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. ;)
Step 1: 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)
- safety pins
- something to cut the hangers with and help bend them - I used a large pair of pliers. :)
Step 2: 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
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
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
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.
Step 6: Bend the Ends and Tape Them Down
Bend at least an inch on the bottom of each hanger so it sits against the bottom of the cardboard. Tape the ends down flat against the cardboard - make sure you tape it well so it's nice and smooth and won't snag the shirt when you pull it over!
Step 7: Check and Make Sure Everything's Lined Up
At this point you can bend the wire so that it looks nicer - fiddle around with it and use the pliers if you need to straighten it out a bit. :)
Step 8: Create the Tent!
Pull the shirt over the tent frame and position it so the neck hole is in the front middle and the bottom of the shirt is trailing behind the tent frame.
Flip the whole thing up so the bottom is facing you and the hole is pointing upwards.
Fold up the excess from the bottom of the shirt and tighten it up so the neck hole is taut and safety pin the bottom in place. Then pull the sleeves tight and safety pin them in place too.
As you can see in the last image, it should be pretty tight over the frame. Keep tucking and safety pinning until it's ready!
(Yes, I know it would make sense to cut it, but I decided to leave it whole and safety pin it instead so it would be easy to remove and wash. :D)
Step 9: Give It to Your Cat!
I put a paper bag inside as a floor since it's been pretty hot here and a blanket would be waaaaay too warm. I also put a little catnip inside as a bonus.
As you can see, she was pretty stoked. :D