Use a Paint Tray to Make a Cozy Cat Perch

by Thea
2 Materials
1 Hour

No more kitty-owner heart attacks whilst watching your dearest sleep on the top of the bookshelf. This easy and safe perch is made of a plastic paint tray.

My nerves couldn't take it anymore, the cat cannot sleep on the shelf indefinitely without some mishap sooner or later. I had to do something and this is what I came up with. I must admit, this project was an experiment and because I didn't crib it from some blog, there is probably room for improvement. Please feel free to alter if need be and repost, the intention is to inspire.

The critical item you will need is a painter's tray as is shown above. Note that it is not the standard flat tray but rather one that hangs vertically. We don't usually use this type which is probably why I discovered it in the garage. My initial idea was that the handle would provide enough stability but I changed my mind later on. I strongly suggest that you first test whether your tray actually works on the shelf you want it on. You may need to move the bookshelf forward so that the tray hangs over the back.

You will also need:

  • some form of decoration, I used wallpaper cut-outs and spray adhesive,
  • velcro
  • contact adhesive
  • a thick placement or small rug such as pictured above (or a cushion).
  • scissors
  • needle and thread

For decoration I cut out some shapes from wallpaper, sprayed the backs with adhesive and stuck them to the black tray. I decided not to paint it any other colour because I thought that black is quite a practical colour when it comes to cats. However you decide to decorate your tray, bear in mind that you will be dealing with cat hair and static and will probably want to wipe it down at some stage.

I fitted the placemat into the inside base of the tray. As you can see it was too long so had to be trimmed. It was also a little too wide but I thought that this would actually make everything cozier.

To trim the place-mat down I first sewed a line just inside of where I was going to trim it. Once again, I am no sewing expert so I just blundered on, making some kind of double stitch on each of the rows of fabric. My intention was to ensure that it wouldn't unravel.

There was also a raffia thread running throughout that seemed critical to the whole construction. I knotted it around the last strip so that it wouldn't unravel. I then trimmed the placemat to size.

Next I stuck two strips of velcro (both the 'female' part i.e. the side without the spikes) to the ends of the mat using contact adhesive. Using velcro means that the mat can be removed and washed.

The picture above shows the approximate position.

Once the strips were stuck to the mat I attached the reverse sides (male/spiky?) of the velcro (so that the two sides stuck to each other as if already functioning) and then put glue on the parts that would have to stick to the tray. I then carefully pasted the mat in place. This means that there is no measuring involved

Pasted into final place inside the tray

And then I hooked the completed perch onto a shelf. Note that the shelf may need to be open at the back and that the perch may need a bit of extra space at the back, depending on the width of the shelf.

I was really disappointed when the whole thing still wobbled upon touch, defeating the whole object of the exercise. You can see from the picture above the base is slightly rounded which meant that it tended to rock forwards and back. This was not kitty safe!

Oh well, nothing that an extra bit of velcro couldn't solve, even if it meant sticking some of it directly onto the bookshelf using the same method as previously. The trick though is to stick the velcro in the right place on the curve to prevent it from moving. Mine is okayish. Now all I have to do is to convince the moggy to actually use it.

Suggested materials:
  • Paint tray
  • Contact adhesive
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Ida9464 Ida9464 on Jul 30, 2021

    Very cute, but does the cat perch in it?

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