DIY Cat Tent

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Introduction: DIY Cat Tent

About: I'm a community manager here at instructables! I turn into a stitch witch at night. You can find me on Instagram @jessyratfink and Twitter at @makingjiggy ^_^

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)
  • 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

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

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416 Comments

0
HappyVegan
HappyVegan

1 year ago

A quick suggestion to strengthen the connection of the wire to the cardboard is to use grommets. They are super cheap and will help the cardboard last longer. You can get them at any home improvement store and they are only a couple dollars. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I am going to make one for my sisters cats.

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 1 year ago

Grommets are a great idea! Clever :D

0
WhiteWolf McBride
WhiteWolf McBride

2 months ago

If you are a bit handier, you can use pop-rivets pushed through the tent floor to hold the wire ends. Take a bit of the hanger wire to a hardware store, and ask one of the staff for pop-rivets with the same diameter centers (aluminum or steel ones) Be sure to get ones at least a half inch, or longer. Then you knock the popper-nails out of them, and push them in from the bottom of the flooring. Then you have a nice long 'socket' for holding the end of the wire!
Also, for the flooring, dollar stores has padded-foam flooring squares, usually 4 to a pack. Nice and firm, but easily washed in the shower/tub, or outside with a garden hose!

0
jaimsy
jaimsy

Tip 3 months ago

This is a nice and easy project. If you don't have wire hangars you could also use plastic tubing, i.e. the sturdy plastic tubing that you would use for irrigation. It bends well and keeps its shape.

0
mgur2966
mgur2966

4 months ago on Introduction

it helps me out so much when I'm cleaning up be hind 4 cats in the house

0
Peregrine9
Peregrine9

5 months ago

Wow this is so cool. I love it. THE CATS ARE SOOOOO CUTE!! :)

0
Angelicalovekaden
Angelicalovekaden

7 months ago

OMG thank you. my aunt and uncle has a cat that looks exaclty the same as my profile picture. They are expecting a baby coming in a few months.First I'm going to make this for her. Her name is Burri

0
Aurora2368
Aurora2368

Question 8 months ago on Step 3

could i use wire instead?

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 8 months ago

Definitely! As long as it's a thick enough gauge :)

0
Aurora2368
Aurora2368

Reply 8 months ago

thanks

0
Creativeusername_Idk
Creativeusername_Idk

8 months ago

OMG YES. THE FIRST CAT PROJECT I HAVE SEEN ON THIS WEBSITE UWU i will totaly use it

0
PlantGrower9000
PlantGrower9000

8 months ago on Step 2

A question about step 2 cut the hangers :: I am not sure where to cut it, is the place you need to cut the twisted part of the hook part?

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Best Answer 8 months ago

You should cut right below where it twists together. I marked it on a photo:

FH3KCMJHV3Q5CWY.jpg
0
PlantGrower9000
PlantGrower9000

8 months ago

I made it !! And just when we finished making it, I showed it to my cat. He sniffed the air then came into the tent and then slept/relaxed.

0
KhyaG
KhyaG

4 years ago

Does it have to only be for cats or can it be for dogs too?

0
PlantGrower9000
PlantGrower9000

Reply 8 months ago

I think that it's for cats AND dogs but only for small dogs.

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

Reply 8 months ago

Tiny dogs also love this tent! :D