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Easy How To Enlarge The Top Platform On Cat Tower

Rogue cat lover. Shelter kitty mom who learns by her teeny mistakes. Fortunately, they guide me with compassion for my human limitations.

New Platform for Growing Cats

Supersized cat tower platform

Supersized cat tower platform

Kitties Grow Bigger

Many families with cats have purchased or made a carpet-covered cat tower for the little darlings to scratch and climb. Often, it includes nooks for hiding and a platform on top for sleeping. If you have a small tower that worked well when your cat was a kitten, the top may become too small for the full-grown feline.

Fortunately, with a wide board (it can even be composite material), old carpet, and a few tools, the condo or tower top can be super-sized. Everyone - human and feline - benefits.

Supplies

Adjustable wrench, pliers, drill, staple gun, carpet knife, hammer, 2-inch nail, measuring tape, scissors

One flat strong board about 13 inches by 14 inches or larger – whatever measurement suits you

Carpet which is 8 inches wider and 8 inches longer than the board

Possibly screws and bolts, if you cannot reuse the hardware on your current tower

Possibly a heavy brick

Procedure

I was fortunate that my tower's top came off easily. Pliers were all I needed to unscrew the bolt. I was further fortunate that the carriage bolt and washer were reusable and the platform top lifted off easily.

De-Constructing the Small Tower

Starting to unscrew the top of the old cat tower.

Starting to unscrew the top of the old cat tower.

A close-up of the washer and hex bolt on the cat tower.

A close-up of the washer and hex bolt on the cat tower.

The cat tower with platform removed.

The cat tower with platform removed.

The underside of the too-small platform.  Note the way the carpeting is mitered.

The underside of the too-small platform. Note the way the carpeting is mitered.

New Top

When doing this project, I had a piece of scrap composition board which was exactly the size I desired for the new platform top. Therefore, I did not need to saw it to make adjustments. You may need to saw if you are buying lumber or using scrap wood which is larger than your intended replacement top.

Composition Board or Lumber

It is straight, flat and strong.  No one will know it isn't pine or oak.

It is straight, flat and strong. No one will know it isn't pine or oak.

Drill

I measured length and width to be able to mark the place for a hole for the bolt in dead center of the top. I drilled the hole for the carriage bolt I was using.

Drill a Hole

The carriage bolt was a standard size. It was easy to drill.

The carriage bolt was a standard size. It was easy to drill.

Prepare Carpet Remnant

I didn’t have my physics brain fully plugged in when I cut the carpet remnant for the top. I made mine a little too small for the folding over and securing. That is why I now advise you above to have an extra 4 inches (beyond the area of the board) on every side of the carpet piece. This gives enough room to fold over the edge and have a decent margin for stapling.

You should cut a rectangle of carpet with the dimensions described: width plus 4 inches plus 4 inches by length plus 4 inches plus 4 inches.

The Carpet

Measure twice, think it through.

Measure twice, think it through.

A real carpet knife is handy.

A real carpet knife is handy.

Carpet Knife

Trial Carpet Preparation

After that, I placed the carpet right side down on my work surface. I centered the board on the carpet (its back side) and did a trial folding over of the sides. When it seemed workable, I cut the corners from the carpet. The reason for this step is that carpeting is too thick to allow for overlapping on the underside of the corners. You need to do your best to trim the corners the way sewers do at a 90 degree turn..

Attaching the Carpet May Take Time

Folding carpet is a full body-weight sport.

Folding carpet is a full body-weight sport.

In this photo, the side carpet is much too narrow.  It was hard to fold it up and over the board and have enough to staple into the board.

In this photo, the side carpet is much too narrow. It was hard to fold it up and over the board and have enough to staple into the board.

This shows one correctly mitered corner.

This shows one correctly mitered corner.

Stapling

Now I stapled one side at a time. The picture below cautions “do not staple so close to the corner." If you cut the carpeting correctly, it will be impossible to be at the edge. I found it necessary to take time before stapling a next side – I folded the carpeting under and propped the board so that its weight pressed on the new fold. I let this rest for 6 or more hours to help bend the carpet. It made the stapling much easier, because I didn’t need to fight with and press the carpeting down onto the board quite as vigorously!

