ExcitedCats 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.

13 Easy DIY Cat Cave Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Cats love to curl up somewhere warm for a nap. A cat cave is the perfect spot for many felines to feel secure, without needing to disappear under the bed.

Not all commercial cat caves will match the aesthetic of your home, though. They can also be a little expensive.

This is where DIY cat caves come in. With a few simple materials, like an old t-shirt and cardboard, you can make your own cat cave to match your existing décor.

Don’t worry if you’re a newbie to DIYing; these cat cave plans are simple and easy enough that anyone can make one. There are cardboard, sewing, and non-sewing patterns, so you can find the best option for the materials that you have available.

3 cat face divider

13 DIY Cat Cave Plans

Cardboard Cat Caves

1. Cardboard Cat Cave

Materials Cardboard and non-toxic glue
Tools Cutter, compass, tape measure, and pencil
Difficulty Easy

One of the best things about this cardboard cat cave design is that if you have a large amount of cardboard handy, you can add a second floor to give your feline more space. Although simple in construction, this plan requires care when it comes to cutting out the pieces, and you’ll need quite a bit of cardboard too.

The type of construction means your cat has somewhere to scratch their claws. Plus, you can personalize the design with a snazzy paint job.

thematic break

2. Cardboard Igloo

Materials Cardboard, glue, and paint
Tools Scissors and marker pens
Difficulty Easy

With all the online shopping available, you probably have more than a few old boxes lying around. This cardboard igloo is a unique way to give your cat somewhere to nap and make leftover boxes look less like forgotten clutter. Better still, the design only requires a bit of patience with the cutting and gluing. The igloo itself is simple and super quick to make.

You can even personalize the igloo with a custom paint job, add in a window, and/or pad it out with a cushion.

divider-catclaw1

Sewing Cat Caves

3. Cat Cave Cube

Materials 1 yard of woven fabric for outside, 1 yard of lining fabric, eight padded mailers or 2 yards of fusible fleece, and coordinating thread
Tools Rotary cutter, quilt ruler, cutting mat, quilting clips, iron, sewing machine, scissors, small bowl, and pencil
Difficulty Easy

If you haven’t broken out the sewing machine for a while, this Cat Cave Cube design is a fun way to get back into sewing. It’s completely customizable, so you can use any fabric you want or even design your own. There’s also a handmade pillow that you can try to make if you have leftover material.

You can even recycle old padded mailers if you have several that you’ve been meaning to throw away. Use them instead of fusible fleece to give the structure more stability.

thematic break

4. Fabric Cat Cave

Materials Outer fabric and lining fabric, bias binding, and interlining
Tools Sewing machine and pins
Difficulty Moderate

This fabric cat cave can be either an enclosed bed or opened into two cushioned spaces for your cats to curl up in. You can customize the design with your choice of fabric and colors. It’ll take skill with the sewing machine to put it all together, but the result is a snazzy and comfortable bed for your feline best friend.

The instructions are originally written in German. Depending on the translation software that you use, they may be difficult to follow.

thematic break

5. Cat Eared Cave

Materials Outer fabric, lining fabric, foam interfacing, and matching thread
Tools A sewing machine
Difficulty Easy

Many cat caves look similar. This design stands apart by including a pair of fabric cat ears to show whom the cave belongs to. If you’re worried about your drawing skills, you can download a template for the ears to save time.

This one takes a little time due to all the pieces. Even if you are a newbie with a sewing machine, though, this one is a nice challenge.

divider-catclaw1

Non-Sewing Cat Cave

6. DIY Cat Tent

Materials Medium t-shirt, 15 x 15-inch piece of cardboard, two wire hangers, tape, and safety pins
Tools Wire cutters or pliers
Difficulty Easy

If you’re short on funds, this DIY Cat Tent is a great way to save money and recycle. The design is super simple and only uses cardboard, a t-shirt, and wire coat hangers.

Although you can hand sew the shirt into place, there’s no need. You can hold everything in place with a few safety pins. The most difficult part is cutting and bending the wire hangers into shape, but with a little patience, you’ll have the framework completed in no time.

For an extra cozy hideaway for your cat, you can include their favorite blanket or a comfortable pillow.

thematic break

7. Yarn Ball Cat Cave

Materials Beach ball or extra-large balloon, yarn/string/cord/sisal rope, white glue, cornstarch, water, bowl, Vaseline, and cork kitchen hot mat
Tools None
Difficulty Easy

Since cats love yarn and sleeping, a great way of giving them the best of both worlds is with this yarn ball cat cave idea. It might be a little difficult to find the giant knitting needles, but if you’re good at woodworking, you could carve your own. You can also customize the design by dyeing the rope before you start.

