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9 DIY Cardboard Box Cat Bed Plans You Can Make Today (Vet Approved)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

A ginger cat sleeps in box paper, selective focus

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Cats are picky about where they sleep. But that doesn’t mean you must buy the most expensive bed at the store. Even with little to no skills, you can make an excellent cardboard box bed for your cat. The following are some DIY cardboard cat bed ideas that your furball is likely to love. Most projects are easy and ideal for weekend warriors, although some require more than beginner or intermediate DIY skills.

Your skill level, taste, and tools will determine the best projects to attempt.

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The 9 DIY Cardboard Box Cat Bed Plans

1. DIY Cat Tent by Instructables

DIY Cat Tent by Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: 15 x 15-inch piece of cardboard, medium t-shirt, two wire hangers
Tools: 4 safety pins, tape, pliers
Skill Level: Beginner

First on the list is a dead simple DIY cardboard box cat bed you can make in a few minutes. Even if your cat doesn’t like the bed, you can take solace in not having spent much time or money on the project. When making this tent, the “challenging” part is to bend your hangers to make two smooth and uniform curves that run from either corner of your cardboard. The rest is a breeze!

2. Square Cat Tent by Cats.org.uk

Square Cat Tent by Cats.org.uk
Image Credit: Cats.org.uk
Materials: Cardboard box, medium t-shirt, cushion or cat bedding
Tools: Tape, pliers, and scissors
Skill Level: Beginner

If you don’t have wire hangers or prefer not to use them, here’s a more straightforward project you must attempt. This snuggly cat tent can serve as a bed and a hiding spot for your furball.

The simple tent is quite stable, allowing you to carry it easily and place it on a high shelf or whichever spot that’s high enough to let your feline buddy see its surroundings. You can even use boxes or stools to ensure your older cat can climb to an elevated spot.

3. Cat Box Cave by Swoodson Says

Cat Box Cave by Swoodson Says
Image Credit: Swoodson Says
Materials: 1 yard of customizable fabric, 1-yard lining fabric, 2 yards of fleece material, cardboard box, and coordinating thread
Tools: Rotary cutter, quilting clips, Iron, quilting ruler, small bowl, and pencil
Skill Level: Intermediate

If you have above-average sewing skills and want to make an extra cozy and neat cat box cave for your furry friend, you must give this simple project a shot. While the project is not intricate, constructing the inner structure is tricky for newbie DIYers. Fortunately, here’s a well-laid-out tutorial to make it fun and simple to make a cute bed that your furry friend will not need convincing to get inside and curl up in.

4. Cardboard Box Cat Bed by Your Purrfect Kitty

Cardboard Box Cat Bed by Your Purrfect Kitty
Image Credit: Your Purrfect Kitty
Materials: Cat-sized cardboard box with flaps, 1 yard of customizable fabric, batting fabric, cushion, and fleece material
Tools: Scissors, Mod Podge, thread and needle, all-purpose glue
Skill Level: Intermediate

Does your furry buddy seem to claim every cat-sized cardboard box that comes home with your shipped packages? Instead of throwing the box away, you could turn it into a little, cute cat bed. While this project requires using fabrics and cushions, you don’t need a sewing machine or outstanding sewing skills. A bit of glue in all the corners will do the trick!

5. DIY Cardboard Cat House by D-C-Home

DIY Cardboard Cat House by D-C-Home
Image Credit: D-C-Home
Materials: 3 paint colors, cardboard box, cushion, cozy rug or fleece fabric
Tools: Doctor blade, box cutter, ruler, pencil, adhesive tape, and scissors
Skill Level: Beginner

A plain, ugly box on the floor can be an eyesore, despite how cute your cat looks when it curls up in it. If you want to make your cat happy without compromising the aesthetics of your home, here is a lovely cardboard box cat bed you can make within a few hours. The materials needed to make this fancy and unique bed are inexpensive, and your feline friend will love the outcome.

