Catification: Creating a Cat Loft

Jeffrey from Aledo, Texas wanted to give his older cats access to an existing space above a set of double doors so they could get away from the new kittens. Using Ekby Jarpen shelves and Bjarnum brackets from IKEA (a popular DIY cat shelf combination), he created a staircase leading up to the new cat loft, which is now carpeted for everyone’s napping comfort.

The Jarpen shelves are 4 feet long, so Jeffrey cut them in half to make smaller shelves. He also cut up an area rug, covered the edges with Gorilla tape, and stapled the carpet pieces to the tops of the shelves. He used wall anchors to secure the brackets to the walls, so each shelf can hold up to 70 lbs.

The shelves are spaced 18 inches apart, and the kittens can’t reach the bottom shelf to climb up, so the adult cats now have their own private area, where they can watch the kittens playing from a safe distance.

Notes from Jackson: Jeffrey has a really adventurous sense of territory. His shelving not only gives clear access to main destination points, it creates many different lanes for his cat superhighway. What I love is that this is the cat equivalent of a human rock climbing wall, offering endless possible routes for climbing — something I’m sure the cats will appreciate!

Have your own Catification project that you want to share? Click here to submit your photos!

The Catification column on is written by Cat Style Expert, Kate Benjamin. Kate specializes in environmental enhancement for living with cats and is the founder and editor of, the premiere online magazine for design-conscious cat people. Kate’s design expertise and Jackson’s cat behavior know-how combine to create cat-friendly environments that are sure to please both human and feline family members alike.

  1. Krystyna   July 24, 2012 at 10:16 am  

    Jackson, I lost one of my two 15 year old sisters a few weeks ago and went to the shelter and got two little 11 month old girls that were together. I followed all the rules and tips on how to introduce them, the changing blankets for smell, feeding them on each side of the doors. All that done, I knew Kasha (the 15 year old) was going to hiss, and do her verbal disliking of the two kittens which she did. This is my dilemma, because there are two of them they seem to sit in doorways together and Kasha refuses to walk by them even if there is just one. She’ll hiss and complain while not wanted to cross paths. She’s too heavy to make climbing possible on shelves with the arthritis, nor do I have the means to build anything for her. There has only been a paw raised between them, but no paw contact and the little ones aren’t aggressive, but I don’t want her to feel like she’s stuck in her own house. She does spend a lot of time downstairs in my Mothers house now because of the little ones and I’m heartbroken because I don’t want her to be pushed out of her own home. I’ve read and watched everything I could, also I’m pretty keen on how to handle Cat’s since I know that they sense our feelings and frustrations so they are always first on my list for comfort and love.
    Do you have any other suggestions for me so that my Beautiful Princess of 15 years doesn’t feel like a prisoner in her own home. I don’t want her Golden years full of frustration and fear.
    Thanks soooo much for listening…♥

    1. Susannah Ayres-Thomas   July 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm  

      While Kasha might not be able to jump up on shelves, perhaps you could adapt some article of furniture for her. For example, I’ve seen a chest of drawers with the actual drawers removed, and pieces of wood cut to fit into the apertures–you can get such places as Lowe’s & Home Depot to cut plywood to whatever dimensions you wish. You can cover the wood with carpet cut to fit it, paint everything in a color to co-ordinate with your decor, and Bob’s your uncle–a refuge for Kasha! And, even if the kittens check it out too, there should be enough cubbyholes for everyone. My other suggestion would be to check out Feliway Comfort Zone, A feline pheromone product which you plug into the wall, like some air fresheners. When we moved our five cats to our new house, it was a life-saver–they settled in pretty quickly with its help. I hasten to add, it doesn’t have any smell we humans can detect–and it helps with other problems (such as inappropriate elimination, and others).

  2. Rhonda   July 24, 2012 at 10:38 am  

    Love this!!!!!

  3. Tami Valentine   July 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm  

    That is really cool!!! But couldn’t the kittens jump up on the shelves as well? If not, it won’t be long! Neat idea.

  4. Susannah Thomas   July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm  

    That’s simply brilliant. My hub & I were planning something along those lines, but were a little vague on the. “how-to” element. This gives me an excellent course to take, and it looks pretty affordable, too. Thanks so much!

  5. Sparkle   July 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm  

    That was so smart, to make the steps too far apart for the kittens to use!

  6. August   July 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm  

    That’s fantastic! Thank you for telling about how you did the tops of the walks. I’m trying to figure out what to do about mine.

    Just a heads-up for other people with multi-cats making lofts – I have a large loft for my 9 cats, with stairs going up on one side (sort of similar to what Jeffrey has). I’m finding now that I need to put in some way to get down from the loft on the other side, too, since there have been some “getting cornered” issues without the second route.

  7. Jeffrey   July 28, 2012 at 8:58 am  

    Thank you all for the comments. Kittens can not make it to the first shelf until they are about 4 months old. By this time, they have experienced the cat hierarchy and know their place in the chain. Kittens generally are not allowed on top by the older cats until they can lay quietly next to them on the ground. There is no fighting or hissing up top. It is a place to nap and watch what is happening below.


We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.

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