How to Build Cat Condos and Sell Them

By Eric Hammer

If you love working with wood and power tools, then one of the best things you can do is to learn how to build cat condos. Cat condos are basically a type of furniture that your cat (or hopefully, someone else’s cat, after you sell one to them) can crawl into and around and climb on top of.

Building cat condos isn’t a particularly hard job to do. The key thing here is that you want to make them both sturdy and decorative. If all you do is build something from raw, untreated wood for example, you’ll end up with something appropriate to keep in your basement and that your cat may really enjoy hanging out in but which ultimately will not be a particularly salable piece of furniture.

Of course, even once you manage to build the cat condos and get them to look like professional quality, handmade furniture; you still need to find places to sell them. After all, you can’t exactly stand around the parking lot at PetCo offering your alternative to their industrially made cat condos. Fortunately however, there are plenty of places to sell them.

Once you learn how to build cat condos, you can sell them at flea markets, on eBay or Craigslist and at specialty cat shows. If you make quite a few of them, you can even offer them on consignment to local pet shops who can sell them for you and take a commission on the sales.

How Much Can You Make?

It’s really hard to quantify how much you can make once you learn how to build cat condos that are worth selling. There are a great many elements that go into the equation – how complex is the cat condo you built, how ornate is it? Are you selling through eBay or Craigslist or through a flea market or a private store (you’ll likely make more selling at flea markets or private stores). However, to give you some idea of the numbers you can hope to achieve, very basic cat condos sell for around $40-$50 while extremely complex and ornate cat condos can easily sell for hundreds of dollars (we saw one for $850 with multiple levels and four separate cat condos built into the same unit).

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Don’t forget that once you are in the business of selling cat condos, you can also learn how to make other cat furniture, such as toys, beds and perches. If you can master how to make cat condos, then mastering how to make all these other types of furniture is actually not very difficult to do at all.

Keep in mind when building cat condos for sale that you have two markets. One the one hand, you are selling something for cats to climb around on and into. Therefore, what you build must be comfortable for cats. At the same time, the other market you are selling to is the owners. While they want their feline friends to feel comfortable, they also want something they wouldn’t mind putting in their homes as a piece of furniture, therefore you need to make the cat condos look attractive as well as cat friendly.

Qualifications / Requirements

There are no real requirements to make or sell cat condos except that you need to know how to use power tools to build them. When you go out to sell the cat condos, there are also no special requirements except a head for business to know how to sell these things.

First Steps

Start by building a cat condo for your own feline friend or for that of a neighbor or friend. See how it comes out. Then, build a few more and offer them to friends and family who own cats. Once you know how to build cat condos and you are confident in your craft, you can start selling them on eBay or Craigslist and then move on to selling them via pet stores on consignment and in flea markets.

Resources

New Woodworker: Kitty Condo – This is one of the more elaborate plans we’ve seen for building cat condos.

Playtime Workshop – Purely for inspiration, here is an awesome looking cat condo. While they don’t give the plans for how to build one, it should set your imagination moving in the right direction.


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