How To Re-carpet a Cat Tree

Your cat might be your best friend, and rightfully too. These animals are loyal and they make for some good entertainment. Seeing as you, the owner, are the one who needs to supply your cat with everything it needs, it is up to you to provide it with a good resting area, a perch, something to climb on, and something to scratch as well.

To re-carpet your cat tree you will need: sisal or hemp rope, carpet, a box or cutting knife, gloves, an exacto knife, staples or glue, and patience. Recarpeting your cat tree can help your cat tree look brand new and save resources while also making your furry friend purrr-fectly happy.

Maybe you already have a cat tree, but the carpeting on it has seen better days. You may want to replace it instead of buying a new tree altogether.

Today we want to teach you how to recarpet a cat tree and tips on the best things to use while doing so!

How to Re-carpet a Cat Tree: Step by Step

Re-carpeting a cat tree is not the easiest thing to do. Depending on how old and damaged the original product is, it might just be best to invest in a new cat tree.

However, if the base and the parts underneath the old carpeting are still fine, it may be worth it to just replace the carpet on your own.

It might seem like quite the undertaking, but will be worth it if you like doing your own DIY projects and want to save some money on the side, plus it allows you to be creative as well.

So, let’s go over a step by step tutorial on how you can re-carpet your cat tree.

1. Remove the Old Carpet

The first step is to remove the old carpet from the old cat tree. Depending on how the cat tree is built will determine how hard and long it will take to remove the old carpet. Cat trees with carpet glue will require some serious strength to disassemble.

However, if you are lucky some cat trees like this one, the fabric is glued down with hot glue, so it’s not that much of a chore to get off.

Whatever you do, however you do it, you need to remove the old carpet. Here are two different videos of re-carpeting a cat tree to see the difference between how hard it is based on how your old cat tree is assembled.

Disassembling a stapled cat tree

Disassembling a hot glued cat tree

It’s important to try to keep the carpet you take off, preferably in larger sections so that you can use it for measurements.

Most people will choose to start with a box- or carpet-cutting knife to remove the old carpet in strips or large swaths. Just be careful that you do not cut too deeply because you don’t want to end up damaging the frame of the actual cat tree underneath.

blue box cutting knife on white background

Depending on how your cat tree is built, you may need to use a claw hammer and other tools to remove nails, or various tools to remove staples. Different cat trees are built in different ways, so this is something that you will need to account for.

2. Selecting the New Carpet

Of course, before you start attaching the new carpet to the frame of your old cat tree, you need to select which carpeting you want to use. We would recommend not using fabric for this, as it will quickly tear and get clawed apart.

samples of carpet with different textures and colors

We would recommend using a high-quality carpet, which will cost you some money, but it will last for a good time to come. To cut down on costs, you can find carpet remnants at so-called “carpet junkyard” stores which you can find online.

Select a type of carpeting which works well for cats to scratch on, which is fairly durable, will not fray too badly, and will not cause the cat’s claws to get tangled up in it.

Best color of carpet to pick for your cat tree

Choosing the color of carpet or cover for your cat tree is all personal choice. However if you want less stains and dirt to show up, then select a carpet that is either darker or that has multiple colors in it.

If you are more concerned with looks, than pick the color that will complement the other colors of the room that it is in.

Best type of carpet to pick for your cat tree

If wanting a non-toxic carpet for your pet’s newly renovated tree then there are a few options to select from.

The best type of non-toxic carpet for pets to look for is:

  • Medium-pile carpet or carpet that has no VOC’s
  • Look for a non-loop carpet so that your kitties claws don’t get snagged
  • HomeFresh carpet-contains no VOC’s which are safer for furry best friends
  • PET polyester carpets seem to be the safest carpets for pets (make sure it’s not Safe Guard treated) Polyester is known to with-stand wear and tear.
  • Avoid berber, sesel, or seagrass carpet as it will easily tear. You can use sisal or seagrass carpet if you want to use this carpet as scratching post material.
  • Wool carpet is considered non-toxic, but some cats have the tendency to chew on wool and can be considered unsafe. It is believed that cats who suck or chew on wool have low fiber in their diet.

