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23 DIY Cardboard Cat House Plans You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat and Cardboar

Every cat needs a special place to hide, to lounge, to plan its next adventure. As long as the place they’re settling in is warm and comfortable, cats will nestle wherever they choose. The market is flooded with premium cat houses: cat towers and cat condos with fancy features such as igloo beds, scratching posts, and hammocks. We humans, however, have learned that what cats most often prefer is a simple tipped-over cardboard box with a fluffy blanket inside. Luckily, it’s pretty straightforward to build an epic cardboard cat house from scratch.

The cardboard cat house is a simple project, but there are so many ways to make one. In this article, we will examine some of the most innovative and creative plans out there. These plans range from complex to extremely straightforward. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got a plan for you.

The 23 Most Creative DIY Cardboard Cat House Plans (With Pictures)

1. Martha Stewart Cat Playhouse

This easy cardboard cat house has a sweet, simple feel. Using just three cardboard boxes and with downloadable and printable templates, you can construct your cat’s very own home in just a few easy steps. This is a free plan, and you only need basic supplies to make a cardboard castle for your cat. It can climb, crawl, and hide in a corner of your house whenever it wants. As with all Martha Stewart projects, this has great step-by-step instructions.


2. Pretty Cat Cottage

Create a cardboard cat house that is tailored to your cat’s unique personality. With simple decorations, you can style a home that will reflect their individual qualities and give them their very own special, private space. This is a free plan and a simple but effective project. Whether you choose this instructable or not, take inspiration from the amazing customization and personalization featured in this project.


3. Funky Modernist Cat Bungalow

You can tell a cool cat lives here. With some cardboard boxes and some creativity, you can make your cats a mid-century retreat. This is a free project, and the possibilities are endless with this DIY. You can customize the shape and size endlessly, depending on what boxes you have available, and even make a structure suitable for multiple cats.


4. Vintage Kitty Camper

Ah, the open road! If your cat is a free-spirited adventurer, this free project is purr-fect. Put the camp in camper: create a vintage camper from some large cardboard boxes, piece them together with painter’s tape, and then decorate as kitschy as your kitten can stand.


5. Conical Cat House

Let’s face it, sometimes our moggies have got us running in circles anyway, so you may as well spend a day fabricating this circular palace. If your cat likes the snuggest spaces, then this conical cat house is the right project. There’s lots of precision hand cutting involved, but the unique end product is well worth the hours of effort. This is a free plan.


6. Multi-Level Mansion

With stairs, a balcony, and little holes for sensory play, this multi-level cardboard mansion has so many cool features. The instruction video is perfectly paced and it’s so easy to follow along and pause when necessary. Your cat will love the interactivity of this charming project and the plan for this project is free.


7. Creative Cat Castle

Despite its lack of specific guidelines, this project produces an excellent final product. Following along with this video will result in a highly interactive and exciting cardboard cat house if you can do without detailed written instructions or audio descriptions. This may be a case of getting what you paid for, as this plan is also free.


8. The World’s Greatest Cat Fort

This epic cat fort is the happy result of lockdown boredom. Made from things found lying around the creator’s house, this is mostly assembled from cardboard, but also includes some wood offcuts, an old shoe rack, and some bits and pieces leftover from other projects. We think you’ll agree that the end result is just amazing. This is also a freely available plan.


9. Cute & Cozy Cat House

You only need a few cardboard boxes, glue, a box knife, and a few markers to build this cute and cozy cat house. You can adjust the size to suit your taste, and it’s infinitely customizable. This free plan provides you with detailed step-by-step instructions that are easily followed, and it should only take you a few hours to make something your cat will love.


10. Adorable Cat House

There is something irresistible about empty boxes for cats. However, for us humans, a stack of boxes is a depressing pile of junk. Transform them into a chic cat house that you can proudly display in your home. This pretty cat house has been adorably decorated, and this is another free plan.


11. DIY Kitty Castle

This free design is simple but effective: take some old boxes and create something magical for your prince or princess. This project is finished in black, white, and gold, but the only limit to this design is your imagination.


