DIY Cat Tent Bed

I don’t know about your pets, but our cats love boxes! Like, LOVE them, cannot get enough of them! Last week, I was trying out this new lightweight litter, and I knew I couldn’t let that empty box go to waste. I recycled it, an old t-shirt, and a few wire coat hangers into a DIY cat tent, and our kitties absolutely love it!

DIY Cat Tent Bed: All you need is a box, a t-shirt, and two wire coat hangers!

 

DIY Cat Tent Bed

Here’s what you need to make your own cat tent:

  • an empty box
  • two metal coat hangers
  • an old t-shirt
  • hot glue
  • X-acto knife
  • wire cutters
  • floral wire
  • pliers to bend the coat hangers

Start by cutting the front off of the empty litter box. I cut really close to the sides of the box so that there wouldn’t be too much extra cardboard leftover. But of course, I forgot that litter boxes are actually double boxes, so I only cut off the outer layer when I did that…oops!

DIY Cat Tent Bed

Not to worry though! Just cut through the second layer of cardboard as well and remove it so that the entire front of the box is gone.

DIY Cat Tent Bed-2

Empty out any leftover litter. Be sure to shake the box really well to get any litter trapped between the two layers. My box still had a lot of litter dust in it, even after I shook out all the pieces of litter, so I got a damp rag and wiped out the inside of the box to remove the dust. The next step is to cut open your wire coat hangers! Make a cut with your wire cutters right near the top of the hanger, where the top two sides of the triangle meet.

DIY Cat Tent Bed-3

Then repeat this cut on the other side of the hanger to completely remove the bent part of the hanger that hangs over the closet bar. Then straighten out the remaining part of the coat hanger. I started to do this with my hands, but the wire is tough and it dug into my hands, so I switched to a pair of pliers, which made it so much easier! Once your coat hanger wire is straightened out, tuck both ends into two opposite corners of your empty box.

DIY Cat Tent Bed-4

The tension of the wire will mostly hold it in place, but you’ll want to glue the ends in with hot glue as well, just to be safe!

DIY Cat Tent Bed-5

Once both ends are glued into the box, cut open the other coat hanger and repeat the steps! Put the ends of the second coat hanger wire into the other two opposite corners of the box, and glue them in place as well. Take a small piece of floral wire and wrap it around the two coat hanger wires where they meet in the middle to keep the coat hanger wires from sliding around.

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Then all that’s left to do is slide an old t-shirt over the entire tent frame! Make sure the neck hole of the t-shirt ends up on one side so your kitties can climb into and out of the tent.

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Gather up the bottom of the t-shirt, pull it tight around the frame, and secure it in place. I used a hair elastic, but you can use a rubber band, or if you want a more permanent solution, you can staple the t-shirt to the cardboard box. Do the same for the sleeves if you don’t want to leave them loose. And you’re done! You’ve now recycled an empty box into an awesome DIY cat tent bed!

DIY Cat Tent Bed: All you need is a box, a t-shirt, and two wire coat hangers!

The kitties totally love it! One or the other of them is always asleep in the box since I finished it last weekend! Earlier today I found Finnegan asleep in it like this, this cat slays me with his cuteness!

Want to share this project with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons on the left to share this tutorial with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

 

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Dana says

    7 years ago

    What a fantastic idea. All three of my babies are going to love this! I just found your site and I’m thrilled. I tried the lighter weight litter and we didn’t like it as well. It didn’t seem to work as well at odor control.

  2. Roseann says

    7 years ago

    I am going to make a little larger one for my Boston Terrier/Whippet mix. Willow is always burrowing into blankets and loves to be on the bottom bunk because it is like a cave…….She is taller, but not much bigger than a large cat…..

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      7 years ago

      Great idea! I’d love to see photos when you’re done if you want to email them or share them on the Practically Functional FB page!

  3. Marie says

    7 years ago

    I love this idea, it would even work as the cover over a litter box. Good idea for a KD travel box too.

  4. Lisa G says

    7 years ago

    I would secure the two wires together using twist-ties from baggies or zip ties because I don’t have floral wire and zip ties work on just about everything! Great Idea. Plus if you’ve worn the shirt before you turn it into a tent, it smells like you and they like that, too.

  5. John F. says

    7 years ago

    I would think if it smelled like cat liter the cat would use it as a liter box. Use another box such as a paper box might be better.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      7 years ago

      Both cats have been using this for months now and neither one uses it as a litter box. I think they understand that even though it might smell like litter, it doesn’t have any litter in it, and they sleep in it, so I’m sure they don’t want to poop in their bed! But if you’re worried about it, you can use any box you’d like as long as it’s about the right size for a cat!

  6. Rachel Gagnon says

    7 years ago

    thank you Jessi

  7. Rachel Gagnon says

    7 years ago

    Jessi, I love the project – I would like to make one and if I succeed , I will make a few for the SPCA of my area. Would it be possible to measure the box for me to give me an idea of how big it is? I would like to see what kind of box I could use since I don’t use the same litter.
    Thank you,
    Rachel

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      7 years ago

      Any box will work Rachel! I suppose you don’t want to use a super giant moving box or anything too big like that, but any medium-small box will work just fine. The litter box I used is probably about 14″ square, but you can use a rectangular shipping box too, anything about the size that a cat can curl up in!

  8. Alex says

    7 years ago

    This is an awesome idea and I will do it for my kitty. What size tshirt did you use?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      7 years ago

      Just a regular medium t-shirt. But t-shirts have stretch to them so I’m sure a small would work as well, and a large or XL will definitely work and you can just gather up the extra at the back!

  9. Lisa Holt says

    7 years ago

    Thank you for your idea! Mom & I just made one for her 18 year old cat.

  10. Trina says

    7 years ago

    Brilliant! Just brilliant!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing. My cat is going to flip out as she too loves boxes and tents. This will also last longer then those cheap dollar store tents that she (and the dog) play together/ in/with.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      7 years ago

      You’re so welcome! Our cats are the same way about boxes!

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