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Home > Cats > 20 DIY Projects to Make for Your Cat (With Pictures)

20 DIY Projects to Make for Your Cat (With Pictures)

cat sitting inside diy cardboard box toy

Cats have a few very specific favorite activities. They love to play, nap, hide, climb, and scratch. In other words, they need toys, cat beds, houses, and scratching posts to keep them entertained. While you can buy toys and equipment for your buddy, cats often prefer homemade options!

Below you’ll find DIY projects to make for your cat, including cat toys, houses, scratching posts, beds, and food puzzles. Some require a few tools and some DIY skills, and others are just right for beginners.

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Top 20 DIY Projects to Make for Your Cat

1. Super Simple DIY T-Shirt Cat Toy

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Muslin and Merlot
Materials: Two used T-shirts
Tools: Scissors, ruler, cutting mat, pencil/marker
Difficulty Level: Easy

This cute cat toy makes it easy to upcycle old t-shirts you’re no longer using. Cut the shirts along the sides and seams. First, you use the ruler and pencil to mark off evenly sized strips. Make the strips nice and wide to avoid giving your pet a toy that can cause an abdominal obstruction. Then, cut the strips and pile them on top of each other as neatly as possible. Stretch the material, tie a knot, and you’re done. You can use old baby-onesies or t-shirts, but anything stretchy and cotton will do!


2. DIY Cardboard Cat House

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Cool Creativity
Materials: Cardboard
Tools: X-Acto knife, pencil, compass/circular guide, glue
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This cute cardboard cat house is the perfect way to eliminate all those boxes you have waiting to be recycled. The concept is incredibly simple; you cut rings out of the cardboard and glue them together. You’ll need several boxes to source enough rings, and get ready to spend a few hours drawing circles and carefully cutting those out with an X-Acto knife. You can label the individual rings to speed up the assembly process and add a pillow or towel to the bottom once you’re done to give your cat somewhere soft to nap.


3. Action Packed DIY Cat Tree by Diana Rambles

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Diana Rambles
Materials: Barstool, padding, fabric, jute, hair brushes, cat toys
Tools: Glue gun, glue, scissors, hand saw, staple gun, measuring tape
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Cats that live in apartments need just as much exercise and stimulation as outdoor pets. And this super cute cat tree built using an old barstool delivers several fun feline activities as it features brushes for grooming, toys for batting, and space for napping.

It provides a ton of fun in a small package, making it an excellent enrichment option for cats in apartments. It even includes a fun scratching post. You can make the dangly toys from things you have around the house or use store-bought options if you run out of time.


4. DIY Felt Cat Toy

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Purina
Materials: Felt Square, plastic ring from milk bottle
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

All you need for this fun toy is one of those plastic rings from a milk bottle and a bit of material. Grab your scissors, cut the cloth into even strips and then tie the individual pieces of fabric around the ring. Get comfortable because you’ll be doing plenty of knot-tying!

Keep going until the ring is covered, and use secure knots to prevent your cat from working the material loose. Keep an eye on your pet while they’re playing with their toy, as it can be dangerous if they manage to free a long thin piece of fabric and ingest it.


5. DIY Framed Scratcher

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Experimental Craft
Materials: Cheap frames, carpet (remnants or extras), frame hanging adhesive
Tools: X-Acto knife
Difficulty Level: Easy

These wall-mounted framed scratchers look fantastic and give kitties tons of room to stretch while getting busy with their claws. Head to the thrift store to score a few frames; you’ll be removing the glass, so there’s no need to be terribly selective.

Cut your carpet to the size of your frame’s exterior, and then securely fasten the back using the included clips. You can attach the frames to the wall using secure adhesive—if you use a hook, your cat will likely knock the scratcher off the wall.

As another option, if you're looking to give your cat something exciting, we know of an awesome scratcher that both encourages play and doubles as a stylish modern furniture piece. The Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher is designed with a curved shape for dynamic movement, is built to last with safe and sturdy birch plywood and thick cardboard, and offers three height options to ensure your cat enjoys the exercise, elevation, and excitement they crave ... and, it's affordable! 

Hepper Hi-Lo Cardboard Cat Scratcher with Real...
  • Premium Materials - Hepper's cardboard scratcher is made with dense, B-flute cardboard, and a metal...
  • High, Low and Lower - A single cat scratch pad won't keep your cat engaged. 3 unique positions keeps...
  • Activates Muscles - The Hi Lo isn't just a cat nail file to stop the chief cat couch scratcher. The...

At Pet Keen, we've admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!


6. DIY Cardboard Mouse

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Cardboard, template
Tools: Tape, X-Acto knife, cutting matt, glue
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you have a few cardboard boxes, this project is a great way to give them a new life. You’ll essentially be cutting two pieces of cardboard and fitting them together to create a three-dimensional object.

