A Cat Tree for Senior Cats: Initial Designs

Considering the build parameters set before, I believe a tiered cat tree will be the best option. I will be listing the pros and cons for each design, then combining the base aspects into a single design.

Design 1: Front View
Design 1: Top View


  • Landings provide good mobility between levels
  • Square cat beds are easy to build
  • Not many specialty tools would be required
  • Would take less time to manufacture


  • Height isn’t much higher than what is already on the market
  • Length is larger than the height
  • The one-foot by one-foot cat bed may be a bit small for larger cats
Design 2: Front View
Design 2: Partial Top View


  • Multiple landings between levels give the easiest mobility


  • The one-foot by one-foot cat bed may be a bit small for larger cats
  • The large amount of space required for all the landings puts each cat bed at around 4 feet apart
  • Height isn’t better than what is already on the market

After starting on the Top View of this drawing, I could tell this design was going to be way too large for most people’s homes and I decided to leave it and move on.

Design 3: Front View
Design 3: Top View


  • Octagonal cat beds offer a cozy spot for kitties to curl up, and increases the area per bed
  • Length is not too large


  • Landings and ramps will be difficult and time consuming to manufacture
  • Height isn’t much better than what is already on the market

After taking some time to think out all the pros and cons, and talking with a few cat owners, we can combine some of the best aspects and fix some of the cons.

Pre-Testing Design Concept: Front View
Pre-Testing Design Concept: Side View Without Ramps and Landings
Pre-Testing Design Concept: Top View of Cat Bed Layout


  • Octagonal Cat beds give the cats more room
  • Layering the cat beds in a criss-cross pattern adds design appeal and reduces the overall length
  • Height between levels can be adjusted to lower the overall height


  • Uneven landing layout may increase tipping
  • Octagonal beds will take longer to produce than square or rectangle ones
  • Increased height will move the center of gravity upwards, increasing the risk of tipping

Our next step will be to get the design concept into SolidWorks, and run the simulations to see what, if any, design changes will need to be made to make this a safe cat tree for both cats and humans. This will mean following any and all design requirements set by local and national organizations. Upon initial investigation, this appears to be the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the IBC (International Building Code) in my area.

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