DIY Cat Tent

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About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

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:

  • 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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396 Discussions

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EeFong

4 weeks ago on Step 9

Thank you for the detailed instructions. Will definitely try to make one for my cats.

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HappyVegan

5 weeks 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.

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AlanS14

4 months ago

I saw this and thought 'interesting' but expected sewing, I read it and 'WOW', no sewing needed. I don't have a cat just now, it's been a few years since I had 2 of them (Smokey and Bacon) but it won't be long until I get the next cat(s). This is favorited and will be used- thanks!

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CaitD1

2 years ago

Love it! For those of you that are not so crafty, we found a solution at our local BJ's. There are lots of boxes at the exit, and many have 3 sides and a nice front that is just cat size. We turn that upside down on a small rug and our cats love them. In the winter, we put blankets over them for our two feral visitors.

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shalnachywytCaitD1

Reply 5 months ago

My cat just looks at a box and then walks away. She's not box-friendly. ::shrugs::

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realife11

Tip 5 months ago

I would add a few ceramic tiles taped together, as the floor in the summer. Should keep the tent more stable and cooler.

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sharpstick

5 months ago

Our cats would prefer a shirt that I've worn.

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Syncopator

5 months ago on Step 7

What a brilliant and simple design!

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Scribouille64

6 months ago on Step 9

Amazing and so simple ! Cats do love so much to hide in covered spots ! Bravo to you !!! Best regards from France ! :-)

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Queen_Aaliyah

1 year ago

I'm going to make a big one for my for my brothers and sisters so they have a tent and can camp out in the living room or our balaconly or whatever{they are 2 3 and 4}

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juli_a_sole

Tip 1 year ago

I tried this with regular wire, because I did not have any wire hangers, I totally, DO NOT recommend that, unless you are a epic master at shaping wire, and have the time and are patient enough. Next time I will try the hanger

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WendyM149

1 year ago

Why should all the cats have all the fun, I am going to make one for my Maltese - jack Russell.

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NarkR

1 year ago on Step 9

What an adorable idea - thanks for sharing.

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marilynt8

1 year ago on Step 9

WOW!!!!! How clever of you. Amazing what people can create.

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sleek777

1 year ago on Step 9

This is an awesome Idea! I made one for my bunnies and they are gleefully destroying it right now. :)

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Liahyyh

2 years ago

My kitten seems to like it and it was really fun to make so thank you^^

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Koto skittles

2 years ago

This is great for the barn koto and skittles at going to love it thanks