Cat Tree Climb IKEA Hack

Updated November 29, 2020

IKEA cat ladder

One of the saddest things I see is indoor cats living in houses with FANTASTIC vertical territory that they just can’t reach. My kitchen, like most, has wall cabinets which create a high gallery for a cat to patrol. The only problem is there’s no way to get up there.

In this construction, an off the shelf IKEA product undergoes cat-friendly modification. Alternate shelves are offset to create a simple and elegant way to give your cat access to high places.

I can’t promise, but if you live in Adelaide and want a hand, I’ll do my best to help.

Title of Hack: LACK Cat Ladder

IKEA items used: LACK Wall shelf unit, red, Article Number : 701.713.62. Also available in black or white.

cat ladder measurement
2. Cut to offset shelf

Other items used: Drillable two-part filler sold as Plastibond in Australia. J-B Weld KwikWood & Abatron WoodEpox would be suitable U.S. products. Extra screws to fix the shelves to wall (choice will depend on wall type)

One corner of each offset shelf needs to be removed (Picture 2). The cuts must be precisely 50 by 43mm so the shelf sits flush to the wall and screw holes are aligned.

Putty or wall filler can be used to fill the exposed hollow centre of the shelf so the screw from the frame will engage better. Once it sets hard, hold the shelf in its new position and use the hole on the frame as a guide to drill a ⅛” (3mm) hole into the putty.

cat tree construction
3. Rear of offset shelf

Three metal plates are included with the Lack shelf. Use the supplied long screws to attach one side of each offset shelf to the frame as shown (Picture 3), the other only through plate and shelf- you will need muscles to screw this one right in (or drill a slightly larger hole).

The shelf is then screwed to the wall (Picture 4- method depends on wall type- ask your hardware store for advice).

cat ladder fixing
4: Fixing shelf to wall

Disclaimer: By modifying furniture, you could:

  1. Ruin it
  2. Hurt yourself badly

It’s up to you to accept the risk. Walkerville Vet and Andrew Spanner are not liable for any product failure, injury or damage resulting from the application of this hack.

I only made two offset shelves, and used the third shelf elsewhere (see Picture 5 at the very end below). If you use all three plates you will need to find another way to stop the shelf from falling over- I attached it via this screw to adjacent cupboards (Picture 6).

cat tree fixation
6: Preventing toppling

Andrew Spanner is a vet and blogger from Adelaide in South Australia. He believes that most pet cats don’t get enough physical or mental stimulation. His Cat Ladder was created for a Walkerville Vet webpage on keeping indoor cats happy. And of course, for Grendel. On that page you’ll also see a simple suspended cat bridge made with a strip of MDF and fishing leader line. Without wrecking the kitchen either!

cat platform
5: Extra (unused) shelf

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By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. Meet his team here.

One Reply to “Cat Tree Climb IKEA Hack”

  1. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for exactly this kind of hack! I appreciate you sharing!

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