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How to make a DIY cat tent so adorable you'll wish you could fit in it

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

The cutest DIY cat house you didn't know you needed until now

If you have a cat, you're probably aware of cat tents, or cat teepees, as they're sometimes called. These little sleeping dens are all the rage these days because they look cute and don't take up too much space. However, they're not the cheapest of pet accoutrements.

Here's one on Etsy that goes for $52:

The cutest DIY cat house you didn't know you needed until now
Image: LovelyLunaCrafts/Etsy

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That's a pretty sizable chunk of change to drop on a basic sleeping spot for your kitty. I mean, I know they're your fur baby and all, but come on — one has to also pay the rent.

However, I have some good news for those cat owners who don't mind getting a little creative. You can easily make a cat tent yourself in no time using stuff you already have lying around the house.

Supplies:

  • 1 size Large woman's or size Small men's T-shirt
  • 2 square pieces cardboard that are at least 12 x 12 inches
  • Glue
  • 2 wire hangers
  • A wire cutter (although you don't absolutely need this)
  • Pliers
  • Heavy-duty tape (preferably duct tape)
  • A cat (or 2)
  • Safety pins (at least 5)
  • An old sweatshirt (or towel)

Instructions:

  1. Start by gluing together the 2 pieces of cardboard, and let dry fully before moving on to step 2.
  2. Either use wire cutters to cut the hook off both your hangers, or just twist the hangers open using pliers.
  3. Bend the wires into gentle curves.
  4. Poke holes into all 4 corners of the cardboard base.
  5. Take 1 wire, and stick it into a corner of your cardboard base. Take the other end of the wire, and stick it through the hole diagonally from the one you just pushed the wire through. Repeat with the other hanger. The 2 hangers should cross in the middle.
  6. Pull a bit of the wire ends through, and bend so the ends are flush with the base. This will keep your hangers in place.
  7. Secure the ends with tape.
  8. Secure the area where the wires meet at the top with tape.
  9. Slowly inch your T-shirt over the wires and base until the neckhole of the T-shirt is positioned between 1 of the openings made by the wires.
  10. Using safety pins, secure the T-shirt bottom and sleeves to the base.
  11. Put a towel or sweatshirt over the base.
  12. Let the cat (or cats) enjoy.

Here's how mine turned out:

The cutest DIY cat house you didn't know you needed until now
Image: Ally Hirschlag

More: 12 DIY cat condos that are hip and modern

Not too bad, right? The only thing I was worried about was the size of the opening. No matter how I stretched it, I couldn't get it bigger than that. However, my cats didn't seem to mind.

The cutest DIY cat house you didn't know you needed until now
Image: Ally Hirschlag

It took my cat Bill a minute before he decided it was safe to go all the way in, but he did do it eventually. I decided to leave the back of my tent open because I have two cats who often like to battle over new sleeping spaces, so I thought it best to give them an escape hatch.

That's all there is to it! You can absolutely play around with the hole size and shape of the tent (since it's made of bendable wire). And the best part is, it didn't cost you a dime to make, unless you ran out of tape before embarking on the project (like I did).

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