you cut it well because you will see it.
1. Cut your shelves
The sizes we cut the shelves to are as follows:
31" Ekby was cut into 3 pieces each about 10"
These are your small walking steps
46" Ekby was cut into a 23" & 16"
You have 46" on this one so if you have more wall space than I did you can make your lounge shelf longer. This made the lounge shelf and bottom step.
We were very limited by what was in stock at Ikea. They did not have two of the 46" otherwise I would have just purchased two of those so that all the shelves were same depth, but we made do with the 31x7.5. For walking up steps it was okay for it to not have as much depth. For the lounge shelf you absolutely need the 11" depth. If you have a longer wall than mine, you could purchase two 46" and have longer shelves in general.
To cut simply measure and use a saw to cut, it doesn't matter if your edges are messy because the brackets hide it.
2. Measure space for shelves
Measure out your spacing of where you will put the shelves. For our shelves, I did 15" off from the floor with 12" height in between steps while staggering them. Since I did in a corner with a window they are close together but you can space out more depending on your wall.
Also, we actually did not need the very top walking shelf, they actually just jump from the third shelf and I ended up putting a plant there instead since these photos. Some cats might want the extra step to either sit on or for an older cat that doesn't jump as much.
3. Anchor to Wall
Assemble the brackets onto your shelves using the instructions. Mark the spots you need to drill by holding your shelf up (use a level to make sure it's correct) and drawing where the drill holes should be with a pencil. Drill your holes and insert anchors. If you are unsure about this process you should be able to find youtube videos on how to drill and insert anchors. Screw your shelf into the anchors with the screws provided with the brackets using the drill.
4. Cut & glue carpet
You can really choose whatever carpet you want on this. Using a cutting mat and knife, cut carpet squares to fit your shelves. The brackets take up room on shelf, about an inch so you are not actually cutting to size of shelf. I believe I made my carpet about 7" square for the 10" shelves to give you an idea.
After your carpet is cut, use all purpose wood glue to place them onto your shelves, unless you bought carpet with a sticky side. If you want you can actually glue before putting the shelves up but I did it last. After you place your carpet put heavy books on top for about 12-24 hours. For on top of the TV unit I did not glue down the carpet yet. You can if you want to, for me I don't love the carpet I currently have up there so am waiting.
YOUR DONE - ENJOY!
The main steps in this are really putting up the anchors and brackets. The shelves are very easy to cut, but making sure everything is level and laid out how you want takes more time and skill but is still easy enough for anyone to give a go at. We also put an 18" Ombre Swirl Crate Mat on the long shelf. It hangs over the edge a little, so I would not recommend for an elderly cat that may slip on it.
You can also put beds on top of the TV unit! Kitties would love that! I did not put any on top since it would hide the painting, plus seriously they have so many beds that they are just fine. At first they were using this like crazy and now they have moved on after a year. Bruce is becoming more comfortable every year with people and the dogs, and now lays with us on the sofa instead of using this as much as he was. If I change the bed out I'm sure they wil think its new again though, it always works.
Like this Hack? Check out Bruce's Ikea Penthouse.
Fox & Feline Fur-Files is a pet blog dedicated to the challenges and highlights of a multi-species household. Featuring cat hacks, our favorite pet products, education and furry mayhem.
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