I’ve seen these DIY cat beds on the internet before, and I recently decided to make one of these homemade beds for my cats. It’s a box with a small opening your cat can hide out inside. It doesn’t get much better than that for our feline companions. They get an enclosed cat bed and you save money.
I thought it would be fun to make it with one of my favorite college teams rather than choose a random t-shirt. It’s a nice way to support your team while also making a cubby hole style bed for your cat.
Since it is just cardboard, these are not intended for outdoors. You can check out my article on outdoor cat houses if you have mainly outdoor cats. I even have some info on DIY outdoor houses in that section too.
Not only are these beds easy and basically free to make, but cats love them. I say free because I’m going on the premise that you can pick up a free box at a retail store, and you are using a t-shirt you already own.
Do-It-Yourself Cat Bed Materials:
- Cardboard Box
- T-shirt of your favorite team that you no longer wear
- Blanket/Pillow (optional)
How to Make Your Homemade Cat Bed
- Take the box and fold in the edges or cut them off.
- Put the t-shirt over the box with the neck opening on the open end. You will then have a circle opening where your cat will enter the box.
- Pull the shirt around the box and tie the excess material at the bottom of the tee in a knot on the side opposite the opening.
- Tuck the sleeves in on each side to make it flat
- Put something soft inside for padding such as a fleece blanket, towel or pillow
Get a Free Box
I got my box at the grocery store. Where I shop, there are always a bunch of empty boxes at checkout, so you have the option of a bag or a box. Besides supermarkets, another good place I’ve found to get free boxes is the liquor store.
I’m sure you have places that you shop where you can pick up a cardboard box. Stores need to get rid of the boxes after they put out the product and are usually more than happy to give them away. Otherwise, they need to pay to get rid of them or recycle them.
Sports Team shirt
I’m a sports fan, so I decided to make my cat bed using one of my team shirts. Go UConn Basketball! It doesn’t have to be a sports team, though.
If you prefer, you can be selective and pick a color that matches the room the DIY cat bed is being put in, or you can show your team spirit by choosing your favorite sports team shirt. I just figured I’d impose my favorite team on my cats.
Now I did say free, so if you don’t have a team shirt, you may have to buy one if you have your heart set on the sports themed homemade cat bed. If you don’t have a shirt and want to save some money, here’s an idea for you. Since it is only going to be used to encase the box, check out a local Goodwill type store. You can usually find t-shirts for a few bucks. Wash it up and you are good to go.
Optional Cat Bed Padding
I say this is optional because it’s usually a safe bet if you put down a box, your cat will get in it. Cats don’t care if there’s a fluffy cushion inside. All cat owners know that any box is a cat toy.
My cats try jumping in boxes before I can even put it on the floor. It’s like they have a sixth sense and know the exact moment an empty box enters the house. And if it isn’t empty, they will try to “help” me open it and usually hop in before I can get all the contents out.
Again to go the free method, if you don’t have a small pillow lying around there are other options. You can use a small folded up fleece blanket, as I did. Other ideas are towels or if you have extra carpet lying around you could put a piece of that in there. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Once you have the t-shirt over the box, you really won’t even be able to see inside the box.
Now your cat has a cool new bed, and you found an awesome use for a t-shirt you no longer wear or have upgraded to a newer one. Keep in mind, it is just a cardboard box and eventually your cat will destroy it. At least, that’s what happens in my house. If your cats are better behaved than mine, yours may last longer.
It’s an easy project, and you could continue to make free homemade cat beds over and over as needed. Mine will sit on top and eventually collapse the box. These beds are perfect for those on a budget, for cats that love boxes (which should be all cats) and as a way to decorate for whatever sports season it is and display your team logos.
If you are looking for more permanent choices, there are plenty of options ranging from fairly priced to expensive cat beds. My cats use a self warming cat bed for the colder seasons, and they use them all winter long.