Staple Gun Time

A staple gun beats the old-fashioned carpet tack and hammer system.

A staple gun beats the old-fashioned carpet tack and hammer system.

New Hole

Once all four sides were stapled down, I made a hole in the carpeting to allow the attaching bolt to pass through it. I found the right spot on the carpeting by nailing one long 2-inch nail through the center hole in the back of the board. When it pierced through the front, I marked that spot on the carpet with a marker and removed the nail. Then, I made the hole big enough for the carriage bolt by punching with scissors, pliers, and screwdrivers.

Finding Where to Punch A Hole In The Top Carpet

Hammer a nail from the back to punch through the top carpet.

Hammer a nail from the back to punch through the top carpet.

See the nail?

See the nail?

Happily, when I could pound the bolt with washer through the right side of the carpet, it was very simple to re-tighten it into the original tower.

Modified, Supersized Cat Platform

The finished super-sized cat tower product.

The finished super-sized cat tower product.

The Test

My cats happily gave the new top on their cat tower, thorough jumping and testing. I noticed some wobbling of the entire structure as they explored, so I placed a heavy landscaping brick inside the bottom of the tower. My tower had a hiding nook with a floor, so this was easy for me. If your supersized tower needs stabilizing, I trust you will figure out a similarly easy fix.

Skeeter, my most adventurous cat, puts the new large platform through its paces.

Skeeter, my most adventurous cat, puts the new large platform through its paces.

Green Gift Idea

It feels like an early Christmas at my household. The curious cats look right at home with a new-sized lounging platform. Cost to me: nothing. Value of the entire family’s enjoyment: fantastic!

If you have a cat owner person on your gift list, perhaps an offer to perform this service would be greatly appreciated. Just make out a gift certificate entitling the bearer to a supersized cat platform and include this Hub (to explain what in the world it means!)

P.S. - I also placed my larger-topped platform against a wall to fight potential wobbling. This wall has a picture window. Now the felines are in heaven for three reasons: they can monitor the activity outdoors, the perch feels secure, and the tower is next to a baseboard heater, so they are all toasty and comfortable. What more could a cat want?

© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan

Comments

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on October 19, 2020:

Sangre/Sp Greaney, thank you. If the scratching platform you already own is sturdy and the only thing wanting is a larger resting place on top, this makes so much sense to me. It wasn't too hard to do also.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 19, 2020:

This is a great way to upgrade or increase the size of a cat platform. Probably cheaper too. Your instructions are really good.

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on December 09, 2011:

Nell Rose, yes - our cats have us well trained! You are lucky to have a handyman brother. Now he can add this project to his list. Happy Holidays!

Nell Rose from England on December 08, 2011:

Hi, exactly, what more could a cat want? lol! this is a fantastic idea, why didn't I think of it? we spoil our cats too, so I will have to tell my brother who loves making things like this, thanks!

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on December 05, 2011:

@ carcro - Do we spoil our cats, or what? hahaha

@AliciaC - Thanks, glad your towers are still working.

@randomcreative - Thanks. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 04, 2011:

Wow great tutorial! This is such a creative idea.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 04, 2011:

This is a very useful hub, Maren Morgan! My cats love their cat towers, but if I need to make changes to them your instructions will be very helpful.

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on December 04, 2011:

That's a great idea, I know our cats love the heat, whether from a heating vent or fireplace, they like to sit in front or on top of the heat...

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on December 04, 2011:

Thanks, carco. We are finding the wobble factor to be a challenge, so in addition to the heavy brick inside we have it placed against a wall (over a deliciously warm heating vent!) The cats just adore it now.

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on December 04, 2011:

Great detail and pics, my cats love these climbing tree houses. Thanks for the info looks very doable. Voted up!

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on December 04, 2011:

Hey, princesswithapen! Rebuilding cat towers and other DIY keeps us feeling like we are contributing to our family. :)

princesswithapen on December 03, 2011:

Maren

Awesome hub! The pictures and your narrative make for an easy to understand DIY hub. I hope this hub reaches out to everyone who has a cat in their house.

Princesswithapen

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