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

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on July 19, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

diy cat fort made from cardboard inside the house

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

Having a cool fort for your cat can bring a fun look to your living room while providing your cat with an excellent hiding spot to help them feel safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, commercially produced cat houses and forts can be prohibitively expensive for many people. The good news is that there are lots of great options for building a DIY cat fort in the comfort of your own home!

Regardless of your DIY skill level and available tools, there’s something on this list that you’ll be able to make at home for your kitty.

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The 13 DIY Cat Fort Plans

1. Cardboard Cat Castle

Image Credit: The Honest Kitchen

Materials: Cardboard
Tools: Box cutter/scissors, glue, Sharpie marker
Difficulty Level: Easy

This Cardboard Cat Castle guide makes it easy for just about anyone to build a customized fort or castle for their cat. The plans call for minimal materials and tools, and depending on the fort size you decide on, you can build this simple fort in under an hour. While any type of glue will work for this project, it’s ideal to use sturdy glue, like hot glue or craft glue, to ensure the fort is stable and safe for your cat.

2. Amazing Pet House

How_to Make_Amazing_Cat_Pets_House_from_Cardboard
Image Credit: Cardboard Ninja

Materials: Cardboard, hot glue sticks
Tools: Hot glue gun, craft knife/box cutter
Difficulty Level: Easy

The most difficult part of building this Amazing Pet House is going to be handling the hot glue. This simple design will allow you to build a multi-level fort for your cat in the span of an hour or two. You may need to have something heavy on hand, like plate weights or a stack of books. This will allow you to put weight on the top level of the fort, ensuring the glue creates a tight seal between the cardboard layers.

3. DIY Box Fort

Image Credit: Kitty Cat Chronicles

Materials: Cardboard
Tools: Box cutter/scissors, packing tape/duct tape
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY Box Fort plan will walk you through building a large fort for your cat. This fort isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, so it might not be an ideal centerpiece for your living room, but the options for customizing this fort are endless, allowing you to design it to meet the size and aesthetic needs of your home. Although this is extremely easy to make, ensure children have assistance when handling box cutters or scissors.

4. Cat Castle

Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Cardboard
Tools: Craft knife/scissors, ruler, pen/Sharpie marker, sticky tape
Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Although this Cat Castle plan is made from the same simple materials and tools as the previous plans, this one is definitely more complex to make. Lots of precise measurements need to be made, and it’s important that you piece things together properly to ensure they’ll be safe for your cat and able to bear their weight. You can experiment and customize this fort to meet your cat’s needs, though!

5. Epic DIY Castle

Image Credit:
Materials: Cardboard, non-toxic craft paint, hot glue sticks, felt, wooden dowels, twine; Optional additions: synthetic grass, cat fountain, plant pots, cat grass, decorative items
Tools: Box cutter/scissors, duct tape, paintbrushes, Sharpie marker, hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This plan will help you make an Epic DIY Castle for your cat. This plan is fully customizable and includes options for adding lots of decorative items to your build, allowing you to build and customize the ideal fort for your cat. It does require quite a few materials, but if you’re a crafter, then you likely already have these items at home.

When selecting decorative items, like garlands and pom-poms, make sure you select objects that will be safe for your cat or will be well-secured so that they can’t eat or get tangled in them.

6. Roger’s Castle

Image Credit: PetSmart
Materials: Cardboard, cat toys
Tools: Sharpie markers, glue, packing tape/duct tape, box cutter
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you have a cat that would love a fort they can climb up high in, then the plan for Roger’s Castle from PetSmart will be a great option. This fort is easy to make, but it will take some time to ensure the levels are safe and secure for your cat. Like all of the previous plans, you’ll need to have plenty of cardboard boxes on hand to create this fort.

7. Blinged Out Cat Fort

Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Cardboard, templates, thin wood sheets (optional)
Tools: Box cutter, packing tape/duct tape, glue/double-sided tape, laser printer (optional)
Difficulty Level: Moderate

We’ll be the first to admit that not all cardboard cat forts turn out very pretty, but this Blinged Out Cat Fort guide will help you create something attractive and unique for your cat. The plan calls for a laser printer and thin wood sheets to create wooden “bling” for the fort.

