Intro: Cat-O-Matic Sensory Playhouse
Create a fun tunnel for your cat to play with different stages of enjoyment.
This cat playhouse includes a scratching section, a brushing section and a cat nip/toy sensory section.
Thanks to Velcro this playhouse even breaks down for storing.
Step 1: Plan and Gather
Plan out your sections that you will be using and gather supplies needed.
You can use more than three sections but make sure that all sections are adequately ventilated.
You will need to gather cardboard boxes of the same size. I would try to find boxes at least 14" x 14" x 18". Bigger is fine and smaller is fine if they are only kittens.
You will need a cardboard scratching pad. a round or square one will do. I find mine at Target.
You will also need cotton yarn or jute twine, cat toys, cat nip, and various sized brushes. The brushes can be hair brushes or unused hardware brushes or cleaning brushes.
Tools you need are packing tape, zip ties, double sided tape and a utility knife.
Step 2: Preparing Boxes
**Be SUPER careful when using a utility knife ***
Make your entrances as tall as your cat's shoulder height and as wide as their whiskers spread. You can use the cutout of your first entrance as a template for measuring and cutting all the other ones. There will be two entrances on each box.
Cut plenty of ventilation holes in the sides of the boxes.
To make a roof for the box, you can take two parallel flaps and fold the corners to make a peak. Use little pieces of Velcro to secure it. This will also allow for easy opening.
Also put four Velcro pairs on both sides of the middle box and when you are ready, align and press the front and back boxes against the middle box to form the tunnel.
A Velcro contact point will be made of two sides. One side consists of hooks and one side of loops. There is a self adhesive side that will be mounted to each flat surface of cardboard then when the two hook and loop sides meet it creates a temporary bond.
Step 3: The Scratch Pad
You can change the sequence of your playhouse rooms but I started with the scratching pad.
For this room you will need your scratching pad or even some sisal rope covered pads that can be secured to the floor.
I used a long cardboard scratcher cut in half and secured with two sided tape.
Step 4: The Brushing Room
Cats love rubbing up against bristles, especially their little faces.
By mounting some brushes in this room they will enjoy doing some self grooming that feels so nice!
Use zip ties to thread through slits in the sides of the box and secure the handle in the inside.
Trim off the excess plastic and place packing tape over the pokey bits on the outside of the box.
Step 5: The Sensory Room
Some suspended toys and a cat nip laced floor makes for some great fun in this room.
Find a tray to dispense cat nip in I ended up finding some silicone potholders with cells that held the cat nip nicely (A grooved plastic dish draining mat works well too).
Your kitties should not actually be eating the cat nip but some will try. These silicone trays will serve as the floor of the sensory room. This lets them get close access to the cat nip while still keeping it contained.
Poke holes in the top of this box's roof. Thread a piece of cotton yarn or jute twine through the top and knot. On the inside of the box secure the string to a cat toy and make sure there is enough slack in the string so that the toy dangles freely.
Step 6: Finishing Up
Lay your boxes end to end and press so that all the Velcro squares are firmly attached.
You may need to end up taking apart and cutting your openings wider if your cat thinks it's too narrow for him or her.
You can add a little flair to your boxes with some stick on decals or stickers or even non-toxic markers.
Place your playhouse on the floor where both entrances are accessible for your cat.
Step 7: Things to Keep in Mind
********Always supervise your cats when they are paying with toys or strings.***********
Make sure there is adequate ventilation in all sections of the playhouse. Cut the doorway holes large enough so that your cats don't feel trapped.
Keep your boxes clean. Periodically pull hair from the brush bristles and vacuum up loose cat nip. Scratch pads will be need to be replaced periodically (My 2 cats go through one every 3 months).
Tempt your cats by putting toys or feathers in the windows of the playhouse. They can't resist a scampering target!
You can reward your cat with a small treat for making their way through the Cat-O-Matic Sensory Playhouse.