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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rodski2 months ago
so easy to make., great idea!.,thanks for sharing

walmart has wire hangers for cheep.:-)

tiffanyikeda made it!2 months ago

This was so easy! My Kitty is lukewarm about it, but it is amusing and cute! It kind of makes me want to go out and buy some ridiculous cat shirts and make more :)

CherylB12 months ago

Wow this is great, thanks for the tutorial. My cats loves to hide so I'll be making two for them :)

tamjlut made it!2 months ago

Easy to make as described. It's a little small for my Maine Coon mix which isn't surprising, but he made it his own. Catnip also helped. Thanks!

AlexaM tamjlut2 months ago

Its a little small for my maine coon too! But they love it!

Use a XL or XXL t-shirt, just fold back 1/2" of wire
jessyratfink (author)  tamjlut2 months ago

Look at all the fluff! Catnip is always a good bribe. ;)

marycristinab2 months ago

this is SO RAD!!!! well done! i will make this for all my kitty-loving friends... and maybe a few for the shelters??? yes! thanks!

hillary.hall.33 made it!2 months ago

Stormy has a new favorite napping place. I'm going to be making a couple more to put around the house for her. I'm also going to be taking a couple of my husbands old tshirts and making thin pillow pads for the bottom. Nothing a few passes of the sewing machine and a little bit of fiber fill can't make better. Thank you for the super easy instructions. I have been passing this on to all my friends.

blászló2 months ago
Thanks !
lifesaver3342 months ago

Why not leave the arm holes out and not tape them underneath. It will make for a cat to find new ways of getting out of the tent shirt? They need challenges too, and I think even a small dog would like to have one of these. Might have to use an XL or XXL shirt for a bigger dog or cat though. You can also get a strong coil type metal frame by using old tent poles or a coil of wire they use for electrcial uses.

So I seen this and it might sound strange but my weiner dog loves curling up in my shirts so I made one for him now I cant get him out lol thank you

Just made mine. Sat it next to her food and water bowls for when she comes up to eat. Put a old towel with some catnip in it. her she takes a liking to it. Gave me also a project to do with my daughter . Thanks!!

Such a great idea...we have three indoor cats...sisters and they all jocky for the prime spots...I can make three and they will all be happy..thanks again

cjsjags2 months ago

I wonder if I can figure out a way to make it weather proof so it can be used for ferrell cat colonies. Any ideas ?

jessyratfink (author)  cjsjags2 months ago

I bet you could cut squares of plywood, drill holes for the hangers in the corners, and cover with a tarp - I bet around a 45 inch square piece of tarp would work well! You could probably just staple the tarp it to the bottom. :)

I'm not sure if it would be better to leave the tarp loose in the front or cut a hole, though!

That way the frame itself will resist the elements, and you could put old towels or blankets or straw inside for warmth!

OMG!!!! I make all kinds of toys for my cats, but NEVER thought of this! This is so freekin cute, but especially Little Silky Lu! :-)

Kazezza2 months ago

That is awesome and I am going to make one for my cat. Thank you so much for sharing.

blueskyblu2 months ago

this is brilliant and my two cats will love it! but since they like scratching on any cardboard, i'm going to sew the tshirt together instead of using the safety pins in case they get through to the bottom.

elizabeth.boyd.12 made it!2 months ago

Fitz decided he loved his so much, he climbed into it while I was still putting it together and hasn't left. He doesn't seem to mind that it's upside-down.. Thanks!

diane.perenick made it!2 months ago

This is the cutest Kat-Tent ever.... and easy-peasy too! Thanks :-)

katie6212 months 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!

AmandaW42 months ago

I really love this idea.


AikkuL2 months 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)  agulesin2 months ago

I like this - the business casual version :D

becky.elliott.165 made it!2 months ago

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

jessyratfink (author)  becky.elliott.1652 months ago

Bonus point for the shirt you used! :D

nicole.reeves made it!2 months ago

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

jessyratfink (author)  nicole.reeves2 months ago

Success!! Looks really good :D

kathy.spruell made it!2 months 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.spruell2 months ago

hahaha! laser eyeeeeees

Little Eagle made it!6 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 Eagle2 months 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.

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