6. DIY Cat Box Bed by Hills

DIY Cat Box Bed by Hills
Image Credit: Hills
Materials: Sturdy cardboard box with a lid, wrapping paper or fabric, and fleece material
Tools: Box cutter, ruler, pencil, adhesive tape, and hot glue (if you’re using fabric, not wrapping paper)
Skill Level: Beginner

If you have yet to meet a box your cat doesn’t like, it will likely appreciate this cardboard box cat bed. You can upgrade any cat-sized box into a cozy hiding spot and bed for your feline. Better still, it is perfectly okay to customize the bed with stickers, fun wrapping paper, matching bedding and outdoor rug, or whatever fun idea you have.

Remember to place the lid on top to give your furry friend a sense of privacy when it naps.

7. Cardboard Cat Igloo House by Instructables

Cardboard Cat Igloo House by Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Plenty of cardboard, fleece material
Tools: Box cutter, compass, pencil, measuring tool (meter), hot glue
Skill Level: Advanced

If your DIY skills make you more than the regular weekend warrior, you should attempt making this cardboard cat igloo house for your furry friend. It is an all-purpose structure where your furball can hide and take quick naps during the day. While the unique cat bed is aesthetically appealing without any accessories, don’t shy away from adding a personalized decorative flair with paint and rugs.

Remember to make the interiors spacious enough for your cat to turn its body without much hindrance. Hopefully, all the work will pay off, and your furry friend will be delighted once you present the bed.

8. Crochet Cat Bed/ Cave by Craft World

Crochet Cat Bed: Cave by Craft World
Image Credit: Craft World
Materials: Cardboard box, cushion, knitting thread (or old thread sweater)
Tools: Box cutter, crotchet, duct tape
Skill Level: Advanced

If one of your family members is a feline and you also love to crochet, here is a fabulous crochet cat cave you’ll have fun making. It’s a neat design that can provide practical solutions if you love maintaining tidy spaces. If you cannot crochet, consider using one of your old classic thread sweaters.

9. Classic Cardboard Box Cat Bed by Petful

Classic Cardboard Box Cat Bed by Petful
Image Credit: Petful
Materials: Cardboard box, cushion, wrapping paper
Tools: Box cutter, pair of scissors, glue stick
Skill Level: Beginner

If your furry friend is obsessed with cardboard boxes and loves to squeeze into your shoe boxes and any tiny space it can find, it’s time to build it a small cardboard shelter with raised sides. This simple DIY project will give your feline friend immeasurable pleasure. It can pounce on the cushion, hide, sleep or even tear up the wrapping paper if it’s the curious type.

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Cats are like little kids and often find entertainment in the simplest things that life has to offer. If your feline friend can’t get enough of hiding in small boxes, you must attempt a DIY cardboard box cat bed project. Here is more information to help you out.

Why Does My Cat Love Hiding and Sleeping in Cardboard Boxes?

Cats are natural predators¹ who love to hide, evaluate their opponents, and pounce on them. Your home offers a safe environment, although your feline friend will have fun pretending your feet are dangerous wild predators. Hiding in a box allows them to stalk you and ensure the element of surprise when they pounce on you.

Must I Raise the Sides When Making My DIY Cardboard Box Cat Bed?

An enclosed space or one that partially hides your cat’s body will make it feel safe and secure, especially when napping. Raised sides can encourage your feline to use its bed because a “predator” cannot sneak up on them from behind or the sides.

Why Does My Cat Keep Tearing Up Its Cardboard Box Bed?

Cats are curious creatures. Simply because your furball loves tearing up its cardboard box bed does not mean it does not like it. Your feline friend has a strong sense of smell, and it will likely want to explore the components of the cardboard box. Furthermore, scratching the box or tearing the cute wrapping paper on the DIY cat bed allows it to simulate the act of hunting predators.

Two cats and cardboard
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

There you have it, 10 DIY cardboard box cat bed ideas you can make with simple tools and commonly available materials. If your feline buddy walks right past the finished bed as though it doesn’t exist, don’t give up. Keep exploring other options.

A few pointers to remember is that cats love beds with raised sides that fully or partially hide their bodies while sleeping.

The bed should also have soft, cushiony material for warmth and comfort. Most importantly, ensure you can place the finished bed on an elevated platform that gives your cat an excellent vantage point.

Good luck!

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Featured Image Credit: CPM PHOTO, Shutterstock

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