There are so many fun wood crafts you can make for your feline friends.
If your cat loves to roam outdoors, then why not make them a handcrafted outdoor cat house. Or if your cat is more of a homebody, then a beautifully custom made wooden cat tree might be more up your alley.
But no matter what cat-inspired wood craft design you have in mind, you want to be sure that it won’t harm your little furry pal.
Now, we know that cats sometimes like to chew first and ask questions later. So it is incredibly important to make sure that the type of wood you use isn’t harmful or poisonous for cats.
So, what wood is safe for cats?
If you want a solid stable wood for making cat-safe structures, then use Red Maple Wood, Bamboo or even Black Walnut. However, when you use these wood types make sure you avoid using any lumber that has been sprayed with pesticides. And also try to avoid coating the wood with toxic sealers, stains, or paint.
Now, there’s only really a handful of wood types that are truly non-toxic for cats. But not all lumber is made equal when you want to build a really stable wooden structure. So keep reading to find out more…
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What Wood Is Good For Cat Trees?
For a strong durable wood that is also non-toxic to cats, you can use Red Maple wood.
Red Maple wood, (which is sometimes referred to as Scarlet Maple or Soft Maple), is harmless to cats. And it is an increasingly popular timber choice for making furniture and cabinets.
However, Red Maple isn’t that great at dealing with decay and rot. If this wood gets drenched in rain water, it isn’t going to last very long as a structure. So this isn’t the best wood choice for making an outdoor construction such as a cat house.
What About Cedar? Is Cedar Wood Safe For Cats?
It is not all that uncommon to find cat houses made out of red cedar wood.
But cedar lumber, if ingested, is fairly toxic to felines. Western Red Cedar and Eastern Red Cedar contain toxins such as phenols.
Phenol is used as an ingredient in antiseptic products and disinfectants to help kill bacteria. And if it were to get into your cats gut it can cause dehydration, vomiting, loss of appetite and even loss of balance.
Now, generally, cats rarely chew on wood or furniture. If a cats starts to chew on furniture to the point of destruction, then this behavior is more than likely the result of a lack of stimuli and general boredom.
However, if your cat frequently likes to chew furniture, then you need to be careful about using cedar wood for that homemade cat shelter.
Is Pine Wood Dangerous For Cats? Yes, if it is ingested. If your cat chews even small amounts of Pine, then the sap found inside Pine Tree grain can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If they consume a lot of that sap, kidney and liver damage are also a real possibility.
But My Cat Likes To Chew EVERYTHING! So What Kind Of Wood Should I Use For My Outdoor Cat House?
If you want a cat-safe wood that is weather-resistant, (and can hold up well under a dousing of rain), then Black Walnut could be a fine option.
This wood is non-toxic to cats, dogs and even horses. So if your feline buddy starts to get chew happy, you needn’t worry.
This hefty timber is very tough, yet surprisingly easy to work with. And it can resist decay and bugs incredibly well.
However, there is one big caveat to using this wood, and that is its price. Black Walnut is one of the most expensive wood types on the market.
Although, to be perfectly honest, it would be easier both in the short and long run to work on remedying your cats destructive chewing behavior instead. That way you won’t have to spend a lot of money making a very expensive black walnut ‘chew-toy’ house.
Is Plywood Safe For Cats? Plywood is not safe for cats. This is because the adhesive glue used to bind the veneer ply layers together contain chemicals, such as urea-formaldehyde, that are toxic to cats.
So, if you want to make a cat shelter or cat playhouse, then you might want to use Red Maple Wood or possibly even Bamboo.
These are two of the safest types of wood for cats, and Red Maple can be found at most lumber yards. And in the case of Bamboo, you can get your hands on a stack of these from any nearby Garden Center.