DIY Floating Cat Shelves

If you already have a cat, I don’t have to tell you that cats like to climb up to high places, because you will often find your cat on the top shelf of your closet or on top of the refrigerator. If you don’t have a high vertical place for your cat to go, he/she might be nervous and scared all the time

I’m always chasing my cat to come down from the kitchen counter or from atop the cupboards where it’s super dusty. One of the things I did to solve this issue was to get a cat tree sturdy enough for both cats, which was not an easy feat trying to find the best one for the cheapest. I also built my own DIY cat shelves on the wall using floating wall shelves from Ikea.

diy cat shelves

First, I tried to find some shelves on Amazon, because I live in the city and don’t have a car so it’s a hassle to go to Home Depot or Ikea. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that was affordable.

Where to Buy Shelves

But alas I had to resort to Ikea, because they deliver. The shelves I bought are the EKBY LAIVA and the brackets I bought are the EKBY VALTER 11″.

The total price I paid (rounded) for 5 shelves on the wall is:

EKBY LAIVA Shelves $3.50 x 5 = $17.50

EKBY VALTER Brackets $5 x 10 = $50.00

Home Delivery Price = $30.00

TOTAL PRICE (ROUNDED) = $100

There are 2 sizes of the EKBY VALTER brackets. I would suggest getting the bigger brackets (11”), because the shelves will protrude out too much on the small brackets.

Tips for Mounting the Shelves

  1. Find studs behind your wall. Using a nail, tap lightly into the wall about a foot away from each other horizontally. If the nail goes in with one tap of the hammer, then that is not a good place on the wall to mount your cat shelves. If the nail doesn’t go in as easily, then you’ve found the studs (i.e. a beam of wood placed behind the drywall). You can mount the shelves here. 
  2. Place the shelves no more than a foot away from each other vertically. Even if the shelves seem sturdy, if they’re vertically too far apart, the impact of your cat jumping onto the shelf will add three times the weight of your cat in terms of stress to the nails supporting the shelves. I learned this the hard way. Charlie who’s 18 pounds weakened the support of the nails until one day the nails gave up, letting the shelves dangle from the wall.
  3. For one wall, I would say 5 or 6 shelves are enough.
  4. Get a power drill from Ikea if you don’t have a power drill already! It’s cheap and comes in very very handy all over the house. And get screws!
  5. Screw all 4 corners of the shelf onto the brackets. I first had just 2 corners screwed into the brackets, but that made the brackets come loose from the wall. Then I secured all 4 corners for all of the shelves, and that helped keep the shelves stay intact on the wall.

make your own shelves for cats

Mounting your own DIY cat shelves using regular home organizing products from Ikea is probably the most economical way to give your cats the vertical freedom. As soon as I mounted these, my cats would stay up there all the time.

I hope you found this helpful and have made your cats very happy. Good luck!

how to make your own cat shelves