Currently, I have three cats in this condo and only one is leaving when my parents get settled. That wouldn't be an issue if they were already accustomed to each other, but Cookie is a one cat household kitty and Tibolt is passive aggressive.
Cookie just so happens to be terrified of Tibolt and believes that he is going to kill her at every turn, so she's a terribly uncomfortable and unconfident cat unless she's up high. With that in mind, she has been living on the kitchen table and in the chairs. I don't mind too much, but she needs other locations to hang out as I don't want cats on the table during dinner and I can see the kitchen countertops being next .
What I needed to create were spaces for Cookie to be away from Tibolt that would not be overly tempting for him to take over. He owns the cat tree, my bed, the top of the bench, random spaces on the floor, etc. Cookie owns a chair. It's quite lopsided. Jackson (from My Cat From Hell) keeps referring to a "vertical world" for cats to explore. That is lacking around here. So my first project came from a pintrest idea about a shelf behind the couch for displaying items. I thought it was a really cool idea and it would allow me to pull the futon out far enough from the wall to actually use it as a bed.
First off, I had to figure out how far away from the wall it needed to be. As well as how high the shelf should be to flow seamlessly with the "couch", not interfere with people sleeping on the "bed" and not block the transition between turning the couch into a bed and vice-a-versa. The shelf was placed a 36" high and the braces were screwed into studs in the wall to be certain to hold the weight.