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8 DIY Cardboard Cat Beds You Can Create at Home

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In this day and age of online ordering, we all seem to have an abundance of cardboard. You may have been looking for creative uses for your extra cardboard without even realizing that cardboard can make a great bed for your cat. Not only is it disposable if it becomes soiled, but cardboard is a material many cats enjoy scratching and rubbing on.

Making a DIY cardboard bed can provide your cat with a perfectly cat-friendly cardboard haven that doesn’t require you to have empty cardboard boxes all over your house. It’s also a good way to use up the excess cardboard you’ve acquired from all of your online shopping.

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The 8 DIY Cardboard Cat Beds

1. Cardboard Cat Igloo by Instructables

Materials Cardboard, paper glue
Tools Pencil, compass, measuring stick, box cutter
Difficulty Level Moderate

This cardboard cat igloo will add a unique touch to your space, and it looks a lot more expensive than it actually is. If made correctly, this cat bed is sturdy and should last a long time, assuming your cat doesn’t use it as a scratching post. You can customize the size and shape of this bed to suit your space, but the instructions will help you make a rounded pod-type house for your cat to sleep and play in.

This isn’t an overly complex project to create. However, it does take some time and quite a bit of measuring. Fitting the pieces together and gluing them into place will be time-consuming, and it’s important to mark your pieces as you go to make sure you put them together in the right order.

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2. Cardboard Cat Cave by The Cat Site

Materials Cardboard, paper, paper glue
Tools Pencil, scissors, measuring stick, box cutter
Difficulty Level Moderate

This cardboard cat cave does require quite a bit of careful measuring and could turn into a time-consuming project, but the end result is totally worth it. With only a handful of supplies, you’ll have a cat cave for your kitty to hide in within a matter of hours. You can customize the size and shape of this house to fit your needs as well, making it a great option for cats that may be too large for many commercial beds and scratchers.

When you make this cave, you can choose to leave parts of it open, creating windows for your cat, or you can enclose everything but the entrance, making a secure place for your cat to spend time.

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 3. VW Bus Cat House by eHow


Materials Cardboard, adhesive films
Tools Scissors, box cutter
Difficulty Level Easy

If you’re looking for something a little bit groovy as a cat bed, this VW bus cat house is a great option. It’s extremely simple to make and requires minimal measuring and cutting, making this a kid-friendly project. This will definitely be one of the most unique cat houses you’ve come across, and you can add special touches, like a faux fur rug, to really make it feel era-appropriate.

If you have trouble finding adhesive films for this project, you can use other cat-safe options, like nontoxic paint or contact paper and glue. You can really bring out your creativity with this project. If you want the real 1960s feel, consider adding some painted daisies to your cat’s new VW van.

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4. Cardboard Cat House by Creaty Videos

Materials Cardboard, wooden stand, thin cardboard scratchers, paper glue, white paper
Tools Box cutter, measuring stick
Difficulty Level Easy

If you’re looking for a straightforward project with a cool outcome, this cardboard cat house is a great option. This project results in a cat bed that looks like an old-fashioned TV, adding an eye-catching touch to your home. You can customize the colors or appearance of this project as desired. If made according to the directions, you’ll end up with a stable cat bed that has an entrance and two holes that allow your cat to play with toys.

If you feel like this bed isn’t stable enough with just cardboard on top of the wooden base, a thin piece of wood can be added between the cardboard and the wooden stand to stabilize the structure.

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5. Snowy Mountain Peak Tent by Sew Doggy Style

Materials Cardboard, brown fleece, white fleece, packaging tape/duct tape
Tools Sewing machine, measuring stick, box cutter, Sharpie
Difficulty Level Moderate

If you know your way around a sewing machine, this snowy mountain peak cat tent shouldn’t be too difficult for you. However, if you’re not comfortable using a sewing machine, you may have to get creative with craft glue to create the tent cover. Overall, this is not a particularly complex project, but the sewing or fabric gluing may be too complex for children and crafting beginners.

In the end, you’ll have a perfect little tent-like bed for your cat to spend time, bringing a bit of Alpine appeal to your home. This project can also be made without the fabric exterior, but the fabric will not only enhance the appearance of the project but also help protect the cardboard.

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6. Modern Cat House by The Green Mad House

Materials Cardboard, paper glue, nontoxic paint
Tools Box cutter, measuring stick, measuring tape
Difficulty Level Moderate

A designer house as a cat bed? Sounds great! The good news about this DIY modern cat house is that it can be fully customized to your preferences. The original design is quite artistic, which may be concerning to the less artistically inclined. You can make this house in any shape or look you want, though. Also, the original design uses items like dollhouse hedges and sphagnum moss to enhance the appearance of the house, but some cats may chew on these items. It’s important to ensure that anything you add to the house is safe for your cat, just in case they decide to chew on or consume it.

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7. DIY Cat Tent by Instructables

Materials Cardboard, t-shirt, wire hangers, packing tape/duct tape
Tools Wire cutters, safety pins
Difficulty Level Moderate

This DIY cat tent is the perfect way to use a flat box with short sides, like the type that canned cat food and sodas are often packed in. This is also a good way to help your cat feel close to your scent, especially if you use an old t-shirt that you’ve had for a long time. If desired, you can change out the shirt from time to time with a fresh shirt that has your scent on it.

This project creates a cozy but not overly sturdy cat bed. The overall project isn’t difficult, but the cutting and bending of wire hangers may not be a kid-friendly job.

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8. Cardboard Box Cat Tree by Laira Martinez

Materials Cardboard boxes with lids, glue or tape
Tools Box cutter
Difficulty Level Easy

This cardboard box cat tree is so simple, there aren’t even instructions for making it. All this project requires is cardboard boxes with lids, like heavy shoe boxes or photo storage boxes. Using a box cutter, you’ll carefully create holes in the sides of the boxes that are big enough to allow your cat to fit. For safety, attach the boxes to each other using glue or tape. You may also consider securing the lids to the boxes for extra security. This plan is a great combination of a bed and play area.

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Final Thoughts

We hope these DIY plans have given you some inspiration to create your own cat bed out of cardboard. Reusing materials is a fantastic way to lessen our ecological footprint and save money. Plus, your cat will love you for being thoughtful and creative. Happy building!

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Featured Image Credit: Cat Box, Shutterstock

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