DIY Cat Tent




Introduction: DIY Cat Tent

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. ;)

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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390 Discussions

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

Möchte in cm nicht in Zoll die Beschreibung!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In der Tat

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

What an adorable idea - thanks for sharing.

I'm lazy, and I have a bigger cat. I had a bigger shirt on hand, so just pulled it over a small mover's box. I folded the flaps inside and taped the bottom of the shirt in the back. It's not elegant, but suits our "style". I put another shirt inside and sprinkled catnip. She wasted no time coming over to check it out, but didn't settle inside yet. Maybe if I put it in a sunbeam. Right now it's too cloudy here.


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

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

Cat liked this more than the $20 bed I got him haha!


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

My materials made a teepee and I needed loose corners for her to snuggle in - but Echo is enjoying! I used Cloroplast on the bottom for easy clean up.


Thank you! This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for - I'll post pictures as soon as I get it done. This is actually going to be for my hedgehog, so I'm going to use a plastic plate on the bottom (it will be pee'd on). I figure a nice small drill to make holes should work fine. Thanks again!!

Here's a 'before' picture - nice tent. 'After' will come soon.


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


1 year ago

Perfect, I have 3 cats and the store bought cat tents are pretty but impossible to wash properly. Many have stuffing and if barf gets on them, forget about it. Best about these, we take our cats on vacation so packing bulky cat tents is no longer necessary, just pack a couple of shirts and extra hangers and our mini tools, done.


1 year ago

Totally doing this ! Cute and easy

jajaja!!! I loved it so beautiful! !!

Great idea. So great I decided to make one! I guess one day she might like it but in the line of preferences my cat picks cardboard boxes every time. Her favourite (so far) is one with 3 flaps glued to the inside and one with a crude stop to prevent it folding inside the box. If you want to know if she's 'home' just tap the sides of the box and get you hand away real quick. The best toy she's ever had. Now what do i do with the T shirt tent?

cute cat


1 year 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.

This is a great idea!!

This is such a great idea