Instructables
Picture of DIY cat tent

I kept seeing photos of cat tents on Pinterest and being shared on Facebook, but none of them had good instructions! I decided to make a cat tent for Luna and document it so you guys could make one too. :D

This cat tent is super easy to make - you really just need a t-shirt, some wire hangers and a piece of cardboard. As a bonus, it really only takes five minutes, so if your cat ignores it you didn't put too much effort in. ;)

 
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Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of What you'll need:
  • a cat
  • a medium t-shirt
  • a 15 x 15 inch piece of cardboard (mine was 13x15 and a little wonky)
  • two wire hangers (like these)
  • tape
  • safety pins
  • something to cut the hangers with and help bend them - I used a large pair of pliers. :)

Step 2: Cut the hangers

Picture of Cut the hangers

Cut off both squiggly ends. I untwisted mine and then cut, but that's not really necessary. (though it was kinda fun!)

Step 3: Shape the hangers + reinforce the cardboard if needed

Picture of Shape the hangers + reinforce the cardboard if needed
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Shape the hangers so they look like the above - try to make them smooth and pretty uniform. You want two graceful curves that will go from corner to corner of your piece of cardboard.

(Lu did an excellent job of this.)

I also took this time to tape on a couple supports to the cardboard and tape all around the edges for a little more stability. This is really only necessary if you're using a piece of cardboard with a crease in it.

Step 4: Poke a hole in each corner

Picture of Poke a hole in each corner

You should be able to use the end of the hanger to do this!

Make sure it's at least a half inch in from each edge and not too large.

Step 5: Tape the two hangers together

Picture of Tape the two hangers together
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Cross the two hangers in the middle and make sure all the ends touch the surface you're working on. Tape them together really well so they don't shift.

Push the ends through the holes you just made in the corners.

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Excellent. So much cheaper than buying from the high street.
Great job

felipem8 made it!1 month ago

Cool idea! I did't have cardboard so i used white poliestyrene foam; the wires i found where quite hard to bend so i choose to cut the "?", instead of unroll. I didn't want the floor to be foam, because the claws scratch it (messy?), so, i used the same t-shirt to cover it, i had to pull it real thight because it was a small shirt, but with a bigger one i'm sure it should be easy, anyway y found a piece of carpet perfect to fit in. Kittie seem to aprove it, even it's a little small for her, but if she enjoys it, i promise to make her a new, bigger one. And as a final touch I made her a little pompom, super easy.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Pd/Foam was great, instead of cardboard, because it is super thin, it weights nothing. So it's perfect to put and carry everywhere. It's perfect for that moments when you are in your laptop, ipad, etc, and she just want to "be" there. Se enjoys being close, but cause she is in her space, she totally forgets about me.

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Nice! Great idea using foam.

I love this idea and will be trying it out with some adjustments for it to be used outdoors. Any ideas on how to make it weather proof? My Feral cats aren't too picky but they do like their own "bed". Has anyone left the tail of the shirt open so the cats can crawl out the end?

You could try making it with the material from an old umbrella.

If it has to be waterproof, maybe use a poncho or raincoat after you use the Tshirt? The shirt for warmth, raincoat for water and snow-proofing.

rawlsrk made it!yesterday
Pretty easy to make, catnip helped.
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I LOVE this and going to try to make one right now. I'm a little worried about using safety pins, do you think fabric glue or even hot glue would work? Will keep you all posted as how it turned out.... keeping my fingers crossed, please do the same.... Thanks guys

Brilliant!!! I was wondering how I could make my cats a house and it
helped a lot!! Got some guest in January and my cats are a bit too
unsociable and i think I need somewhere for them to hide! thank you very
much!

My thought would be to make the corners of the cardboard rounded, so the shirt won't wear thin or get holes as quickly. :)

tmeshnick5 days ago

Oh my goodness, this is great, my

Kat is going to love this. I am wondering if someone here can help me, I was trying to find the ASPCA website for Ma when I came across this, I am looking to get another cat/kitten as my Kat seems to need another companion. I am getting tired of getting up with her every morning at 3:30 because she is ready to face the day. I also think she would like the company when I am at work and the house is empty. Any suggestions would be helpful.

nea.miller5 days ago

these would also be nice, even if you don't have a cat, but lots of old t-shirts, to make and donate to an animal shelter....just sayin'

amyrose3239 days ago

Good DIY project, but don't do it with the cats around! They got in it right away, but also got out of it through the sleeves as well!

