How to Create an Indoor Oasis for Pets That Love to Climb?

When you’re a pet owner, your home doesn’t just belong to you. It also belongs to your furry (or feathery, or scaly) friends. If you’re the proud caretaker of an animal that loves heights, your conventional pet-friendly setup might not cut it. From cats to birds, to reptiles and rodents, many animals have a natural inclination to climb, explore, and seek higher ground. But how can you transform your home into a haven for these adventurous creatures without sacrificing style, safety, or sanity?

Creating an indoor oasis for your climbing pets is not as hard as you might think. With a little creativity, some DIY spirit, and a love for your animal companions, you can build a world that both you and your pets will adore. Here’s how to start.

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Designing a Pet-Safe Space

Before you grab a hammer and nails, you need to think about safety. Any climbing structure you create should not only be fun for your pet but also safe. Every species is unique, with different needs and capabilities, so be sure to research what’s safe for your specific pet.

Think about your pet’s size, strength, and agility. A sturdy cat tree might be perfect for a spry young cat, but for a more mature feline, you’ll need something lower and easier to navigate. Birds, on the other hand, need plenty of room to stretch their wings and might prefer a mix of high and low perches.

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Remember to consider the material of the climbing structure. Some materials can be harmful if ingested by pets, so always go for non-toxic, pet-safe options. Also, make sure the structure is stable and secure. You don’t want your pet to take a tumble because their favorite perch couldn’t support their weight.

Incorporating Pet-Friendly Furniture

Pet-friendly furniture can be a great way to make your home more climbable for your pets. Some furniture pieces are designed with pets in mind, featuring built-in climbing structures or pet-friendly materials. But even standard furniture can be made pet-friendly with a few tweaks.

For example, bookshelves can become a fun climbing structure for cats if you leave some shelves empty or place pet-friendly items on them. You can also secure cat hammocks or small beds to shelves to provide resting spots.

When choosing furniture, consider your pet’s preferences. Some pets might like soft, cushioned surfaces, while others might prefer something solid and flat.

Remember, safety is still paramount. Make sure any furniture you modify is sturdy and secure, and avoid using any harmful materials or substances.

Making Use of Vertical Space

Vertical space is often underutilized in homes, but it can be a treasure trove for pets who love to climb. By using vertical space, you can create an engaging, multi-level world for your pets without taking up too much floor space.

Wall-mounted shelves or brackets can serve as perches for cats or birds. For reptiles, you can use suction cup accessories to create climbable structures on the sides of their enclosures.

For more adventurous pets, consider installing a wall-mounted climbing system like modular panels or tracks. These systems can be customized to your pet’s needs and abilities, and they can provide endless entertainment.

Again, always prioritize safety. Make sure any wall-mounted structures are secure and can support your pet’s weight.

Adding Natural Elements

Incorporating natural elements can make your indoor oasis even more enticing for your pets. Many animals love the textures and scents of nature, and these elements can also provide mental stimulation and enrichment.

Consider using pet-safe plants to add greenery and interest to your pet’s environment. Just make sure to choose plants that are non-toxic and safe for your specific pet.

For a more naturalistic look, you can use pieces of driftwood or branches as perches or climbing structures. Just make sure to clean and sterilize them first to remove any harmful bacteria or parasites.

Providing Plenty of Resting Spots

Lastly, make sure your indoor oasis has plenty of spots for your pets to rest and observe their world. Not only does this provide a break from their climbing adventures, but it also gives them a sense of security and ownership over their territory.

You could place pet beds or hammocks at various heights, providing a range of options for relaxation. For birds, a mix of high and low perches can mimic their natural environment and provide a sense of security.

Creating an indoor oasis for your pets is about more than just keeping them entertained. It’s about giving them a space that caters to their natural instincts and behaviors, promoting their overall health and wellbeing. With a little planning and creativity, you can create a space that your pets will love to explore and you’ll be proud to display.

Building a DIY Catio for Your Cats

Creating a catio can be an excellent way to bring the outdoors to your indoor cat. A catio, or a cat patio, is an outdoor enclosure that allows your feline friends to enjoy the benefits of the outdoor world without the risks. With a catio, your cats can safely climb, perch, and explore, all while taking in the fresh air and natural sights.

When you decide to build a catio, it’s essential to start with a well-thought-out plan. The catio design should consider your home’s architecture and your cat’s preferences. Some cats love to climb high, while others prefer to stay closer to the ground. You can find premade catio plans online, or you can customize your own.

Location is another key factor in planning your catio. If possible, connect it to a window or a door for easy access. Think about the view from your catio. Cats enjoy watching birds and squirrels, so placing it near a tree or bird feeder can provide endless entertainment.

Although a catio is an outdoor space, it should still be safe and secure. Choose materials that are sturdy and weather-resistant. To protect your cats from predators and to prevent them from escaping, use cat-friendly mesh or wire on all sides, including the top.

Lastly, fill your catio with fun and comfortable elements. Add climbing structures, perches at different heights, and hiding spots. You could also include a litter box and a water source to make the catio self-sufficient.

Building a catio is a fantastic DIY project that can provide your cats with a unique and fun-filled outdoor experience.

Making Your Living Room More Cat-Friendly

Your living room can also be transformed into a paradise for your furry friends without compromising its style or comfort. There are many ways to make your living room more cat-friendly and climbable.

Firstly, consider replacing your conventional window treatments with cat-friendly options. A window box or a cat perch attached to the window sill can provide your cats with a cozy spot to relax and watch the world go by. It can become their favorite spot, especially if the window overlooks a garden or a busy street.

Shelves, bookcases, or wall-mounted climbing systems can also serve as great climbing structures. They provide a high vantage point, which cats love. If you’re up for a DIY project, you can make your own cat-friendly shelves using sturdy materials and soft, comfortable padding for the top.

In the middle of your living room, consider using a stylish cat tree or a cat tower. They come in various designs, sizes, and materials, and can blend seamlessly with your room décor. These structures give your cats a place to climb, play, and rest.

In addition to these, provide several resting spots around the room. Pet beds, hammocks, or even a soft blanket on the couch can make your living room more inviting for your cats.

Remember, a cat-friendly living room is not just about creating climbing structures. It’s also about making the space safe, comfortable, and stimulating for your cats.


Creating an indoor oasis for your climbing pets, such as catio cats, does not need to be a challenging task. With careful planning, a pinch of creativity, and a dash of DIY spirit, you can transform any room in your house into a pet-friendly paradise that your furry friends will surely enjoy exploring.

Whether you decide to build a catio, make your living room more cat-friendly, or incorporate climbing structures throughout your home, remember that safety should always be your top priority. Use sturdy, non-toxic materials, secure all climbing structures properly, and always tailor everything to your pet’s unique needs and abilities.

By doing so, you not only create a space where your pets can indulge their natural instincts to climb and explore, but also a place that enriches their lives, promotes their wellbeing, and strengthens your bond with them. After all, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your pets happy, healthy, and at home in their indoor oasis.

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