Today my husband and I worked on making a nice cat safe area away from the dog. They get along mostly, but the cat gets weirded out by the dog's barking, and runs to the top of our entertainment center in the den.
I decided the poor cat need a nice getaway with a ladder. We went to Home Depot and picked up a 12 foot 2x4 rough pine board for the stairs, and some thinner wide pine boards( about 3/4x7) for the cat box walls. We got a small sheet of pressed board for the floor of the cat bed. We looked for the most inexpensive wood, between $3.00 and $5.00 a piece. Also used were some really long drywall screws that we had on hand, a circular saw for the pine wood, an Exacto knife for the pressed board, and a staple gun for the pressed board floor.
Cat box 19 inches x 23 inches for medium- large sized cat: Cut wood to length, two 19 inch, and two 22 inch. Overlap sides, screw all sides together at edges into a rectangle. Trace outline of box onto the pressed board for the floor, and cut to size with Exacto knife. Staple gun floor to the box edges and you are done! This size will fit a single size bed pillow. Bed pillows with cases are easy to remove and clean. (Directions are for regular box. Our cat needed an open end to get to his food next to his cat box, so ours was a three sided box).
Stairs: Cut 2x4 to desired length, cut remaining board to three inch lengths, space them along board at about one every 8-9 inches. Screw these onto the 2x4 from the back and place at an angle for cat to use as a ladder. We screwed the ladder into the side of entertainment center. We also had to staple gun the box from the inside to the entertainment center so that it wouldn't slide off.
There you go, a rough carpentry project for beginners.
The entertainment center was made with rough pine boards as well. We've had these for a few years, and they are very stable with the heavy television, and have held up through all the bumps and rough treatment from children and pets. We custom made three of these(side by side) to fit the area, along with sliding toy chests which slide underneath the first shelf. Nothing fancy, but it works for storage and clutter control.
See more projects at the Make-it-from Scratch carnival.