Top places to buy carpet for your cat tree:

  • Carpet outlets or places that sell carpet in rolls can be the first place to start. Some may require you to buy so much of it for the discount.
  • Hardware or discount stores
  • You may be able to find someone who has extra carpet leftover from carpeting a room.
  • Liberty Carpet One offers PET polyester carpet.
  • Empire Today sells HomeFresh carpet. This carpet contains no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) Carpet with no VOC’s are best for you and your pet. This carpet also traps dirt, allergens, or moisture, mold and mildew resistant, helps neutralize common household odors, 100% recyclable flooring made with 90% post-consumer recycled content for a cleaner planet

​3. Cutting the Carpeting to Size

The next thing that you now need to do is to cut the carpet down to size. This is probably the hardest part of this whole project. Depending on the type, size, and complexity of cat tree you have, this can be quite a task. At the very least, you will have the base, a couple of platforms, and a pillar or two that will need to be fitted with carpet.

box knife with measuring tape

Therefore, it is time to bust out your measuring tape and carpet knife. Remember to always measure twice and cut once, plus also leave an inch or two extra in terms of length and width. You can always cut more carpet off if the pieces are too large, but you definitely cannot repair it if you happen to cut it too small.

Before you begin attaching it, make sure that it is the right size. You don’t want to start gluing, nailing, or stapling the carpet onto the cat tree frame before you have double-checked the size of the pieces and the cat tree.

4. Attaching the Carpet to the Cat Tree

The next step in this process is attaching the carpet to the cat tree. Now, this can be a bit tricky, but with some practice it is something that you can master. You can use a heavy-duty staple gun with big staples, or a hammer with some fine nails.

Which method you use to attach the carpet to the cat tree is up to you. You probably have a hammer laying around, which is nice, but in all honesty, you probably want to use a staple gun for this, as it is going to be much easier.

Always make sure that all staples and nails are pushed into the frame totally so that your cat does not snag on them and possibly get injured.

gray and whit cat on top of cat scratching post with carpet

Not liking the nail or staple idea? Check out how to do your scratch post with staples, nail, or glue.

Whatever you do, do not use gorilla glue. Gorilla glue is toxic to pets if ingested. You can try Elmer’s Pro-Bond (AMAZOn link) as it is non-toxic.

​5. Testing for Safety

Before you return the cat tree to its rightful resident, you should quickly test for safety. Always make sure that there are no pointy things, like staples or nails, sticking out of the cat tree in any direction.

Also, you want to ensure that you have used enough nails and staples, and that the carpet is firmly attached to the cat tree. If you fail to do this, chances are that the cat will rip the carpet off in no time at all, thus putting all of your hard work to shame.

Re-carpeting or DIY cover for repurposing your cat tree?

Which is better re-carpeting your cat tree or making a cover for your pet home make-over?That all depends on how much work you would like to put into the do-over, and what kind of work you’re willing to do.

Re-carpeting a cat tree can be a lot of work, especially if you have a cat tree assembled with carpet glue. But if you don’t mind doing the hard work and using staples or hot glue vs sewing, then re-carpeting the tree would suit well for you.

Making a cover for your cat tree can take less time and make your tree look rather fashionable and new. Depending on the style of your cat tree you can simply make a cat tree cover for where your loved one sleeps.

So instead of a full makeover you can make a cover like the one in this video. This still makes the tree look newer without having to re-do all of it.

So if you are wanting a quick fix and know how to sew, then a cover will do the trick.

The Stitchess did a wonderful job restoring their cat tree. Check it out.


As you can see, while it does take some work to re-carpet a cat tree, it really is not all that difficult. Yes, it is going to take some time, and you need to be accurate in your measuring and cutting, but other than that, there is really not all that much to it.

Just be sure to check the final result in the end, especially in terms of safety, so your cat does not injure itself on a loose nail or staple.

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