Skip to main content

How to Make a Pergola with a Hidden Cat Ladder

A pergola in your garden is a great way to get lots of green in a small space. Wouldn't it be great to combine that with a cat ladder to turn it into a cat jungle gym and lookout post? This design can serve as inspiration for your own construction. It is fairly complex but that is mostly because the materials used came from the discount corner of the local DIY store. You might be able to find materials that fit a lot better together from the outset so you can get the same result in a simpler way. Having said that, this design is rock solid and will withstand lots of abuse by your cat.

EditSteps

  1. Know what you're building. This design consists of 3 parts: the existing pergola poles, the steps of the cat ladder, and the trellises (shaped like ice popsicles).
    Nano on pergola1 flip.jpg
    • The cat ladder steps are attached to the pergola poles. The trellises are attached to the steps.
    • The plant container in between the pergola poles was built separately and is not connected to the poles. It is a box that is simply pushed in between the poles.
  2. Make the steps. The base of the cat ladder step design is the hardwood beam which will be screwed into the pergola posts and provide strength.
    Steps1a.jpg
    • Saw the beam to the appropriate length depending on how much space you want between the trellis and the wall/pergola post. You need to take into account a minimum width so your cat can actually fit there. 25 cm is about the minimum size.
    • Saw the garden plank that will serve as the plateau to size. Screw it to the hardwood beam with two screws making sure that the trellis-end is perfectly level.
      Steps2a.jpg
      .
    • Measure the width of your trellis. Divide this by half and deduct half of the width of the pergola pole. This is the size of the small wooden batten that will go at the trellis end. It is best to dry-fit to make sure. Screw the wooden batten in place with one screw in the hardwood beam and one screw in the plateau plank. Pre-drill as appropriate.
    • In this design, the garden wood planks were not wide enough to cover the width of the trellis and the wooden battens were therefore a necessity. Your design might not need them.
    • A cat ladder step that goes on the right has a mirrored design to one that goes on the left.
  3. Make the ice popsicles. It's trellis time! Measure how far up you want your trellis to go (all the way up is recommended). Your trellises will probably not be long enough, so you will need to put them on stilts.
    Ice popsicle flip.jpg
    • Measure how much extra length you need and saw a hardwood beam to size.
    • Use a connector plate at the back and screw the beam to the trellis. Screw in a few extra screws from the top if needed. Important note: The "ice popsicle" will feel rather flimsy. The pole it is supposed to rest on might wobble a bit. That's fine at this stage. Later on, when everything is put together, it will be very strong.
    • This trellis was stained with a dark wood stain. This is not needed, but makes it look a bit better and will help hide the attachments needed later on.
  4. Build the cat ladder. Time to build the cat stairway to the sky!
    Attaching steps 2a.jpg
    • Measure where the cat steps go on the pergola poles. About 45 cm between every step works fine, but you can deviate. Plan the steps left, right, left etc. all the way up.
    • Attach the steps to the pergola posts with screws. There are several ways to do this, but here is a method where you don't really have to measure very much beforehand and still get very good results:
      • Take the cat ladder step you already made. Place it against the pole where you want it. Drill the first hole through the hardwood beam of the step into the hardwood beam of the pergola post at the end that is furthest away from you (the end that is nearest to the wall).
      • Attach the cat ladder step with a screw but do not tighten it all the way yet. Just enough so it is stuck but you can still move it.
      • Adjust the cat ladder step until it is nice and level. You can move it up and down a bit because there is only one screw attached. Use a spirit level if needed.
      • Drill a second hole next to the first one.
      • Attach using a screw and tighten both screws completely.
    • Even though this is a strong connection, there might still bit a little bit of give. Don't worry about it. It will be very strong when finished.
  5. Attach the ice popsicles trellis.
    Steps attachment1.jpg
    • Put the trellis popsicle up against the cat ladder steps.
    • Drill holes in the frame of the trellis where the wooden batten will connect with the trellis.
      Steps attachment 4.jpg
    • Surprise!! Garden wood usually isn't very straight. You might need little wooden connector pieces (just saw some little pieces of wooden battens to size and squeeze them in between) or little metal o-rings to make sure that the fit is good and tight.
      Steps attachment2.jpg
    • Try to attach the popsicles to each step with two screws if possible. One screw for every end of the wooden batten at every cat ladder step. One screw at the back and through the edge of the frame of the trellis and one on the front somewhere in the middle. It might not be feasible for every step, but you should be able to get most of them. The important thing is that this will provide the overall strength of the structure. When you are finished it should feel very strong.
      Trellis attachment 1a.jpg
  6. Make the base. You are nearly there! In this design, because of the plant container in between the posts, the trellis popsicle is very strong higher up where it is attached to the cat ladder steps, but the base is still wobbly. Time to fix that. If you don't have a plant container and your steps go from the ground up, you can skip this step.
    Ice lolly attachement and base 1a.jpg
    • Saw a hardwood beam that will go on the outside of both the pergola pole and the trellis popsicle pole.
    • Saw a hardwood beam that will go on the inside- in between- the two poles.
    • Attach the inside wooden beam to the outside wooden beam using screws.
    • Attach the hardwood structure you made to the poles. It already looks a bit like a platform.
    • Saw the garden wood platform/cat ladder step to size.
    • Attach the platform to the hardwood beams with screws.
      Base view 1a.jpg
  7. Marvel at your lovely creation. You are done!!
    Cat on pergola.jpg
    • You can add a plank between the two top cat ladder steps to create a platform your kitty can use.
      Side view flip.jpg

EditTips

  • Use cat friendly plants of course. This example uses jasmine, but not all jasmines are cat-friendly, so do your research.


from How to of the Day https://ift.tt/2xbNF3f

Comments