My two cats recently went to live with my parents since I was unable to keep them with me in a dorm room this year. To keep them away from my parent's furniture, and to provide them with a comfy place to sleep without me there, I built a cat stand/scratcher from materials I had available at my parent's house. Leftover carpet from a town home my dad is selling, old plywood from his boyscout project that was never made, a blanket and pillow I was going to donate, and some leftover vinyl. The only thing I bought was a package of staples for the upholstering.
The entire stand ended up taking 4 days of work to finish, one to cut and construct the plywood frame, and three to upholster it.
I lined the entrance holes and one support beam with leftover vinyl scraps since my tabby cat loves to rub on all things pleather. The bottom is upholstered with a blanket covered in vinyl so that it will not slide on nor hurt the wood floor its on.
There are three cats in the house total so I provided three levels so all of them can be on it together, however my mom tells me the top seems to be the favorite spot with it's padded base and the best view out the window.
I wrapped the end support beam in some rope that my dad had saved from my grandfather's stash of tools. Prior to wrapping it I drilled a hole for their toy to slide in so that they can play with it during the day when my parent's are at work.
I didn't plan this but the circular holes on the lowest level are a perfect fit to hold an Ikea crinkly cat tunnel that we had bought earlier.
They seem to enjoy it and love to use the multiple entrances to sneak up on each other for play time.
I wish I could be with them but I was glad to give them this before I had to leave for school.