How to Build a Cat Shelf That Fits over a Windowsill

Three Methods:Preparing the MaterialsFitting the Shelf with Wood SupportsFitting the Shelf with Brackets

If you'd like kitty to have his own safe vantage point, a windowsill cat shelf may be the perfect solution to this. Simple to build, it'll hold kitty's weight and keep him out of mischief.

Method 1
Preparing the Materials

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    Find a wooden slab that is at least 2cm/3/4 " thick. It can be hardwood, softwood, plywood or similar, just as long as it's strong.
    • Avoid using anything that might have toxic stain on it. Cats are sensitive to chemicals.
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    Measure the width of the windowsill. Cut the slab to size to serve as a shelf. (See Tips for possible decorating.)

Method 2
Fitting the Shelf with Wood Supports

This method is required where the windowsill won't allow space for brackets to fit underneath.

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    Measure the width of the shelf board. Use this measurement to measure out two wood supports that will sit at a diagonal angle from the wall to the shelf board.
    • Cut the wood supports at diagonals each end, one for the wall and one for the shelf.
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    • If preferred, cut a single but much wider wood support that will only be attached to the middle of the windowsill shelf.
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    Attach the wood supports. Screw the wood supports to the wall.
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    Attach the shelf board. Rest the shelf board on the windowsill and on the wood supports. Nail, screw or glue in place.
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    Finished. Press on it gently to check that it's firmly in place before kitty uses it. Then encourage him to give it a trial run. A few treats left on the windowsill can help to tempt your cat into place.

Method 3
Fitting the Shelf with Brackets

This method will work if the bracket can sit flush under the windowsill without creating unevenness between the shelf and the windowsill.

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    Hold the first bracket against the wall under the windowsill. Mark its drilling holes with a pencil. The bracket should be flush under the windowsill so that the shelf board will sit out evenly from the windowsill. Check that this will be the case by holding the shelf board and bracket in place. Make adjustments as required.
    • If the shelf board isn't high enough, you'll need to either find a new shelf board or add an additional board layer (glue it to the first board). If there is only a slight dip between the sill and the shelf board, this is probably going to be fine and your cat won't be bothered.
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    • Check that no matter how the shelf board is placed, you can still open and shut the window.
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    Drill the holes over the marks. Drill far enough to allow the screws to penetrate into the wall firmly.
    • Be sure to check for electrical wiring and plumbing before drilling. Being under a window, it's probably going to be okay but always check to be safe.
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    • Use a masonry drill bit.
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    Insert a wall plug.
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    Hold the bracket over the drilled holes, in position. Attach the screws and screw them in firmly.
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    Place the shelf board on the bracket and hold it across to the other side. Place a spirit level on top to check it is sitting level. Make marks on the wall for the second bracket.
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    Add the second bracket as for the first bracket.
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    Attach the shelf board to the brackets. Screw the board to the brackets from the underside.
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    Polish or varnish the wood if desired. The shelf is now ready for kitty to laze about on, watching the world pass by.

Tips

  • Make life even cozier by covering the cat windowsill shelf with fabric or carpet (add stuffing underneath for comfort). The shelf needs to be covered before you attach it to the windowsill; use glue, upholstery tacks or nails to pin the fabric neatly to the base of the shelf; remember that it might be viewable when you're seated, so keep the underside neat. You could also glue a patch piece over any tacking to finish off the base.
  • Toys can be dangled underneath the cat windowsill shelf for extra fun.

Warnings

  • You may need to make workarounds to these instructions according to your window type and space; don't follow the instructions slavishly if they're not working––use your skills to find solutions for your window.
  • Dangling objects from the shelf can be fun for the cat but should not be done if infants are in the house, as they may present a choking hazard.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden slab
  • Cutting tools (or ask your timber merchant to cut to size)
  • Shelf brackets
  • Nails and/or screws
  • Wall plugs
  • Spirit level or digital equivalent
  • Wax, polish or varnish (non-toxic only, cats are very sensitive) optional) and applicator brush or rag


Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs