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11 DIY Cat Caves & Tunnels (With Pictures)

Some would call cats elusive creatures, lying in wait to attack. Us cat owners know, though, that cats just like to hang out in small spaces.

Part of it is instinct: they are hard-wired to find a small space where they will not be seen in order to observe what’s going on around them. Our indoor cats don’t have real prey to hunt, but they still will prefer a small box to the entryway rug.

Why is this? Some think cats just like to be snug, cozy and warm.

As much as they love those cardboard boxes or plastic containers, they can be unsightly to look at. If you care a lot about the aesthetic inside your home, consider getting your cat a cat cave or tunnel.

You could buy one from your local pet specialty store, or online, but that could be expensive. You also might want to show your kitty some love with a homemade gift just from you.

Take a look at these fun DIY cat caves and tunnels to gather some inspiration for your next project!cat face divider 2

11 DIY Cat Caves

1. Felted Cat Cave

If you’re wanting your cat to have the trendiest cat cave on the block, felt them their very own hiding hole. Felted cat caves are nice for humans to look at, and a perfect little spot for a cat nap.

Felting can be a little complicated if you have not done it before, but there’s plenty of tutorials on the internet if you want to give it a go. Benefits of doing it yourself are picking out your perfect color!

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2. Cat Cave Sewing Project

Are you savvy with a sewing machine? Give this cat cave pattern a whirl. It comes complete with the ability to open up, so you can spot clean it easily when you need to. Adding your own personal

touch is a breeze: this pattern contains two sides that you can deck out with your favorite fabric.

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3. Kitty Cube

Here’s another sewing project coming at you from Crafty Night Owls. They use a foam mattress cover cut up and covered with fabric to keep things cheap and simple. You can tuck them away in your cat’s favorite corner, or put them on display next to a heat source. Your cat will love it!

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4. T-shirt Kitty Cube

When you need a super-quick solution for your cat’s or kitten’s need for security, check out this idea. This cat cave idea is insanely popular, most likely due to it’s anyone-can-do-it simplicity. Also, it’s free.

Take any cardboard box your cat can fit in, make sure one side is open, cover it with an old T-shirt (hole-side over the open box side), and you’ve got a kitty cube!

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5. Crochet Cave

Love to get fancy with your crochet hook? You should definitely give this pattern a try. Its in the shape of a pod and made with thick T-shirt yarn, so it’s sure to come together in a snap.


DIY Cat Tunnels

6. Kids Pajamas Tunnel

Take a look at this simple kitty tunnel made out of pajama shorts. Grab one or two pairs of kid-sized pajamas, thread some wire through the waist strap. Sew 4 straws on 4 opposing points of the waist strap, then put the two pairs of shorts together. Now your cats have the perfect sized tunnels to squeeze themselves into.

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7. Old Sweater, Foam Tunnel

Here’s another way to upcycle some items lying around in your home. Cut the sleeves off an old knit sweater and sew them shut. Find a piece of foam and duct tape it into a roll, then put the sweater over the roll, making sure the head hole is over one of the ends of the foam.

This can be a large or small tunnel, depending on how tightly you roll the foam.

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8. Crochet Tunnel

A crocheted tunnel can be a very cute addition to your living room. Use a thick yarn with a large needle to make it faster. What’s nice about this method is you can make it as short or as long as you want to, depending on how much you want to crochet!

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9. Knitted Cat Tunnel

Are you more experienced with the knitting needles? There are knitted cat tunnel patterns out there, too. Yarn and cats are made to go together, right? Your cat will love the way this tunnel is loose around him when he goes through it.

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10. Cardboard Cat Tunnel

If you recently bought a large appliance, you could use that cardboard it came in to quickly and cheaply build your kitty a tunnel. Fold the large, long piece into a long triangle and cut holes out of opposing ends. Hours of entertainment!

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11. Plastic Cat Tunnel

For a large tunnel that you can even see through, this plan is perfect. You will need a clear, plastic shower curtain, collapsible drying nets, and metal clips. Cut the mesh off of the drying nets and wrap the shower curtains around the rings, clipping them on as you go.cat face divider 23 cat face divider

How to Get a Cat to Use a Cat Cave or Tunnel

It would be very disheartening to spend a lot of time making your cat a nice cave or tunnel only to find your cat is terrified of it! We’ve got you covered ahead of time with tips to lure them in. Once they give it a try, they will be sure to love it.

Try these things:
  • Line it with catnip (given they aren’t allergic!)
  • Spray some pheromones in it
  • Place their favorite treat inside
  • For tunnels, entice them with a favorite toy at the other end

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By now you can see that DIY cat caves and tunnels can be extravagant or super simple. We hope these ideas and tips help you, and that your cat appreciates your efforts to give him more comfort and entertainment.

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Featured image credit: OFC Pictures, Shutterstock