Excited Cats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

21 DIY Cardboard Cat Houses You Can Build Today (with Pictures)

If you have a cat, you know it can be very difficult to find toys that will entertain them for more than a minute or two. They often enjoy the packaging more than the toy, and you can spend a small fortune trying to make them happy. Many cats enjoy hiding places, and cardboard boxes are usually popular.  If you are looking for a low-cost alternative you can build yourself; we can help you out. We’ve scoured the internet to find as many plans as we could that show you how to create a cardboard cat house sure to keep your cat entertained. It will also provide your cat with a place to hide out if it wants some time alone. Hopefully, these plans will give you some ideas that you can try out.

cat face divider 2

Cardboard Cat Houses

1. Iheartcats Cathouse

The Iheartcats Cathouse is a fantastic plan that is easy to build and only requires a few cardboard boxes, glue, a box knife, and some markers. It’s highly customizable, and you can make it any size you would like. This plan provides you with an easy-to-follow step-by-step video, and the entire project will only take a few hours to complete.


2. Gothic Castle

The Gothic Castle is a paid-for plan, but it is worth every penny and will provide you with an attractive multi-level cat house for your home that your cats are sure to love. It has 10 rooms for your cat to play in, and it stands 4 feet tall when it’s complete. It’s suitable for cats up to 16 pounds, and the side of the house also doubles as a scratching post. You’ll need a utility knife, ruler, glue gun, and a few hours to build it.


3. Cat Tower

The Cat Tower is another paid plan, but it isn’t very expensive, and it results in an attractive 6-foot-tall tower with eight floors for your cat to explore. It comes with a YouTube video of instructions to build it, and it only requires a few tools that you may already have to build.


4. Martha Stewart Cat House

The Martha Stewart plan is one of the easier houses to build on this list, and the best part is that you don’t need to purchase an expensive plan. It only requires three cardboard boxes, a utility knife, glue, and a little patience. You can also extend the house to be as large as you want or make more than one if you need to accommodate multiple cats.


5. Kinder Mix Cat House

The Kinder Mix Cat House is a little more difficult than some of the other houses, but you should still be able to complete it in a few hours without requiring too many tools. The plan is free, and you can watch the complete step-by-step YouTube video to follow along. It’s highly customizable, and you can make it larger to accommodate more cats if you need to.


6. Cardboard Cat Penthouse

The Cardboard Cat Penthouse is one of the more expensive cat houses on this list, but you can probably figure out how to build it without the plan. It has a hole in every wall, so it’s easy for your cat to get in and out. The best part is that you can build multiple houses, and they stack together to create a larger structure that will hold numerous cats.


7. Tucker Murphy Cat House

The Tucker Murphy Cat House is another paid plan that you can probably build from the picture. It’s very attractive and allows you to get creative with paints, stickers, and more to help make it look more like a commercial product and less like a cardboard box. It’s fairly large, durable, and contains some hanging cat toys to help keep your pet entertained.


8. Petique Feline Penthouse

The Feline Penthouse is a paid project that is perfect for kittens and medium-sized cats. It provides your pet with three levels for resting or hiding, and the contoured top is more comfortable for many cats, and they will quickly make it their favorite spot. It fits together like a puzzle and uses thick, high-quality cardboard to provide your cat with a home that will last many years.


9. DIY Cat Tower

The DIY Cat Tower is an extremely impressive cat house that your pets will love. The finished product stands nearly 6-feet tall and has eight floors yet takes up only a tiny bit of space in a corner. Cat’s love high places where they can survey the environment and this project is perfect for keeping watch.


10. FurHaven Farmhouse Cat Playground

The FurHaven Farmhouse Cat Playground is a cardboard house for purchase that will provide your pet with plenty of entertainment. It has a scratching post and plenty of catnip-infused toys. The floors are sturdy, and you should get plenty of use out of it, even you’re your cats are a little heavier than they should be. You could buy this outright or use it as inspiration for your own DIY project.


