Repurposing An Old Cat Tree


IMG_2516Breathing new life into something old…My first instinct is how can I fix it. Tossing stuff out and buying new is always easier, but not always easier on the wallet, and besides that, I don’t always find the “new” better than what I already have. They just don’t make things like they used to. All too often I find that statement is so true. Though in this case, my cat tree is nothing special and yes, you can find this style and probably better, but my cats like it and that’s most important. So I’m going to spiffy this one up.

Before I show you what I did, remember when I made a cat tree/bed out of a wooden spool? You can see it here… That was when I found out how much they really liked to scratch on sisal. Which is why I chose to use sisal to freshen up this tree instead of wrap more carpet around it. I may do carpet again another time, but I have a few rolls of sisal, so sisal it is! Here’s what I did…



one old cat tree

sisal rope

hot glue gun

glue sticks




Vacuum the tree really well. I usually get to it about once a week to help keep the hair down in the house. If I didn’t vacuum the house a few times a day, it would look like I live in a “hair” house! Ack!!!!


Cut/trim off any strings or carpet strands. See the hair? That’s because I had helpers while trimming, hence the need to vacuum a lot! Good thing I can vacuum the cats too. I put on the brush attachment and go at them. They actually like it! ๐Ÿ™‚


I really let this tree go! You know, “Oh I will get to it later?”…


After trimming loose parts, I hot glued down carpet parts that have loosened. (That’s Evan the dog. He is one of the sweetest pups I’ve had the privilege to have in my life. He’s got the most unique fur. I will feature him in a post one day. He’s so cool, he has his own instagram!)

Depending on how your tree was originally made… I found the carpet was stapled along the seam. That’s fine, but if the cats scratched it loose around the stapled part, then the whole carpet piece was loose. I cut parts of the carpet off. Later on, I realized I could have left it. Either way I found it worked whether I left the carpet loose or cut it off.


Choose a good place to start. I hot glued at the beginning of the sisal rope and then as I wound the rope around I added more hot glue. I wanted this good and tight as I know my cats and they really, really love to scratch on sisal.ย 


Here you can see I decided to cut off the carpet. I didn’t see the sense in leaving a little piece here and there, though I doubt it would have made a difference under the sisal. BTW, that’s Chaz. My helper for the moment.ย 


Chaz didn’t move at all. I guess he found what I did interesting.

Find another section that needs sisal and keep on hot glueing around and around and around…



and around…


That’s Spencer at the top this time and Eva peeking through! One more leg to go…


The last leg! Finally.



Easy project. This did take longer than I expected. I think having “helpers” added to the time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!



This time, at the top, is Sherlock. Aptly named as he is our most curious cat! And Chaz who is always good for relaxing “down at the club”.ย 

Tree looks much better! The best part is, the cats are happy to use it!


Hot glue is HOT so be careful. You can use a chop stick or a screw driver to hold the sisal in place for a few seconds as it dries.

Sisal can poke into your skin. I had to tweeze out a couple “splinters”. You can wear leather gloves. I just sucked it up! Hahaha. I don’t do well with gloves. Which is why I have to deal with poison ivy on my hands when I’m out doing yard work.

You can hot glue a section and just wrap the sisal around a few times and then glue another small section. You don’t really need to glue every inch as you go along.

If your cat prefers carpet, home improvement stores carry carpet remnants. Rugs are also great and you can buy them at places like Target. They are smaller and easier to handle. I’ve used a good razor blade knife (be super careful) and cut the sizes I need.

The sisal I used for this project I bought at HomeDepot a couple of years ago. I did a check and they still carry sisal. Make sure it’s all natural, free from chemicals. This one states:ย ย Safe for use with pet toys like cat scratching posts.ย Natural fiber-twisted rope is biodegradable and economical.ย Home Depot also ships! Since this project used up the last of my stock, I will be getting more. Sisal is really handy and I use it for many projects.

We know how finicky cats can be, so I hope this gives you an option to redo a cat tree your kitty already loves!

You are FABULOUS for reading this far! And I thank you so much for doing so! I hope you have a purrfectly happy day!


36 thoughts on “Repurposing An Old Cat Tree

    • Glad you think so! I came across a new on for a really good price, with no sisal and I was thinking if I get it, I’d wrap sisal around it! I need one for upstairs…So nice of you to pop in. Your profile pic always makes me smile! Have a great day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Absolutely purrfect, Koko! It looks great and the cats seem happy. Loved to see your doggies as well, strategically positioned to supervise your project ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful day.

    • Evan is the supervisor for sure! He’s my daughter’s dog, but when she is at work, he is MINE! Hahaha. My shadow really. Eva (the one peeking through the cat tree) is now our oldest of the pack. She too is my shadow. My day is going most excellently, thank you! Lots of rain! Take care Helen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Awesomtacular postโ—๏ธ

    Itโ€™s great to see you creating and posting again. I never tire of looking at things through your creative eyes. You inspire me and make me look at things differently than I ever would have on my own.

    Keep up the great work, the cool projects, and the great postsโ—๏ธ

    Have a Purrfectยฎ๏ธ dayโœจ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿถโ—๏ธ๐Ÿ†

    • Hahaha Sharpie! The kitties are going crazy over the new tree! I do love when a project comes together and love it even more when it’s useful! Thanks for your kind comment. Enjoy your day! Koko ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you! They really love it. Every time they scratch on it, I am happy for them. They are quite the helpers that’s for sure. Have a wonderful weekend. Take care!

      • I so DON’T believe in de-clawing. It’s like cutting off a humans finger at the first digit! Oh no! And I guess I’m pretty lucky that my cats don’t ruin my furnishings. I have faux fur blankets on the couches and ottoman and the kitties love laying on them and making what my vet calls, “biscuits”. The cats are also used to me trimming their nails. They get a trim about twice a month. I think what works for me is to stay on top of the situation and watch how they play and interact. I have nine of them and they all have nine different personalities. So I have my hands full! Thank you kindly for popping in! Koko ๐Ÿ™‚

      • De-clawing has always seemed cruel to me. There’s a neighborhood cat by me that was declawed and then abandoned by her wonderful owners, and without claws she can hardly hunt. Luckily there are several of us who give her food, because she’s very friendly.

        I can definitely see how trimming your cats’ claws, along with giving them safe surfaces to scratch on, would help! Good luck with taking care all of your cats!

    • I too was going to toss mine and as I was shopping for a “new” one, I just didn’t really like what I’d found or none was any better…This project was cool as they really like the sisal and the tree is really liked by them and I suppose that is what was important to me. I’d hate to have gotten a new one only to have them ignore it! Hahaha. Cat’s can be sooooo picky. I appreciate you stopping in. Hope you have an awesome day!

    • They are! I love that they use it. Nothing worse than having a large piece of furniture for them only to have it ignored. Thank you for being here! Have a great weekend!

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