Depending on how much yarn or sisal rope you use, you can make a tightly woven ball or a thinner, web structure that looks just as cool.

thematic break

8. Felted Cat Cave


Materials 800g carded wool (two colors), hot water, soap, and bubble wrap
Tools Rolling pin, sponge, net curtain, bamboo curtain, and scissors
Difficulty Moderate

If you’re looking for a bigger challenge than a simple t-shirt, this felted cat cave is time-consuming but effective. It’ll be easier if you’re familiar with felting, but you can still have fun trying out the process.

This design uses a large amount of water during the construction, so make sure you work in a place that you don’t mind getting wet.

The plan is in a video that might be difficult to follow. Slow it down or pause as needed so you don’t miss anything.

thematic break

9. Cat-cus

Materials Giant balloon, sisal rope, glue, green dye, water, blue shop towels, resin, dark green spray paint, and clay
Tools Bucket
Difficulty Moderate

If you want to add an extra challenge to an otherwise simple design, try styling your cat cave to look like a cactus. The method is a little lengthy, but the result is a cute cactus-shaped cat house that doubles as a scratching spot.

This plan can be challenging, but you’ll have fun all the same.

thematic break

10. Mario Chain Chomp

Materials Giant, hollow polystyrene ball, storage chest, epoxy resin, fake chain, toothpicks, and paint
Tools Knife and marker pen
Difficulty Moderate

For cats and cat owners who love the Mario games, this Chain Chomp inspired design is the perfect way to spice up your living room. It’s one of the more challenging cave plans on this list, but the result is worth the effort.

You can even attach the fake chain to a handy storage box to hide your cat’s favorite treats.

thematic break

11. Crochet Cat Cave

Materials Thick t-shirt yarn
Tools 8mm or 10mm hook
Difficulty Moderate

Reusing cardboard and old t-shirts is a good way to upcycle, but if you want an even more unique design to spice up your décor, try this crochet cat cave. If you’re not familiar with crochet, this plan might be a little difficult, but it’s a good way to challenge yourself if crochet is already a hobby.

You can pad this out with pillows and even choose your favorite yarn for a personalized and stylish cat cave.

thematic break

12. Sweater Box

Materials Cat-sized cardboard box and an old sweater
Tools None
Difficulty Easy

We all have a favorite sweater that we don’t want to let go of. When they get threadbare or shrink in the wash, it can be devastating. Instead of tossing it out, though, you can upcycle it with this cat cave design.

Grab an old box that your cat loves to sit in, pair it with your sweater, and voilà! This one doesn’t require any tools either. You simply adjust the sweater to suit the box and tie a few knots.

thematic break

13. Crochet Cat Eared Cave

Materials Thick yarn, fabric, and wooden or metal ring
Tools 6mm hook
Difficulty Moderate

If you like to crochet and want to add a few embellishments, this plan includes two fabric cat ears to make the design extra stylish. Along with choosing your preferred yarn, you can also personalize this design with your cat’s favorite blanket or pillow. You could even add whiskers to give it an extra cat-like feel.

divider-catclaw1

Introducing Your Cat to a Cat Cave

New things are scary, especially for your cat. Even if you make their new cave at home from scratch, your kitty will be wary about the odd structure. Fortunately, there are several ways to prove to your cat that their new bed is a cozy and safe place for them to sleep.

young kitten in the cave of a cat tree
Image Credit: OFC Pictures, Shutterstock

Catnip or Treats

If you’ve used catnip before and you know that your cat isn’t allergic to it, you can use it to tempt your cat into the cave. You can also use treats instead of catnip. Choose ones that your cat loves, and place a few around the entrance and inside of the cave to convince your cat to explore their new bed.

Favorite Blanket

Padding out your kitty’s new bed with their favorite blanket can help make it feel like home. Their old bedding will smell like them and be familiar even within the new surroundings.

It may still take a while for them to venture inside completely, but the familiar blanket will go a long way toward enticing them.

Patience

Some cats are warier than others. One might hop straight in after a cursory sniff, while another might refuse to step anywhere near it. In the end, all you can do is give your cat time to adjust to the sight of the new structure in their home.

Praise your kitty whenever they show interest in the cat cave to reassure them. Don’t get upset when they’re not as excited about the bed as you want them to be. Give them time, and before you know it, they’ll never want to leave.

cat paw divider

Final Thoughts

Cat caves are a fun way to give your favorite feline a safe, enclosed space to sleep. Commercial designs are often limited with their design choices, don’t match your décor, or are just plain expensive.

Fortunately, there are many DIY plans that you can use to make your own cat cave. You can personalize them with snazzy paintwork, choose your favorite yarn, or make them into any design that you like. Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to make a cat cave that your kitty will adore.

thematic break

Featured Image Credit: NOKOEIDEH, Shutterstock

excitedcatssmallsfeb2022