Must try this!! Need wire hangars though...

Whew! I though you were going to use the blue shirt which looked like it had the Epbot robot on it. Check out Epbot or CakeWrecks on FB. Same person does them.

bethdiamond made it!12 days ago

We had so much fun making these for Valentine's Day! Hopefully our cats will enjoy them.

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AllIDoIsFuss made it!12 days ago

I just finished this and even though my cats are pretty tall, one of them jumped right in. I was going to put some padding on the cardboard, but this one's a scratcher and so anything inside would get snagged on his claws, and that's no good. So, thanks for posting this, it was totally worth the effort. Who knows, I might have to make a second one for his brother. :D

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SophiaY15 days ago

i want to do this to my dog too! ..although would she even bother

elke.britta17 days ago

super schnell gemacht!!klasse !!

Great idea and it will save my fabric stash too (current cat bed if I don't stop her!) Also great place for her to hide from my kids when she needs her space :) It's not easy to get wire coat hangers here in the UK anymore - but I think I have some wire I can use instead (florist wire I think) so that will work really well too. Now, I wonder if I can make a human size one so I can hide from the kids too... ;)

salexa25 made it!18 days ago

I didn't have any safety pins, so I ended up using staples to affix the shirt to the cardboard (it was a cheap tee I was going to donate or toss anyway). My cat started trying to get in it before I'd even finished. Thanks for the clear instructions.

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Databanks20 days ago

Simple but effective, purfect. I'm thinking one made with a baby's tshirt would be ideal for my rats when they're having play time on my bed. Might slow down the destruction of my blankets!

I made my cats one last night! They love it!! Thanks for the excellent instructions!

MarieB120 days ago

That is such a great idea. Definitely going to make one of these for our cat. Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

This is the BEST! Can't wait ti try it!

This is the BEST! Can't wait to try it!

This is the BEST! Can't wait to try it!

jadario23 days ago
I love this idea, esp.if your cat is partial to a particular family member. Helpful hint: If you hit your local pizza shop and ask them for a pizza box, most will simply just give a single box, if you are not a regular, they may ask for 50 cents. but its worth it. you can make 2 :)

I do not own a cat, but family members do so I will be sharing, I just wanted to say, I like the quilt on the bed!!! I am an avid OL LADY QUILTER so any quilts get noticed! This is a great idea, good job!

Also a quilter who noticed and liked the Quilt - It's Beautiful !

dnardo made it!25 days ago
Frida Box!
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julie.sindora made it!6 months ago

Thank you for the clear instructions! I made one of these earlier using the box our Canidae cat food came in. It's just a little box with short sides which helps the stability of the setup. Also, you don't have to untwist the hook part, just cut it off. Then you also don't have to really straighten out the first crimp in the hanger because that's where you can bend once through the cardboard. That means you're just stuck with straightening out the main corners at either end of the hanger.

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The cardboard tray is a good idea; I wonder if the ones I get when I buy canned cat food would work...

That's what I used. I buy in 12-packs of the tall cans.

Looks really good Julie, I like the cardboard tray you've used as it looks more stable.

kurnous34 made it!26 days ago
they love it!
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studleylee26 days ago

Love This. I making some for my 10 furry brood. These are also great for rounding up very small kittens so the mamma can have a break. We had to hand raise 5 abandoned kittens who were only several days old and getting a tiny tent was key to keeping them together and warm.

Great idea! Instead of discarding, a large wire-frame lampshade, I plan to try a tunnel version covered with a cat themed sweatshirt. Small cup hooks and a wooden lap tray or old cutting board for a stable base (small buttonholes in shirt for easy removal to launder), a drawstring on the backside and a foam filled dish mat to sleep on. Now, off to my fav thrift store for the sweatshirt!

Wow - what a great idea!! I have two kitties that love to snuggle up in hidden places - they should love this. I can't wait to try this out - thanks for posting!!

scouter420 made it!1 month ago

I used an old wool sweater and pulled the arms inside out to make a soft bottom. All 3 cats are obsessed and I am currently making #2!

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