Use stiff cardboard to ensure the toy retains its shape after your cat starts batting at it. You can follow the author’s template or get creative and come up with your own design. Don’t forget to use non-toxic glue to prevent your cat from being exposed to poisonous chemicals.


7. DIY TV-Tray Cat House by Lily Ardor

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Lily Ardor
Materials: Dowel, TV tray, screws, stain, fabric, string
Tools: Drill, impact drill, glue, glue gun
Difficulty Level: Advanced

This cute cat house takes a bit of effort to put together, but the result is more than worth it! The design provides a cozy sense of enclosure while allowing your cat to still see what’s going on around them. After you’re done building the frame, you can add a pillow to the bottom to make things nice and comfortable.

You can also give your creation an extra bit of pizazz by roping jute around one of the legs to provide your cat with a fun place to scratch. Check out your local thrift store for options if you don’t have an old TV tray sitting around waiting to be repurposed.


8. Easy DIY Recycled Carpet Scratching Post

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Pop Sci
Materials: Wooden post, wooden base, wood screws, carpet and padding
Tools: Drill, staple or glue gun, hammer, X-Acto knife/scissors
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This fun scratching post only takes a few hours to construct and gives you a chance to use your favorite power tools! You most likely need to head to the hardware store to get the wooden posts and base cut to size. You can use a base of at least 16 square inches to ensure stability and add padding to the bottom if you plan to put the scratching post on a hardwood floor. After you’ve finished putting the post together, simply staple or glue a layer of carpet around the exterior.


9. DIY Recycled Cardboard Scratcher

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Mortar, box, paper, wall putty, washer, nuts, threaded rod, cardboard boxes
Tools: Drill, sanding block, 200-grit sandpaper, wrench, pen, ruler, x-acto knife, metal cutting saw, trowel, sanding machine, gloves, mask, eye protection, basin, protection pads
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Giving your pet a sturdy scratching post provides them with an appropriate place to dig and sharpen their claws. While this project isn’t terribly difficult, it requires DIY experience.

Although the actual technical requirements aren’t that demanding, the project is probably best suited for experienced crafters with the required tools already on hand. It only takes about 3 hours to finish, but you’ll still need to factor in the mortar drying time.


10. DIY Toilet Paper Roll Puzzle

Materials: Several toilet paper rolls, glue, circular base
Tools: Glue gun, clothespins
Difficulty Level: Simple

This adorable cat puzzle is the perfect way to engage in upcycling! You’ll need a nice round base like a clothes hamper to use as a frame to build your cardboard puzzle.

First, place the toilet paper cores around the base and begin gluing them together. Use clothespins to hold the rolls together as the glue dries, and add more rolls on top of the first level. Keep going until you run out of toilet paper rolls. Finally, you can remove the supportive core and tuck cat treats randomly in the tubes.


11. DIY Basket Wall Bed by Martha Stewart

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Martha Stewart
Materials: Basket, fender washers, screws
Tools: Drill
Difficulty Level: Easy/Intermediate

Mounted cat beds look fantastic and save space, making them great options for apartments. All you need for this super easy project is a basket that’s sturdy and big enough to hold your cat and the ability to safely mount the basket on the wall.

Use mounting equipment such as anchors to ensure the basket doesn’t fall once your pet snuggles in. After you’re done mounting the basket, add a blanket or pillow to give your pet a cozy place to snooze.


12. DIY Chunky Knitted Cat Bed

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: The Owner Builder Network
Materials: Ohio braid
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

This charming knitted cat bed features nice high sides and is just right for kitties that love to curl up against things. The project requires you to create chains of knots. Finding the right material to work with is probably going to be the hardest part of the project, as it requires the use of a specific type of thick yarn. But once you have the required materials, the project won’t take that long to complete.


13. DIY Macrame Hammock by Macrame for Beginners

DIY Project For Your Cat
Image Credit: Macrame For Beginners
Materials: Macrame cords, wood rings, pillow
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Beginner

This macrame bed gives beginning textile crafters a chance to sharpen their skills. The project mostly requires simple square knots, but there’s a video that’ll lead you step by step through the process. Once you’re done, hang the basket somewhere close to your pet’s favorite place to nap. Don’t forget to add a pillow for comfort and a splash of catnip.


14. Self-Petting Station DIY

Self Petting Station
Image Credit: instructables

Materials: Two Toilet Bowl Brushes, 12×12 inch Plywood Board, 1×1 Wood Block, Fabric or Carpet
Tools: Drill, Hot Glue/ Gorilla Glue (Expanding), Sharpie, Yardstick
Difficulty Level: Easy

This plan is easy to follow and provides step-by-step instructions complete with pictures for the most enjoyable crafting experience. Your cat will love this self-petter, which uses cheap and easily found materials that are very customizable.

