A Tiny Cathouse

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About: Just removed to another sunny island, a bit bigger, but without hurricanes.

Hi. We are Gio and Dirk.

We are two, almost adult kittens adopted from the animal shelter. Although we have a lovely home, we would like to have our own. You know why? Because the people who adopted us also have two big dogs. Nothing wrong with the dogs. They are friendly, but sometimes they are too much.

At such moments, we just want to be on our own and don’t want to play with them. If we want to get rid of the dogs, we climb and run through the whole house, jumping across the book shelves which are the best spots because dogs can’t climb.

Unfortunately the people who adopted us don’t want us on top of the bookshelves. But they also understand that we want to hide ourselves sometimes so they promised us our own tiny home.

Now our little houses are finished. We are very happy with it and the best part: just like a castle it is easy to defend.

This is how they were made:

Step 1: The Base

For the base I used two old stools from Ikea which I found on the street, ready to take by the garbage truck. Luckily for the stools, and of course for the cats and me too, I was there first. If you do not have that luck or have any old stools of yourselves you can make one. Jpmarth has a good instructable you can use. After cleaning the stools I draw a circle with the help of a small plate and cut it out with a jigsaw. After sanding and painting the stools they looked like new. From this part I do not have any pictures. For some time I’ve been out of my instructable mode. A hurricane and a removal to an other island was more time consuming than I had hoped. Two cats brought me back.

Step 2: What You Need

What you need:

Ikea stool (s) or make one with the instructable of Jpmarth: https://www.instructables.com/member/jpmarth/. The Ikea stool has a measurement of 40x40x40 cm.

Rope (option)

Cat toys (option)

Fabric hammock

Fabric cushion

Foam

Paint

Brush

Bolts / nuts / option spacer rings (2 per side)

Slats

Clamps

Drill with drill bit

Jigsaw

Miter box

Handsaw

Screwdriver

Wrench

Sandpaper

Sewing machine

Scissors

Yarn

Sisal rope

Glue

Pencil

Pins

Paper for making the pattern

Velcro (option)

Step 3: The Hammock

I thought it would be nice for our cats to have a hammock too for we love ours. And who doesn’t want the best for their pets? So l started to measure the inner side of the stool and made a pattern. The idea was to use slats to fasten it to the stool with bolds. This way you always can take them out to wash them if necessary.

I started with the slats. The slats were leftovers from wooden blinds which I made shorter. They were 5 cm wide and 2,5 mm thick, one leftover was long enough to make 4 slats for one stool. The wide of the slat was just the right seize, except for the entrance. There I used only 2,5 cm for the wide. For cutting I used a miter box and handsaw. The stools were not perfect square and the length for the slats was 2x 30 cm full wide, 1x 29 cm full wide, 1x 29 cm half wide (entrance side). After cutting and sanding I put them aside and sewn the hammock.

For the fabric I used canvas. It was to thick for my new sewing machine so I used my 55 year old Necchi, which is perfect for heavy fabrics. I draw and and pinned the pattern on the canvas and, because I had to make two tiny cat houses, I doubled the fabric so I have to cut once for twice the pattern. After cutting, I tailor tack the fabric so that I could pull them apart having the pattern on both fabrics (l made the pattern excluding the hems). Then I sew all the hems that were not rolled on the slats of course with some help. After the hems I sew the tunnels for the slats. Now it was time to put the hammock and stool together. With clamps I clamped the hammock to the stool. One side at a time I drilled and screwed the hammock and stool into a whole.

Step 4: The Interior

Because cat toys are not save for our dogs, the cats normally have to play with old paper shopping bags or carton beer boxes. Very nice to play with but also very messy, especially when the dogs start to play with it too.

Making a tiny home was an opportunity to use cat toys which can be stored in their little homes. In one of the stools is a scratch board and in the other one some toys hanging on elastic cord. And of course they both have their teddy mouse (as a cat doesn’t like bears) for when they go to bed. The mice are simply sew on the hammock. The toys are screwed to the ceiling do this before you add the hammock. For the scratch board I wrapped sisal rope on one side of the stool. Make sure when you add toys that your cat cannot hang him/her self.

Step 5: The Top

To finish I made them a roof terrace. And what can be better for a cat than a nice cushion? I had some floral fabric left which was just not enough to make the cover the way I preferred. But I really wanted it so I made it this way: l placed the foam on the right site of the fabric and brought it together on the corners (see pictures). I kept one side longer for closure for I didn’t had any zipper. Using a basting stitch I fixed the corners, so I had the right measurement to sew, and cut the excess fabric. Sew and finish with a zigzag stitch. For the bottom of the cushion I used the pattern of the hammock but without the covers of the slats. Use a basting stitch for fixing it it to the upper part and leave one side, the side with the longer part, open. Sew and check if all is finished with a zigzag stitch. Sew the ribbon, by hand, as closure. Finally, I have provided the cushions and stools with velcro so that the cushions do not fly through the room.

Step 6: The New Home

Now their little homes are finished, it has a hammock/play room and a roof terrace, and when it is bedtime their teddy mouse is waiting so they can have sweet dreams.

As you can see they love there new home.

Bye, bye old beer boxes!

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    2 Discussions

    I love how storage boxes double up as cat toys - you could create a whole veritable maze out of them if you put your mind to it! And it'll be light and portable around the house to give them a change of scenery once in a while! It's a great solution to keep the kitties mobile!

    1 reply
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    jmdushiNathanDavidson

    Reply 26 days ago

    I made a lot of things from carton boxes but using them as cat toys is not a success for we have two dogs too. The dogs like them also as a toy and bite them into thousand pieces, just one big party for the dogs and cats. So I reused old stools, they last a bit longer.