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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katie6211 month ago

Thank you for the step by step instructions! I saw these posted many times but they had no instructions and I'm just not crafty enough to figure it out! I can't wait to find out if my Athena will like it!

How cute! Lu looks like a great supervisor-kitty! Professional "project" tester, too! Can't wait to make one for my Manx Queen, T'Siri.

Cute idea. And I have two that would probably love this. Thanks for sharing and for your great instructions.

This took me about 15 minutes, and it is a bit sloppy, but my cats took to it within seconds of my setting it down! Thanks for the great instructions!

AmandaW41 month ago

I really love this idea.


AikkuL1 month ago

I love this idea, all of them! My Guy is a box cat, he loves boxes as they often do. I'll make this asap and will send a pic. I'm 190% positive that my Guy will love this tent and finally give me some time on my own (not demanding playing with him in every hour. ;-)

Cool idea!
agulesin made it!2 months ago

Used thin PVC irrigation pipes for the supports, fixed each with a screw through the pipe into the base which was 3/4" chipboard. Spare cushion inside and t-shirt I haven't worn in years, cat went straight in to investigate! Thanks!

T-shirt cat bed.jpg
jessyratfink (author)  agulesin1 month ago

I like this - the business casual version :D

becky.elliott.165 made it!1 month ago

I made it in about 15 minutes this afternoon. Great instructions, thanks!

jessyratfink (author)  becky.elliott.1651 month ago

Bonus point for the shirt you used! :D

nicole.reeves made it!1 month ago

done and done. not a super-taught fit (used an XL shirt) but clearly my feline approves!

jessyratfink (author)  nicole.reeves1 month ago

Success!! Looks really good :D

kathy.spruell made it!1 month ago

My quick version with a box and huge wire tie ish things, I think Grumpy Kitty feels I didn't love her enough to put more effort into it. lol

2015-01-03 00.01.58.jpg
jessyratfink (author)  kathy.spruell1 month ago

hahaha! laser eyeeeeees

Little Eagle made it!5 months ago

Ok so I cheated and didn't really make it. I just put an old dress around a box and tied it in the back. But, your instructable inspired me so thanks!

jessyratfink (author)  Little Eagle1 month ago

This is a great version - I think I might do another like this!! My cats love boxes and I know they'd be super into it. :)

i made mine with a box, and an old shirt, they absolutely love it. the first night they fought over it. inside i put a towel to lay on, and a toy to paly with.


oh my goodness! it would be so cute if you cut holes to co-ordinate with the sleeves on the sides of the box, so they would leave via the sleeve! haaa haaaa!

Get idea for outside cat, who sleeps on the porch. He does not like being indoors. Thought I would put a hooded-sweat shirt (hood for a door) on first then one of those emergency silver blankets on it then a t-shirt to hold the silver blanket in place. I am always worrying he will get cold.

Donna that was smart to use the hoodie and the silver blanket!

We have a kitty that stays outside too, I found this! Very easy to make!

putting something on the floor of it will make a huge difference too for the outdoor cat. Maybe getting a piece of foam insulations 1 or 2" thick for it to sit on. That should keep it up off the cold ground so less cold to radiate in, and dry.

ladysequia made it!1 month ago

I made mine slightly different. I covered the cardboard with a leopard print piece from an old pillow sham and tied the shirt in the back instead of using safety pins. (In case it got tipped over and the pins somehow got loose). I also left the arms out to the sides to add a place to entice playing with a hand or other toy!

Thanks for this idea. I love it. It was sooooo easy and fast!

jessyratfink (author)  ladysequia1 month ago

Covering the cardboard like that is a great idea. Yay! Thank you for sharing a photo :D

debbiesparrowwilson made it!1 month ago

We had a blast making this. We used a 1/2 box from Aldi's, added the hangers, t-shirt, packing tape, and 4 cats!


Hahah! Looks like they're all trying to figure it out together :D

danibees made it!1 month ago
Our new kitten loves it!! Thank you!
jessyratfink (author)  danibees1 month ago

Yay! So cute :D

If you don't have wire hangers, you can always cut a box into shapes that look like two arches. Back in the day when "hippies" were everywhere, I used a box to make a chair by cutting boxes and then gluing them together layer by layer. Boxes are very strong and you can find them for free in or near shopping areas' Dempsy Dumpsters.

Thanks- Looks fun- like when we were kids...building beds for our cats (c:

dawnhullick1 month ago

such a great idea! Makes me want to get a Cat!

kendrajean1 month ago

Great and thoughtful idea, Thank you.

smookeycdn1 month ago

hello I just read about the cat tent. Yes, I will be making this for my kitten. Thank you for the idea

I made one for my male cat. Mainly because he is too much of a gentlecat that he lets my female cat takes everything that belongs to him. And guess what? The tent is too small for him. lol Now my female cat is taking it as well. Thanks for the tutorial :)

flwrbx51 month ago

Love the idea. I would make one like you showed us and another with the sleeves left untucked. Just to give them more options to play.

made one. it was easy and my little girl loved it!

Lol love the list of things you will need... Cat

Thank you for the very clear and simple directions I will let my niece and nephew make one each this weekend :) My kitty's will be in love. I also like that you left the shirts whole for easy cleaning and reuse :)

What a wonderfully creative mind you have . Bravo and thank you for sharing.

solacel made it!1 month ago

Made it! So easy, and only took about 20 minutes. I'm waiting for the cats to wake up and see what they will do.

Cat house 2.jpg
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