The entire build will take less than 10 minutes to make (without measuring time), and most cats will love how it feels. However, make sure you replace the brushes at the first sign of wear, as this petting station could get used up quickly!


15. Cat-Friendly Water Bowl Planter

CAT FRIENDLY WATER BOWL PLANTER
Image Credit: thehappierhomemaker

Materials: Large Planter (Low, Circular Glass), Potting Soil, Cat Grass, Water Bowl
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

This incredibly simple plan requires no tools (if you don’t mind getting a bit messy), but it provides an excellent source of enrichment for your cat. It involves getting a planter big enough to hold two plants, some potting soil, and your cat’s water bowl.

Ideally, the water bowl should be the same shape to maximize the available space for the plants, but you could use any bowl as long as it’s deep enough. Cat grass (rye, oat, barley, or wheat seeds) is the perfect accompaniment to your cat’s water bowl, as they can chew on it happily after they’ve had a drink, and any splashes from the bowl will water the plant.


16. Extra Large Cat Scratcher and Tower DIY

Cat Scratching Post1
Image Credit: marthastewart

Materials: Cardboard Cylinder 12×48 inch, Sisal, Sheepskin, Tray
Tools: Handsaw, Glue Gun and Glue, Pencil
Difficulty Level: Easy

This is another easy project for your cat that screams luxury. It is ideal for cats that want a penthouse on top of a large, sturdy scratcher; big breeds like Maine Coons will benefit from the added height of this sisal tree. The plan is thoroughly explained in steps, with the longest step likely to be hot gluing the sisal around the cardboard tubing. Make sure any excess glue is removed before you present this to your cat!


17. DIY Puzzle Feeder

Materials: Cardboard, Magnet, Smooth Wooden Stick
Tools: Glue Gun and Glue, Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

This ingenious puzzle feeder is unlike any we’ve seen before, and it’s simple to build, so even the most novice DIYer can give it a go! The cardboard is cut into different shapes to create a rotating barrel on a smooth wooden stick (make sure it’s smooth to prevent splinters) with fins to allow cats to bat and spin it.

Holes are cut into the barrel to allow yummy treats to fall out, with a larger hole covered with a magnet for easy restocking. However, the video does not include the cutting process, and you’ll need to figure out the shapes and hole placement yourself. All in all, this is a quick but very clever plan that’s sure to delight you and your feline friend.


18. Cat Feather Wand

DIY Feather Cat Toy1
Image Credit: scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom

Materials: Long Stick/Wood Dowel, Feathers, Small Bells, String
Tools: Hot Glue, Scissors, Serrated Knife
Difficulty Level: Easy

Feather wands and cats go together like bread and butter; most cats can’t resist the swishing movements and jingles of feathers and bells on a piece of string! This feather wand plan is easy to follow, including comprehensive steps and clear pictures to help you craft.

It also includes optional washi tape and other decorative elements, so you can get really creative with how you want your cat wand to look. The feathers should be attached to the string securely, and you’ll need to ensure your cat doesn’t accidentally eat any!


19. DIY Cat Pillow Bed

DIY Cat Bed Tutorial1
Image Credit: scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom

Materials: Soft Fabric, Pillow, Thread, Trim
Tools: Sewing Machine/Needle, Ruler, Scissors, Pins
Difficulty Level: Easy

This is a really cute DIY plan which can be modified to suit your cat and your decor. The great thing about this pillow bed is that any fabric and pillows can be used, and you can upcycle any spares you might have lying around! You could even swap out the pillow for an orthopedic mattress for older cats with achy joints or arthritis. A sewing machine will make life easier, but the project can be completed with a needle and thread. The DIY plan includes clear pictures and step-by-step instructions, making it easy to follow and re-reference as you craft.


20. T-Shirt Cat Tent

DIY Cat Tent3
Image Credit: instructables

Materials: Medium T-Shirt, 15×15” Cardboard Square, Two Wire Hangers, Tape, Safety Pins
Tools: Pliers
Difficulty Level: Easy

This five-minute project is customizable and easy to make, and any medium T-shirt can be converted into a comfy cat tent. The plan is a step-by-step guide complete with pictures, so it’s a great DIY to whip up if you’re short on time but want to give your cat a new gift. The shirt can be removed and washed for easy cleaning, and a fluffy cat bed placed in the bottom can elevate this tent to rival models available to buy from pet stores! The best part is that it’s a no-sew design!

 

 

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Conclusion

Giving your cat the mental stimulation they need doesn’t always require a trip to the pet store and a splash of cash. Kitties enjoy the comfort of beds, toys, hideaways, and scratching posts made from familiar materials.

DIY projects are fun and a great way to reuse cardboard boxes, t-shirts, toilet paper rolls, and fabric lying around the house. So, grab your scissors and get crafting; your cat will love you for your effort!

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: Cat Box, Shutterstock

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