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Old December 11th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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Exclamation How to build your own kitty gym

Okay, my husband Trav just offered to post a how-to guide and a step-by-step walkthrough on how to build your own kitty gym, based on his own experience. We were just wondering if anybody was interested before we started...???
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Old December 12th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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I think I'm safe in saying we'll ALL interested!
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Old December 12th, 2004, 02:43 PM
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Totally!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old December 12th, 2004, 03:34 PM
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The one my hubbie built is definetly not as fancy as Meekos,but my cats are on it all the time...here it is,once again!!
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Old December 13th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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I think I just found a new project for my boyfriend
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Old December 13th, 2004, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meghan_K
Okay, my husband Trav just offered to post a how-to guide and a step-by-step walkthrough on how to build your own kitty gym, based on his own experience. We were just wondering if anybody was interested before we started...???
ABSOTIVELY POSILUTELY
thanks
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Old December 13th, 2004, 11:02 PM
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I was at Petsmart last night and noticed the prices on the carpeted kitty gyms there. Over $300 US !!! I'm in shock!!!
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Old December 13th, 2004, 11:28 PM
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I am very interested, those things cost so much!

Thanks in advance, Meghan_K and hubby!

Chico, your cats and mine look alot alike Well my tabby, Cody is much fatter and darker. Here mine are playing on one I paid 30.00 for, I think, they love it but would love to make them a better one.

~~Diane
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:54 AM
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ur right, they're outrageously priced. i was shocked by pet smart's prices. i specifically went to look for one when i got louie but no way would i pay that kind of money. heck, i want an armoire that doesn't cost that much. he can climb THAT for heaven's sakes. lol <just kidding> i WILL try to make him something. could be pretty interesting & scary!
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Old December 14th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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I would love to know how to build my own kitty gym.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 07:25 AM
Sunkist/Winnie Sunkist/Winnie is offline
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I would love to have the plans for a kitty gym!

Both of my cats are indoors cats. I take them outside in the Spring/Summer/Fall weather permitting...but one of them refuses to go out in the snow so their level of activity decreases in the winter...a kitty gym would hopefully help supplement the exercise they get during our indoor play time. I have one cats that tends to be a little on the chunky side so exercise is a good thing!

Thanks so much for offering!
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Old January 11th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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Exclamation Wow, lets get started then.

Oops I sort of forgot about this post for a little while, so I'll get my hubby on that as soon as he gets up (sleepyhead). Have no fear, we will post the kitty gym plans as promised. You'll have to have a little bit of patience with us procrastinators, sorry

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Old January 11th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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Arrow

And yes, I agree that petsmart, ect. totally take advantage of people who don't know how to/don't have the time or tools to build their own kitty gym. Man, those prices are just insane, and honestly, it wouldn't cost them (or you) more than 40 $ for a very nice kitty gym to build. And there are all kinds of nice little add ons that you can incorporate to "customise" your kitty gym, like sisal (for their claws, very nice inexpensive stuff ), and hanging kitty toys and really just about anything you can dream up that you think kitty would enjoy. Anyways, I PROMISE that I will get back to you guys a little later today with the kitty gym plans. (So sorry for taking so long )
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Old January 11th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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waiting patiently I love the kitty gyms posted ! It is so much fun making stuff for your furbabies! I made my guinea pigs pen and it is soooo much bigger than the crappy cages in petstores that are way too small and rediculously expensive!
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Old January 11th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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A kitty gym would be the perfect project for me while my husband is in Iraq! Between that and the table that I need to finish refinishing, I should be able to keep pretty busy.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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Arrow At last! Here are the plans

Ok everyone, lets start with an item list. These are the things you will need to build your kitty gym.

Keep in mind that the pictures we will be showing are just an example of what you could do-depending on your budget and what kind of tools you have. For example, with this list, you can improvise a lot with the materials. You can make the 2x4's longer (making the kitty gym taller). If your cat is a serious climber and scaler of things, you can definately substitute the 2x4's for 2x6's, giving kitty a wider beam to run up vertically. You can add as many platforms and shelves as you wish, you can experiment with different types of lumber, you can add sisal rope and cat toys. ( For those of you adding sisal rope, a hot glue gun works wonders, just remember to glue it to bare wood and not carpet).This is just a very basic design, and should be used to give you a very general idea of what to do. Get creative! This should be sufficient enough to give you the knowledge of how to build a basic kitty gym, and you can go from there.

1. 2x4's, any length, lets say under 3 feet (scraps) You will need 1 or 2 (or 3 or 4) of them, depending on what kind of gym you plan on making. You can get these at home depot, ect. just ask them if they have any 2x4 scraps. Remember that Home depot and a lot of other stores have a cutting center where they will cut the wood for you if you do not have the tools to do it yourself.

2. Plywood squares. These will be for the platforms and such, so make sure you get them the size that you want at the store if you don't have the saw to cut them down with at home. *Home depot carries pieces (scraps). Just ask them for it, or any other lumber supply store (3/4 inch thick minimum if you are using 3/4 inch staples)
*Or you can use thinner plywood if you are going to glue it with contact cement. (carpet to wood only)

3. 3/4 inch plywood base if your using 3/4 inch staples. Keep in mind that it can be any thickness if you are using contact cement ( this can be any size, but big enough so that your kitty gym won't fall over. (2 foot square minimum)
The bigger your kitty gym, the bigger the base.

4. Any type of carpet that you would like to coat it with ( A lot of carpet stores will have appropriate lengths and scraps in their junk bin) Just remember to ask first Oh, and I would suggest getting more carpet than you think you'll need, because if you cut something wrong, well...it's nice to have extra carpet if you need it .

