If you have a cat, you know they love to play, climb, scratch, and lounge. One of the best ways to keep your feline friend happy and entertained at home is by building them their very own cardboard cat furniture fort. Cardboard is an ideal material for cat furniture since it’s inexpensive, easy to work with, and perfectly scratchable. With just a few simple materials and techniques, you can create a fun DIY cardboard cat playground in no time. In this article, I will share three easy methods for building a cardboard cat fort that your furry friend will love.
The main component for constructing any cardboard cat furniture is, of course, cardboard boxes. When collecting boxes for your project, opt for large, sturdy boxes that can structurally support your design. Appliance boxes, moving boxes, and furniture boxes are all great options. Make sure to remove any plastic wrap, labels, tape, and staples from the boxes before building.
You’ll need at least 3-4 large boxes for assembling a basic cat fort. Having a variety of box sizes and shapes will allow you to build multi-level platforms, tunnels, hideaways, ramps, and more.
Box Cutters and Scissors
For cutting cardboard cleanly and accurately, you’ll need a sharp box cutter. Box cutters allow you to slice cardboard quickly and create neat edges and precise openings.
Scissors are also helpful for cutting out shapes, decorations, and doing detail trimming work. Have both tools on hand when constructing the fort.
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
A hot glue gun is essential for firmly adhering cardboard pieces together. Opt for a high-temp glue gun that can withstand the heavy duty bonding cardboard requires.
Make sure you have enough glue sticks on hand to assemble the entire structure. Hot glue sets up fast, so it’s the perfect adhesive for cardboard projects.
Sisal Rope, Jute Twine, or Yarn
To create fun scratching surfaces within the cardboard fort, incorporate sisal rope, jute twine, or yarn. You can tightly wrap and glue these materials onto platforms, posts, and ramps.
Cats love scratching the textures of natural fiber rope and twine. Have a variety on hand so you can add interactive elements throughout the fort.
Paint and Decorations (Optional)
To further customize and decorate the cardboard fort, consider acrylic craft paints and decorative embellishments. Paint is a great way to color code parts of the structure or add fun patterns. Pom poms, bells, and fabric scraps make great attachments too. Get creative with making it look cat-tastic!
Measure and Sketch Plans
Before starting construction, take measurements of the cardboard boxes you’ve collected. Make sure you understand their exact dimensions. Using these measurements, sketch out plans for how you will assemble the fort.
Think about multi-level platforms, tunnels, stairs, and other structures to include. Draw up a design plan that allows the fort to come together solidly using your available materials. Having an outline to follow will make the building process much easier.
Cut Boxes and Openings
With your sketch as a guide, use your box cutter to start slicing cardboard pieces from the boxes according to your needed specifications.
Cut out square and rectangle sections to form the floors and walls of the fort. Make sure openings are large enough for your cat to comfortably fit through. Measure as you go to ensure pieces are cut to the proper sizes.
Use scissors to trim out any detailed shapes or decorative elements if desired. The key is customizing the cardboard precisely for assembling your planned design.
Adhere Components Together
Now the fun part – start hot gluing all the pieces together! Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the edges and undersides of cardboard sections and press firmly to adhere them.
Construct from the bottom up, starting by gluing floor pieces into a square or rectangular base. Then glue walls onto the floor to form compartments. Add upper levels, ramps, look-outs, etc. Refer back to your sketch for assembling the right shapes in place.
Let the hot glue fully dry and bond between each step. The fort should come together just as you drew it up.
Add Scratching Surfaces
With the structure complete, you can add interactive scratching surfaces by tightly wrapping sisal rope, jute twine, or yarn around platforms, posts, and ramps and hot gluing it in place.
Make sure materials are anchored securely with plenty of hot glue so they won’t loosen when scratched. Wrapping natural fiber rope and textures provides surfaces for cats to happily scratch and claw.
Paint and Decorate (Optional)
If desired, use acrylic craft paints to add color to the fort. Painting the inside compartments different colors helps define each zone. Adding shapes, designs, and patterns also gives the fort more personality.
Affix any pom poms, bells, fabric scraps, or other embellishments with hot glue to give your cat some toys to bat around. The opportunities for decoration are endless for making it exciting for feline occupants!
And that’s it – your handcrafted cardboard cat playground is complete! Building this fort was easy thanks to hot glue assembly and customizing it with scratching surfaces and paint. Now just watch your cat play, climb, scratch, lounge, and enjoy their new cardboard kingdom! Constructing your own functional cat furniture out of cardboard boxes is deeply rewarding. Just use your imagination and your cat’s favorite boxes to build them a fortress of solitude and fun.