11. Cat Fortress

The Cat Fortress is one of our favorite cat houses because it’s extremely attractive yet surprisingly easy to build. It’s durable enough to support a full-grown cat and features a top platform so they can sun or look around, or your cat can choose to go inside for some quiet time. It looks great in any room of the house but is a standout in a child’s playroom. However, it’s not cheap.


12. London Bridge Cat Condo

The London Bridge Cat Condo is the only project on this list that features two houses with a bridge to connect them. It’s surprisingly durable and lasted through several months of abuse from our full-grown cats. Each of the houses has two floors, and it stands almost three feet wide when complete. You can buy the pieces and then set them up yourself.


13. DIY Eiffel Tower Cat Tree

The DIY Eiffel Tower Cat Tree pattern is one of the more elaborate cat houses on this list, but the result is amazing, and your cat will love it. The plans are inexpensive and easy to follow. The finished product stands 90 inches tall, and you can even separate it into two pieces if you want.


14. Astorga House Cat Condo

The Astorga House Cat Condo resembles several of the others on this list but is extremely durable and is more than suitable for cats that like to scratch and be destructive. This self-assembly package uses extra-thick cardboard and gives your cat a scratching pat they can use to sharpen their claws. The floor is also comfortable and is one of our cat’s favorite places to sleep.


15. Cat Sofa

The fine people at Wayfair.com use a thin wood to create the Cat Sofa, but you can easily use cardboard instead if you’re making your own version. This attractive project is easy to customize, and you can leave it plain or use non-toxic paints or stickers to spruce it up. It’s easy to build, and you can create several in a single day.


16. Sun Squad Cat House

The Sun Squad Cat House is another project you can purchase the plans for or build using the photograph. It’s highly decorative and shows you what you can do if you use a little imagination. The single-floor house has windows to look out from and plenty of space to move around.


17. Double Decker Holiday Present Tower

The Double Decker Holiday Present Tower is perfect for the holiday season, and it’s incredibly easy to build. The package is somewhat costly, but you get everything you need to complete the project at home. You can also make it just by looking at the photograph for inspiration, though you will need to glue down the wrapping paper, or the cats will scratch it off before they even climb inside.


18. Premier Pet Disposable Litter Box

The Premier Pet Disposable Litter Box is one of the more functional projects on this list. It results in a litter box you can throw out instead of cleaning, and it works especially well with litter that uses diatoms instead of clay. Litters like Skoon work for about 30 days before you throw out the whole batch, so it pairs well with this project. This disposable box also has a lid that will prevent the odor from traveling around your home and keeps the litter inside the box.


19. Chouinard Step-N-Play

If your cats love to lounge around on the steps as ours do, they are sure to love the Chouinard Step-in-Play. This cardboard project results in three steps that you can put anywhere in your home for the cats to sit on and enjoy. There is also plenty of room under the stairs that can double as a cat house, especially if your cat needs some alone time, and you can even store toys there. The project is easy to build, and you can buy the plans or design them yourself.


20. Cardboard and Paper Cat House

The Cardboard and Paper Cat House is a simple but attractive hut for your cat that is easy to build. It uses thick cardboard for added durability and is perfect for cats that like to scratch. There are several doors and windows so your cat can see what’s going on while remaining hidden.


21. Cardboard House Carrier

The Cardboard House Carrier is another low-cost project that will result in a multi-functional playhouse for your cat. This project is perfect for cats that are afraid of the carrying cage and going to the vet. Your cat will become accustomed to lounging around in their cat house and it will be easier to get into it when it’s time to take them in the car.

cat + line divider

Summary

There are plenty of great projects on this list, like the Cat Fortress, that will supply your cat with a place to look over its territory. Cats enjoy high places, so the taller projects, like the DIY Cat Tower, should also be a big hit. One of the biggest problems that cause fighting between cats is that there aren’t enough perches, so building a few of these to place around your home can greatly reduce tension between your pets.

We hope you have enjoyed looking over this list and found a few projects you think your cat will like. If you intend to give one a try, please share these 21 DIY Cardboard Cat Houses on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image: othree, Flickr