5. A heavy duty stapler and staples (lets say about 3/4 inch staples) If you don't own one, make sure you inform the store clerk what you need it for
(carpet) before purchasing it. You want to make sure the staples go in deep enough so that kitty won't catch his claws on them (ouch)

6. A screwdriver (or screwgun), and 2 inch screws. I would suggest also picking up some longer screws, as well, just in case you need more support in some parts.

7. Most of this can be bypassed by using contact cement. It's messier and stinker, but you can use it to attatch the carpet to the wood with the same results, especially if you do not have the tools for the job. The downside of contact cement is that you have to wait for it to dry. Just follow the general instructions and you should be okay.
*Note * Do not use contact cement to put the wood platforms and 2x4's together, you will definately need the screws for that
In the pictures, we will be using an air stapler, so for those of you using contact cement, just try to follow along as best you can.

8. You will need a sharp knife (I would recomend an exacto knife or something similar) to cut the carpet pieces with.

Okay, get these items ready and you can start on the next phase of your kitty gym-putting the darned thing together. My hubby will be taking pictures of the kitty gym as he builds it in a step by step (as you can only post one pic per post ) walkthrough later this afternoon. We know that some of you will have more knowhow than others, so if you feel confident enough in your abilities, you can definately improvise along the way, this is just an example. If you have any questions feel free to ask away, as we are well aware that some of you are not tool savvy or mechanically inclined and will need extra help along the way.

* Note * We will be showing you how to build a kitty gym with one main support beam (2x4), but by seeing how we built that it won't be difficult for you to use two (or 3 or 4, depending how big you want it to be) main support beams instead of one if you wish. We will also be showing you a picture of a finished two-beamed support kitty gym. (That would be the first kitty gym we made for Meeko.) Good luck!
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Old January 11th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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Talking

Would LOVE to have these instructions!!!!
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  #18  
Old January 11th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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To start you off

First off, you will need to design a simple gym, as a starter. Try to imagine it put together without carpet on it. Draw it on paper, if that helps. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, remember that you can always add onto it later if you want.

Then you will need to cut your lumber to the size you want, or have it cut, if that's the case. The exact length is not important in the kitty gym shown in the pictures.

Cut your carpet to fit the pieces of lumber, which should wrap around it completely.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Putting the carpet on

Staple the carpet into place, (there is no such thing as too many staples) and trim it with an olfa blade (exacto knife) if nesessary. Be careful that you don't cut yourself! These knifes are extremely sharp.

Regarding the end of the 2x4's you see here in the pictures : only one side of the carpet is cut flush (even) with the end of the 2x4, and the other side has been covered with carpet.
The flush cut side ( bare wood) is the side you will be screwing to the main beam (2x4) coming up from the base...

*Note* What your looking at are the shelves (platforms) that we chose to use. We are using pieces of 2x4, but feel free to experiment with the lumber, you can use plywood or just about anything, as long as the wood is thick enough for the screws to go into.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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The base and the main beam

Here are some pictures showing you how to staple the carpet onto the main beam and the base. On any 2x4 or beam, the carpet can overlap.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Exclamation finishing the kitty gym

Here is the finished single-beam kitty gym. The final step is to screw everything together-the base to the main beam, the shelves to the main beam, and the top platform to the top of the beam. Note the white writing on the pictures. Make sure that your screws (I really can't stress this enough) and staples are set in really, really deep so that kitty won't catch his claws on them. My hubby added a cat to his, but you don't have to put it on with staples if you don't want to. JK!
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Old January 11th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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I got creative with this

I added the new kitty gym (single support beam) to the original (two support beams) that we built .
Meeko just loves it!
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Old January 11th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Wink Little helper

Here are some bonus pictures for you. The base attatched to the main beam, the base being screwed onto the main beam, and Meeko helping.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 05:23 PM
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Fantastic Meghan_K and hubby! Wonderful instructions and photos! I wish I had a shop and I think I could actually do this....might take a while

Thanks so much,
~~Diane
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Old January 12th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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Lightbulb The original gym

As promised, here is a picture of the original kitty gym. Notice it has two main support beams instead of one. This is now the "bottom" piece of the new and improved gym Trav created when he screwed the base of the new one (single beam) to the top of the old one. He had to remove the top platform of the old one, but it has found new life as a side platform on the new and improved version (see pictures). Anyways, we hope these pictures help you out, and if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask. We hope to see some pictures of completed kitty gyms on here (hint, hint).
Complete with kitties, of course .
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Old January 12th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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I don't have a cat, but I would like to make one for the animal group near my house. How high is the main beam.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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Main beam

You can make the main beam as high or as low as you want. The kitty gym my hubby made in the pictures-the beam was about 3 ft. long. Also take into consideration how many main beams you want. The bigger you want the kitty gym to be, the bigger you'll have to make the base, and you can put in 2 or 3 or 4 main support beams. (The bigger it is, the more beams.) Also, if it is for several cats, I would suggest using more than one beam anyways so that you can attatch more shelves and platforms. Hope that helps.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Thanks so much Meagan. I have to put my hubby to work now
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Old January 12th, 2005, 08:08 AM
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Hee

Ha,ha, no problem. At least it will give our husbands/boyfriends something constructive to do.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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Meghan,that is great!! Mine is just very simple,but the cats love it...we used a 4x4 peace of left-over wood as the main beam,the whole thing is made from leftovers,did not cost us a cent,except for the sisal-rope.
We do however change it now and then,we've had the tree for at least 10yrs,now..
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