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

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

scottish folded cat on cat cave

8 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 felines to feel secure without disappearing under the bed. Not all commercial cat caves will match the aesthetic of your home, and they can also be a little expensive.

That is where DIY cat caves come in. With a few simple materials, like an old t-shirt and cardboard, you can make a cat cave to match your décor. Don’t worry if you’re a newbie to DIY projects; these cat cave plans are simple enough for anyone to make. 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

The 8 DIY Cat Cave Plans Cardboard Cat Caves

1. Cardboard Cat Cave

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials Cardboard and non-toxic glue
Tools Cutter, compass, tape measure, and pencil
Difficulty Easy

One of the best aspects of 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 cutting out the pieces, and you’ll need quite a bit of cardboard. Your cat can scratch the cardboard with their claws, and you can personalize the design with a snazzy paint job.

2. Cardboard Igloo

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Thecatsite
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. 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 patience with the cutting and gluing. The igloo is simple and doesn’t take long to construct. You can personalize it with a custom paint job, add in a window, or pad it out with a cushion.


Sewing Cat Caves

3. Cat Cave Cube

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Swoodsonsays
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 or design your own. There’s also a handmade pillow you can try to make if you have leftover material.

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

4. Cat Eared Cave

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Gathered
Materials Outer fabric, lining fabric, foam interfacing, and matching thread
Tools A sewing machine
Difficulty Easy

Many cat caves look similar. This design stands out 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.

It takes a little time due to all the pieces, but it is a nice challenge even if you are a newbie with a sewing machine.


Non-Sewing Cat Cave

5. DIY Cat Tent

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Instructables
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 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 challenging part is cutting and bending the wire hangers into shape, but with a little patience, you’ll have the framework completed in no time. You can include their favorite blanket or a comfortable pillow for your cat for an extra cozy hideaway.

6. Yarn Ball Cat Cave

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Meowlifestyle
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. 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.

7. Sweater Box

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Incredibusy
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. It can be devastating when it gets threadbare or shrinks in the wash. Instead of tossing it out, you can upcycle it with this cat cave design.

Grab an old box your cat loves sitting 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.

8. Crochet Cat Eared Cave

DIY cat cave
Image Credit: Twocatshandmade
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 the cave with your cat’s favorite blanket or pillow. You could even add whiskers to give it an extra cat-like feel.


Introducing Your Cat to a Cat Cave

New objects are scary 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 by: OFC Pictures, Shutterstock

Catnip or Treats

If you’ve used catnip before, you can use it to tempt them 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 make it feel like home. Their old bedding will smell like them and be familiar in the new surroundings.

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


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

Praise your kitty to reassure them when they show interest in the cat cave. 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 products have limited design choices, don’t match your décor, or are expensive.

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

See also:

Featured Image: NOKOEIDEH, Shutterstock

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