However, you can print off templates that you like with a normal printer and use them to trace designs onto cardboard, then cut them out with a box cutter. When it comes to this DIY project, use the materials that are available to you.

8. Cardboard Cat Fort

How To Build a Cardboard Cat House - DIY Home Tutorial - Guidecentral
Image Credit: Guidecentral English
Materials: Cardboard
Tools: Glue, box cutter, pencil, ruler, compass
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This Cardboard Cat Fort design plan will definitely take some patience to put together, but the end result will be well worth the time. Although time-consuming, this isn’t an overly difficult project, but you will need to carefully measure the cardboard before cutting it to ensure the fort turns out the correct shape. While you can use cardboard boxes for this project, it’s best to select thick, corrugated cardboard to ensure the fort is sturdy.

9. Cardboard Geodesic Dome

Cardboard Geodesic Dome
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Cardboard, paper, staples/brads
Tools: Box cutter, pencil, fine-point pen, ruler, stapler
Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

This Cardboard Geodesic Dome plan will leave your cat with the coolest fort on the block, but it’ll take you some time to put it together. Carefully measuring the pieces before cutting them and ensuring the pieces are placed together properly will give you success in making this dome. This is a relatively difficult project because of the level of complexity the measurements require, so may not suit kids.

10. Wood Look Cardboard Fort

Image Credit: Mika Tika
Materials: Cardboard, rope, fabric, hot glue sticks
Tools: Colored pencils, hot glue gun, ruler, box cutter
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This Wood Look Cardboard Fort provides the perfect cat fort that looks wooden without the difficulty of cutting wood. This DIY project does require some art skills to create the final look shown in the video, but you can also go rogue and make this fort look however you’d like. If you’re a crafter, then you likely have all of the materials and tools at home already, but if you don’t, they’re all easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

11. Ralph’s Fort

Image Credit: Half-Asleep Chris
Materials: Cardboard, plywood sheets, string/twine, wall anchors (optional)
Tools: Ruler, pencil, saw, glue, drill (optional)
Difficulty Level: Difficult

For someone with woodworking skills and leftover wood sheets at home, this project for Ralph’s Fort is a great DIY opportunity. Although the body of the fort is made from cardboard, it requires a wooden frame to be built for the internal support. Ideally, you should mount this build to a wall to ensure it doesn’t topple over when your cat uses it, but you may be able to find a more renter-friendly way to install it without putting anchors into your wall.

12. Bamboo Castle

Image Credit: frikandidlo
Materials: Insulation plates, carpet pieces, bamboo tiles
Tools: Jigsaw, construction adhesive/wood glue, box cutter/carpet knife, ruler, pencil
Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Are you hoping for a highly attractive DIY fort for your cat? This Bamboo Castle build is aesthetically pleasing, as well as sturdy and fully customizable. Although the original build in the post is a castle, you can make this project look as fort-like as you’d like. This project does require some careful cuts, so be patient and check your measurements before cutting. Be prepared to allow plenty of time for the glue to cure before allowing your cat to climb on this fort.

13. Scratching Post Castle

Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Plywood, wood bars, metal brackets, carpet pieces, scratching pole, screws
Tools: Jigsaw, glue, drill, screwdriver, knife, construction adhesive/wood glue
Difficulty Level: Difficult

For cats that love to scratch on a scratching pole, this Kitty Castle with Scratchpole plan is ideal. You can purchase a commercial scratching post for this project, or you can DIY it at home with jute and PVC pipe. Measure your cuts carefully to create this project, but you can customize the size and shape to any type of fort you can dream up. Because of the sturdy build, the sky’s the limit with this project.

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When it comes to DIY forts for your cat, you can be as creative as you’d like, as long as you create something safe and sturdy for your cat to shelter in. Every cat is different, and every DIYer’s skill level is different, so start with a project you’re comfortable with. You can always build a new fort for your cat later when you’re more comfortable with your DIY skills!

Featured Image Credit: TheCats, Shutterstock

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