How to build the Kitty Rocket Tower Cat Tree

How to build the Kitty Rocket Tower Cat Tree


Ok, so today’s episode is a little bit off
topic. It’s about building the Kitty Rocket Tower. Now, I love cats. Maybe not as much
as this girl. I really love cats. Or as much as sheldon cooper. Cats make wonderful companions.
Now right now we have 3 cats. This is Noid. And yes, she is in fact named after the old
Domino’s Pizza Noid. This is PigBunny. And this is our latest edition, Starlight. Ok,
so over the years we’ve had lots of cat trees. And what can I say besides, “They just don’t
make them like they used to.” Your typical cat tree these days is made from cardboard
tubes. And the primary design goal seems to be to make them light and easy to ship in
a box, to be assembled by the customer. But they aren’t sturdy. And this one here isn’t
too bad compared to previous ones we’ve had but it’s still not a great design. I’ve often
found that things like this and this – they’re just a total waste. Cats just do not play
with these toys more than a day or two and they lose interest. So what are some important
features of a cat tree? Well, for one thing they need something to scratch on. Cats have
a natural need to scratch. A lot of people think it is to sharpen their claws. But that
isn’t exactly true. Cats actually shed their claws and a new, sharper claw grows out from
underneath. So if you ever see little claw shells like this laying around your cat’s
favorite scratching area, you’ll know why. Now, cats typically like to scratch on tall
vertical things like trees, for example. These cheap scratching posts you see at the store
like this are pretty useless. They’re more likely to tip over than anything else. The
other main thing your cat wants is some place high off the ground to lounge and nap. And
if you have more than one cat then you need space for them all. So, I set out to design
the perfect cat tower. Ok, so I had several design goals from the very beginning. One
of the issues I had is this little dog here. His name is Midnight but I typically call
him Bark-Rat. Whenever he sees a new cat tree, this is how it appears in his mind. In fact,
do you remember that imac cathouse i made a while back? Well, he continually peed on
the bottom of the scratching post until it was ruined. You can already see on the base
of this tree that it’s been peed on. And if you take a look with a black light you can
see even more pee. So I wanted to make sure that the new one was pee proof. And not just
pee proof, but vomit proof. Yes, if you have a cat you know they are prone to spontaneous
barfing wherever they happen to be at the time. We also have a special table in the
house that the cats eat on, otherwise the dog will eat all of their food. I wondered
if I could incorporate a special cat dining level on this thing. So this is what I came
up with in sketchup. I made sure the base was elevated off the ground and the only thing
the dog could pee on would be these legs. I won’t start the scratching rope until this
area. And I’ll paint the bottom of the legs so that they will be pee proof. OK, so I set
out to build this thing, so stick around to the end so you can see what the cats think
about it. So I went over to the GeekPub’s shop to cut the wood. We did have a preliminary
test of assembly. After it was cut, I took it home for final assembly. The cats were
already trying to play on it while I was working on it. The paint guy at Lowe’s told me to
use this oil based paint for the legs so it should repel liquid, including dog pee. But
I’m painting the floors of each level too, because cats have a tendency to puke on things
and MDF is really bad about swelling when liquid touches it. And now it’s time for some
rope. Now it’s time for some side-panels. At the last minute I decided not to glue on
these panels and instead use these brackets. That way I can take the sides off for maintenance
or cleaning. I wanted to use carpet for the horizontal areas. But, my wife wanted to make
custom padding so that it could be taken off and put in the washing machine. And so, we’ll
take a wait and see approach on the padding. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll replace it later
with carpet. So, that’s one design goal I had from the very beginning, is that I wanted
to be able to replace the rope and the padding at least once a year as needed. I think most
of the cat trees that get thrown out these days are actually thrown out not due to structural
damage, but just due to the destruction of the coverings. For the dining level, I decided
to put some sticky tiles down since there is likely to be lots of cat food spills around
this area. So I should mention that I had several different designs before I settled
on this one. This is one design I thought about. You’ll notice I had these holes where
a cat might be able to jump from one level to the next. But I realized eventually that
my cats would probably never use these and so it was just wasting floor space. Most of
the time my cats will take the most direct route up the tree, which means climbing up
the post. So, it was time to bring it out and let the cats see it for the first time
all finished. They were naturally curious about it and it seems that all three of them
were mostly interested in the big room on the bottom. And there’s no wonder why. You
can see how roomy and luxurious it is inside. But there’s room for all three cats to have
their own little room. And the scratching posts on top were irresistible to all three
cats. It appears they are quite happy with it! And look, even the dog gets his own spot.
Alright, so I also have to mention that I only spent about $30 on lumber to build this
thing and about another $70 on other materials. In fact, I think I spent more on rope than
any other material in this build. If you are interested in picking up the original sketchup
plans or some two dimensional plans, those should be available over at the GeekPub. There
will be a link down in the description for that. Alright, so that about wraps it up for
the cat tower. I’ve also been working on a really cool review for the Incredible Musical
Keyboard for the Commodore 64. That’s going to be coming up real soon, but it’s going
to be on my other channel, 8-Bit Keys. I’d like to mention that I recently guest starred
on another channel, the Obsolete Geek did an episode about the first game console that
had interchangeable cartridges. And he invited me to be a part of it. It’s a really great
video and I invite you to check it out. And there’s a link in the description field.

