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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MaskMarvl made it!4 months ago
Great instuctable! Memow thanks you... :)
BobbieJ14 months ago

This is great...too bad I trash all my wire hangars. But I will buy some just for this. My cats will love it!! I'm on my way to being a crazy cat lady - 4 of them. :)

Appreciate the detailed instructions WITH pictures!

Pampchiz4 months ago

Looove it!! And most of the cats seem to enjoy it!!

lynnk13134 months ago

Thank you it came out cute, we'll see if he likes it and goes in it. Thank you, took about 20 - 30 minutes to make and I used masking type on bottom not pins so it does not stick cat or kitten

MacAtk12224 months ago

we did it!! it looks a little ghetto because our hanger was really hard to bend, but whatever our cats will love it!

tweetyrulz4 months ago

I've seen this project before but didn't understand the directions. Thank you so much for clarifying them for me! I have 2 cats that would LOVE something like this! :)

kjackson304 months ago
I made it! It's a lil different but it works and I had the perfect shirt! I kept the arm holes too so kitties could play with other kitties by reaching their arms through them. Thanks for the idea, my cats love it!
GabbyB1 made it!4 months ago

Easy peasy! The kids love it. I went to the other room to grab safety pins and by the time I got back, George was inside and Watson was (impatiently) waiting his turn! I had some leftover carpet laying around so I cozied it up a bit by duct taping the carpet to the cardboard. Too fun!

peardrop made it!4 months ago

I made this last weekend, and although Mandrake was a bit suspicious at first, he quickly filled it with all his toys and spends most of the morning lolling around, throwing things out, and bringing them back in :)

He loves it and it really did only take 10min! Now if only I had coat hangers/t-shirts big enough for a person-sized version...

julie.sindora made it!4 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.

sophia.dale.54 months ago

I'll have to dig out an old t-shirt to make one for Fàili. She's the one who likes hiding in things. Only problem with yours is I want to WEAR that yellow T-shirt, it's gorgeous! :)

jessyratfink (author)  sophia.dale.54 months ago

Haha! My boyfriend was pretty bummed that the shirt was too big for him - that was his response too. :D

kalliope.trovas made it!4 months ago

i didnt have safety pins but i think it came out pretty well ! not as neat though :(


Must try!

diddleymaz4 months ago


mmd9004 months ago
My cat loves boxes and this was perfect for her!
patytrico5 months ago

Thank you! I will try ;)

danfish5 months ago

Very cool little project!

Fikjast Scott5 months ago

very nice

Sootsprites5 months ago

love how your cat is in all the preparation/construction photos! adorable (:

ttowngirl5 months ago
Also, as an upgrade, you could use correlated plastic sign board after any election is done! And put the wire in the layers hidden from the kitties!
ttowngirl5 months ago
Your cat tent and cute white kitty are awesome :) kitten is going to love this! And so easy!
sundiy5 months ago
My cats would love this!!
TMarizzle made it!5 months ago

I think this is the first instructable I've actually attempted to do after adding it to my list. I usually just add them to my favorites, and say "I'll do it eventually." I actually favorited this yesterday and went straight home after work to do it. Lilly seems to like it a lot so far. Now all I have left to do is pin up the bottom of the tent. She decided to check it out before I could finish haha

Photo Jul 05, 4 39 27 PM.jpgPhoto Jul 07, 6 22 02 PM.jpgPhoto Jul 07, 7 10 08 PM (1).jpg

Oh and Pro Tip: make sure you bend those hanger ends really well after you poke them through so they lay flat against the cardboard without tape. You will still need to tape them down of course, but it makes it so much easier instead of trying to tape them down as they keep rising up. I learned that the hard way after my first corner.

cuantascacas5 months ago

I really believe that you have probably made the BEST instructable I've ever read! A great conception with your beloved pet's comfort always in mind, so easy to build from two or three recycled items everyone has at home and IT WORKS, perfectly accomplishing its function...

Congratulations, you deserve all good purrs you get from your kitty and those who got a new colourful house!!!

Had to join so I could say what a great idea this is. My daughters cats are picky. She recycles tshirts into cat toys for the shelter. Her comment: And the teeshirt can always be made into cat toys for picky kitty to ignore." I love that her cats are picky. My brats get great new toys all the time! I can make one for each of them. And since most of my tshirts are cat themed, it will be adorable!

LesB made it!5 months ago

My handiwork isn't as neat as yours, but Kitten Kaboodle loves his new house.

KK shirt.jpg
grahamhogg976 months ago

would this work with rabbits as well. I have two

v-sev6 months ago

I think I may try one of these, I have three cats. In age Fathead, a male, and two females, a calico, Patches and a blind girl, Miss Kitty. I think Miss Kitty will like this hideaway, because she likes places where she feels snug and safe.

The reason I posted was when reading the instruction I thought of using Fiberboard like I got at the craft store for a quilting storage project, It is about 1 half inch thick and firm. but two pieces fastened together may make a nice base that wouldn't get mushy if it got wet. These come in two sizes, 18'XABOUT 24' and about 20 or 24" by about 36".

Dont really remember exactly the size, but know I needed two 18" squares to make a large storage envelope for my quilt squares, after making 2 15" storage envelopes and an 16" one from the smaller sizes and finding the quilt I was working on needed the larger envelope. (Anyone interested, I will tell where I learned how to make these and how the lady's instructions.). I have also cut to size and covered these with fabric and used them in the bottoms of tote bags I made, for solid, flat, removable bottoms. Think I may use these when I again make boxes for storage, Didn't think of the Fiberboard when I recently made boxes to store my sewing and craft pattern envelopes,

Sorry for being so wordy, I do always remember a lot when I start to post anything, so kept on because all is positive and maybe informative,

emtsevilla6 months ago

i love how your cat is just like "jesus when are you gonna finish this?!" in some of the photos. brilliant instructable BTW.

ltirado made it!6 months ago

I built this for the king and he loves it. I even went so far as to make it from a Celtics shirt, the king loves his Celtics.

Iamtherealzim made it!7 months ago

I saw this and loved it! I used PEX tubing instead of the coat hangers though. I put 2" machine screws through the corners and then put the tube over the screws. I thought this would allow a bit more flexing when one cat attacks another through the side of the shirt! ^_^ Thanks for posting this!


Could you maybe take a picture of your structure? I'm really interested!

Here are some pictures of how I made my "cat tent". The screw in the corner is just there for the Pex tube to slide over, and then the tape holds it in place. I'm thinking of putting a screw and acorn nut (so it doesn't poke the cat or the shirt) in the middle since my cat likes to chew the tape that holds the two tubes together. :)

photo 1.JPGphoto 2.JPGphoto 4.JPGphoto 5.JPG
lcsavi6 months ago

This is great! I've just made one -- it's like a magnet for cats!

anatroccolo made it!6 months ago

I couldn't wait for my husband to come home and help me with cutting the wires so my tent is a bit askew, but still I like it a lot! Don't know if Mr Peabody is going to use it, I put a little treat in the tent, let's see if it works.

anatroccolo6 months ago

Love this project and as I have everything in the house I'm gonna make it for my cat. He's already thanking you! ^_^

prickly vegan6 months ago

Oh, your cats rock! Love the pictures. Thank goodness they were there to supervise you. ;P
I will definitely try this for my kind overlords. Thanks!

Rider Girl6 months ago
Great! I like the idea that u r using an old t-shirt :D
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