How to Make a Cardboard Cat House

How to Make a Cardboard Cat House

How to Make a Cardboard Cat House


A cardboard cat house is a fun and easy DIY project that provides your cat with a cozy place to sleep, play, and relax. Cardboard is an ideal material because it’s inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to work with. With just a few simple materials like cardboard boxes, scissors, and tape, you can create a customized cat house suited to your cat’s needs.

Making your own cardboard cat house allows you to control the size, shape, and features. It’s also a great way to recycle cardboard boxes rather than throwing them away. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of crafting a cardboard cat house your feline friend will adore.

Gather Your Materials

The first step is to gather the materials you’ll need to make the cat house. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cardboard boxes – The base of the house will be made from a large cardboard box. You’ll also need smaller boxes for details like windows, a door, etc. Opt for heavy duty shipping boxes for durability.

  • Scissors or box cutter – To cut the cardboard to size.

  • Tape – Masking tape or duct tape to assemble the pieces.

  • Optional decorations – Paint, markers, fabric scraps, etc. to decorate the house.

Make sure to only use cardboard boxes that are clean and dry with no food debris, grease stains, or chemical residues. When selecting boxes, larger is better since you can always cut a box down to size.

Design Your Cat House

Once you’ve gathered supplies, it’s time to design the cat house. Grab some paper and sketch out some quick plans that include:

  • The desired size and shape. Rectangular and square shapes work well.

  • Entryway – Cut both a door and windows into the front.

  • High ceiling – Cats like to be able to stand fully upright.

  • Platforms or tiers – Multi-level houses are fun.

  • Cozy dimensions – The space should feel snug but not cramped.

Ensure the house is large enough for your cat to enter, lie down, and move around comfortably. But don’t make it overly spacious. Cats prefer close quarters that make them feel secure.

Construct the House

Now it’s time to start construction. Follow these steps:

Cut the walls, floor, and roof

  • Take your large base box and use scissors to cut off any unneeded flaps and tape down the bottom flaps to form the floor.

  • Measure and cut four walls out of the base box, leaving one long side uncut to serve as a hinge.

  • Cut out a slightly larger rectangle from another box to make the detachable roof.

Add entryway and windows

  • On the front wall, measure and cut a rectangle the size you want for a door. Cut out a door shape from a smaller box and tape it over the door hole.

  • Cut window holes and tape transparent plastic or plexiglass behind them.

Install platforms

  • If including platforms, measure and cut shelves to size out of smaller boxes. Attach to the walls using slots or tape.

Tape house together

  • Stand up the four walls and reinforce the corners with tape.

  • Attached the hinged roof with tape.

  • For stability, you may want to attach the walls to a plywood base.

Decorate the House

Now the construction is complete! You can leave the cat house plain, or get creative with decor. Some ideas include:

  • Paint or color the exterior with markers.

  • Use fabric, carpet, or towel scraps to cover surfaces.

  • Use permanent marker to draw windows, doors, shingles or bricks.

  • Attach toys or a scratching post.

  • Add cushions or a cozy blanket for the floor.

Natural materials like sisal or cotton work well for scratching surfaces. Avoid anything toxic. Monitor your cat’s use at first to ensure they don’t chew or ingest any decorations.

Place the House in a Good Location

Find a spot to set up the cardboard cat house that:

  • Is out of major traffic areas.

  • Provides privacy but also visibility.

  • Is warm and away from drafts.

  • Gets both sun and shade.

  • Has convenient access to food, water, and litter.

Experiment with different locations if your cat doesn’t seem interested at first. Place catnip or treats inside to entice their curiosity!

Maintaining the Cardboard House

Cardboard cat houses are inexpensive and easy to remake or replace as needed. However, taking good care of the house will extend its life. Here are some tips:

  • Wipe down weekly to remove hair, dirt, and odors.

  • Discard and replace if it gets urine-soaked or ripped.

  • Keep indoors only protected from rain and excess moisture.

  • Monitor for chewing damage and remove when unsafe.

  • Reinforce with extra tape if getting rickety from use.

Providing your cat with a homemade cardboard house is an easy and gratifying DIY project. Just be sure to entice them with treats and monitor their initial use. With a cozy new cat house, you can provide your feline companion with hours of entertainment and a secure place to call their own!