12. Chewy Box Castle

Your cat will feel like royalty in this cardboard palace. Use this free plan to show off your crafting skills, display your love for your furry friend, and transform an ordinary Chewy box into something spectacular.


13. Medieval Palace

Although you have to fork out some cash for the Gothic Castle, you tend to get your money’s worth with most paid plans. This amazing structure will provide your cats with a multi-level cat castle they are sure to enjoy. When it’s finished, it will stand four feet tall and have ten rooms for your cat to play in. The sides double as a scratching post. It is great for medium to large-sized cats up to 16 pounds. Using a utility knife, ruler, and glue gun, you should be able to make it in a few hours.


14. Gothic Lookout Tower

This DIY lookout tower saves you space by fitting into any corner of your room. It serves as a scratching post, playhouse, cat tree, and decorative accent all at once. This is another paid option, but it isn’t quite as expensive, and it results in an attractive tower with eight levels for your cat to explore. Instructions are included in a YouTube video, and it only requires a few tools that you may already have.


15. Cardboard Cat Penthouse

This cardboard cat “penthouse” is actually a series of interlocking units. The purchase price is extremely high—especially when you consider that it seems like something you could figure out on your own pretty quickly. While it’s definitely worth taking a look to pick up some ideas, there are much better value—and free—options in our list.


16. Tucker Murphy Harraway Cottage Cardboard Cat Condo

Although this plan is perfect for cats who love to sit in boxes, scratch pads, and enjoy catnip while inside their cozy cottage, this paid plan is one that you might possibly recreate on your own. This product does include a scratch pad, hanging mouse, and bag of catnip, which help to justify the price.


17. Petique Feline Penthouse Cat Scratcher

Petique Feline Penthouse Cat Scratcher Toy

The Feline Penthouse is a paid project designed for kittens and medium-sized cats. There are three levels for your pet to rest or hide, and the contoured top is more comfortable for many cats, and it will quickly become a favorite spot. It’s made from thick, high-quality cardboard to provide your cat with a long-lasting home. Made from non-toxic compressed cardboard, this house requires no tools to assemble, and it is lightweight enough to move around; it will fit into any room.


18. FurHaven Farmhouse Cat Playground

Buy your pet hours of fun with this cardboard playhouse. Catnip-infused toys and a scratching post are included. The floors will still hold up to your cats, even if they’re little chonkers. This is something you can buy or use for inspiration for your own DIY project.


19. Cat’s Fortress Cardboard Cat House

This is one of our favorite cat houses. It’s easy to build and yet exceptionally attractive. Your cat can sun himself up top or retreat inside for some relaxation time. It’s durable enough to hold a grown cat and would be stunning in any room of the house. However, it is not inexpensive. This is a great choice for cats with a regal manner.


20. London Bridge Cat Condo

The London Bridge Cat Condo is the only cardboard cat house on this list that consists of two tower houses connected by a bridge. The pieces are delivered precut, and you can assemble it yourself. The houses each have two floors, and together the entire unit is almost three feet wide when constructed. Featuring multiple scratchboards for your cats to lounge on and groom their claws, it’s lightweight and durable.


21. DIY Eiffel Tower Cat Tree

From London to Paris! In terms of complexity, the DIY Eiffel Tower Cat Tree is one of the more complicated cat houses on this list, but the results are stunning. This inexpensive plan is relatively simple to follow and your cat will adore the end result. You can split this product into two pieces if you prefer, assembled as one piece it stands an impressive 90 inches tall.


22. Tucker Murphy Astorga House Cat Condo

This product is made from recyclable materials. The Astorga House Cat Condo, like several other cat condos on this list, is extremely durable and is more than suitable for cats that like to scratch and destroy things. It uses extra-thick cardboard and comes with a scratching pad to help keep your cat’s claws sharp. Also features catnip elements to entice finicky felines.


23. Sun Squad Cat Scratcher House Toy

The Sun Squad Cat House is another project for which you can either purchase the plans or build from scratch yourself using the photo as inspiration. Apart from being beautiful, it demonstrates how much can be achieved with a little imagination. Your cat can enjoy the view from the single-story home’s large windows, and there is plenty of space to lounge about.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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