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

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

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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I made this over the weekend for my Sphynx, George Hairlesson. I completely covered the cardboard (cut from a pizza box) with duct tape for added security. I also duct taped the t shirt (I was out of safety pins) on the bottom and everything turned out great. The part that took the longest was straightening out the wire hangers. Great instructable.

hokienala4 days ago

You should enter this in the pets and animals contest.Great job!i want to make one for my cat now.

I so want to make this for my crazy lil Senor Meow Meow Pussycat. he would love it. my dilemma, I have no wire hangers. :(

Maybe try going to a dry cleaners and ask if they could spare a couple . . . ?


AlexaM marshain2 months ago

Just use a box!

A box sounds like a great idea.....will try

I know what you mean!!!
Dry cleaners/laundramats have wire hangers

ok there, Joan Crawford. LOL. I was thinking the exact same thing when the first comment stated not having wire hangers...


tlmosier marshain2 months ago

I didn't have any wire hangers either, but I got ten of them from Walmart for under $2, we have three cats in a three story house so I figure I will use them all. This is really easy to do and it is a great idea!

Go to your local dry cleaner/laundramat, most have wire hangers

If u have a local dry cleaners around go there and offer to buy them from them chances are they will just give them to u cause dry cleaners have tons of wire hangers

baloobook8 days ago
This is very cute. It seems like a nice gift to make for local animal shelters.
tnwenrich8 days ago

I will probably make one of these, and put a piece of denim in the bottom. For some reason, my cat loves laying on denim!

I scaled it down for my rats and they love it. ^_^

EmersenH10 days ago

i do not have any safety pins what should i instead?

professorbootyxxx made it!12 days ago

This was super easy. I probably finished in about an hour (while watching TV and getting kitty help). My cat jumped right in it as soon as I put it down (then of course, jumped right out when I tried to take a picture).

I would recommend that everyone reinforce the cardboard. When I was pinning and tightening the shirt, the cardboard bent. It still works though!

Great rainy day project!


just made this and my cat wont get in :( i guess i will try some catnip when i go to the store

nien.zienya made it!17 days ago

thank you for the clear instructions.... but we made it a bit different from yours though... we're using thread to make the wire stay still...

PS. put your cat in the other room to prevent accident... we all know that cats are curious beings...

Punpun tenda copy copy.jpg
nien.zienya17 days ago
barb18 days ago

I have 4 cats so I guess I'll make a little "village" from differenc colored shirts and hope they don't all pile up in

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.

barb Dahbou18 days ago

that is a good idea. I have a large patio umbrella that got caught in the wind and the wires got all messed up but I kept the material....think I will try it..

I saw an outdoor cat habitat made from cheap styrofoam coolers. Tape the lid on, turn it upside down, cut a cat-sized hole.

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.

Faitmain-Faitcoeur made it!18 days ago

My cat doesn't like closed space... but it was a great DIY to make!!
Congrat for the idea.

Translated in French HERE.

neecieee19 days ago

this was nothing but a dangerous mess..could not get hangers to cooperate and almost poked my cats eye out never again...garbage

Pachita is gonna love this, I'm makin it right away! Thanks for the super idea!

AlonnaF made it!22 days ago

Easy instructions. My cat hopped in right away.

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jessyratfink (author)  AlonnaF21 days ago

Ohhhh outdoors camping :D

So cute!!

tmeshnick1 month 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.

I always had 2 cats...they need company

ehoachlander made it!24 days ago
This worked out well. I have a feeling that chauncy (our cat) knew what I was making. He kept trying to get in befor I even had it built. Lol

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

felipem8 made it!2 months 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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