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  1. At 4:38 David's wife walks in the room and is like… hhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  2. It's a good looking cat tower. However with lessons learned from owning cats that anything they inhabit need to be cleaned and replaced as they claw on it or it gets covered in fur or other fluids. I'd suggest a PVC tube design with plastic boxes implemented as nesting spots with washable floor mats or cheap fleece blankets to add comfort.

  3. I really want to build a scratch tower for "Nimbus" (my cat). I just need to save some money for those materials first. Thanks for sharing this idea thru this video 🙂

  4. good work. i don't know how many of these bloody things we've been thru but the last purchase seems to be standing the test of time.

  5. Hey 8 bit! I know this is a old video but I still like it, How are the cats doing? If you have any room you should get a Blue Russian cat, yes you heard me right, blue russian, They should be hypoallergenic and they are not actually blue, but in shades of black and white, They are so beutiful, And maybe, the rocket tree can be improved to have like a little rocket nozzle at the bottom just for decor, or maybe the interior of the nozzle could be hollow. can be used for cleaning supplies. And since you know how to solder and wire things, maybe a switch can be placed and the nozzle would light up! That would be so cool!

  6. just throw the dog out of the window problem solved. exept the vomit,weeell then just let the cats join the dog. so you and your wife can have a place to sit and chil at.

  7. My cat doesn't cat like most cats. She doesn't puke and hardly scratches things :(. I think she is half dog.

  8. david editing
    ¨Hmmm, what sound effect should I use for the fire hydrant bit? Oooh, what about this?¨
    picks standard imovie magic effect
    ¨Perfect!¨

  9. Oh my gosh, I love your cats soooo much! I think that you have built a wonderful tree house. I might want to make something similar for my cat, I just need the time and materials. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Man,my cat needs one of these so she stop destroying my couch(wich have a tiny ropes pattern)
    Plus my dad work with building wooden mobile,so he definitly can do this
    Even if he doesn't know english,i'll try to show this to him

  11. I can't believe the 8-bit-guy is so versatile – from computers/keyboards to "cat towers"! Brilliant! Surely you should try to sell your design! There is clearly a gap in the market for a quality version… Take care and keep making the cool vids! Marius Gudonis

  12. 4:54 The song is: Gravity (instrumental)
    Artist: The 'Verse
    Album: SHINY ✻ EDM
    It is a fan creation of the popular show Firefly that Fox wrongly cancelled.

  13. Nice, but no ethernet ports?
    You could fit a wi-fi antenna to the top, but they might use it as a penthouse perch.

  14. Guys — you NEED to use a dust mask while cutting MDF especially. It's a particularly nasty carcinogen. Wood in general it's good to use a dust mask for, but if nothing else, please use it for MDF. A lot of people don't know this and it's not usually widely-advertised when buying MDF so spread the word!

  15. Wow you are awesome guy. I'm so glad I found your channel, you really have some interesting content. Glad you mentioned the price at the end, that's competitively affordable compared to pre fab trees. How has it held up 3 years later?

  16. I enjoy tech vids and cats, I have 5 lol. I love buying and making them toys. Im glad I found this video on ur channel lol. Hopefully something like this might help, they have two scratching posts , and even scratch the tree outside, but still like to rip up the side of the box spring 😩

  17. Nice channel I got here looking for information on backup power for PC.

    I cant believe that years ago I threw out a brand new Tandy TRS 80 from Radio Shack thinking it was worthless.

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