a cat

DIY Cat Cave – Make a Simple Yet Stylish Nest for Your Feline Friend

Want to create a cozy, enclosed bed your cat will adore? Crafting your own DIY cat cave is an easy and affordable way to give your kitty a stylish place to nest and snooze. Read on for how to make a custom cave bed your cat will love.

two cats and their cave

Benefits of Cat Caves

Before diving into DIY, let’s overview the many benefits of cat caves:


The enclosed design provides a sense of safety and protection. Cats feel relaxed and at ease.


Cushioned walls and floors allow cats to snuggle in plush comfort. Soft surfaces to lounge on.

Satisfies Instincts

Appeals to a cat’s natural desire to burrow and nest. Mimics wild dens and hollows.


Gives cats a secluded space away from noise and activity. Peace and solitude for naps.


Retains body heat and gives warmth for cozy cat naps. Perfect for arthritic or elderly cats.

Hiding Spot

Shy or anxious cats have a safe space to retreat to. Helps timid cats feel secure.


A DIY cave can be small enough to bring along when traveling. Familiarity during transitions.


Cardboard and fleece allow you to create a cave bed on a budget. Fun crafting for cat owners.

Creative Expression

Decorate the cave with your cat’s style in mind for a unique handmade gift.

Mental Stimulation

The enclosed space appeals to cats’ prey drive for dark, tight areas to explore.


The DIY approach allows you to modify the cave over time to meet your cat’s changing needs.

Stress Relief

A secluded space reduces anxiety and overstimulation in fearful or timid cats.

Hairball Aid

Kneading and rubbing inside the cave can help move hairballs through your cat’s digestive tract.

cats hide in a cat cave

DIY Cat Cave Materials

Gather these supplies to make your own cat cave:

  • Cardboard boxes, of various sizes
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Duct tape and/or hot glue gun
  • Fleece fabric
  • Foam or cotton for stuffing
  • Decorative materials (optional)

How to Make the Cat Cave Frame

  • Cut flaps off boxes to create open tops and fronts.
  • Stack and tape boxes together into a cave shape with openings.
  • Cut away excess areas to refine shape as needed.
  • Tape down any rough edges or cardboard overlaps.
  • Use hot glue for extra hold if the tape isn’t adhering well.

Tips for the Frame:

  • Make openings at least 12 inches wide for easy access
  • Ensure interior height allows your cat to stand fully
  • Cutaway front to increase the depth and interior space
  • Choose thick, sturdy boxes for durability
  • Seal any gaps thoroughly to prevent collapse

Adding Padding and Fabric

  • Measure the interior space and cut the fleece to fit each wall.
  • Apply hot glue or fabric adhesive to affix fleece to the interior.
  • Cut foam or batting to size and glue it into place as cushioning.
  • Use a box cutter to trim away any excess fabric.
  • Choose whether to cover the exterior with matching fleece.

Upholstery Tips:

  • Use 100% cotton or fleece for comfort and warmth
  • Check fabrics for loose threads to prevent choking hazards
  • Stuff firmly but avoid overly compacting the padding
  • For durability, apply glue to all edges and let dry completely
  • Leave openings free of fabric for easy entry/exit

Optional Decorative Touches

  • Paint the exterior with pet-safe paint and stencils
  • Use patterned duct tape on the outside walls
  • Hot glue decorative stones, gems or ribbons around openings
  • Affix a plush bath mat on top for scratching
  • Add a pillow or bolster for extra interior comfort
  • Accent with your cat’s name or paw prints

Tips for Your DIY Cat Cave

  • Make openings wide enough for easy access
  • Ensure the cave is tall enough for your cat to stand
  • Use natural fiber fabrics like cotton or hemp
  • Check for rough edges and glue down securely
  • Wash and replace interior padding regularly
  • Monitor for chewing or pulling at fabrics
  • Choose designs and fabrics that match your home décor

Getting Your Cat to Enjoy Their New Cave

  • Sprinkle catnip around the openings to entice the entrance
  • Place familiar blankets inside to make it smell welcoming
  • Let your cat inspect it at their own pace without forcing them in
  • Be patient as some cats take weeks to accept a new bed
  • Offer treats and praise when they enter on their own

Maintaining the DIY Cave

  • Spot clean insides regularly with a pet-safe cleaner
  • Fully wash padding and fabrics as needed
  • Check for damage like torn cardboard or ripped fabric
  • Watch for chewing or scratching behaviors
  • Replace fleece or foam if odors develop

Customizing and Upgrading Over Time

  • Add a plush pillow for extra comfort as your cat ages
  • Increase padding if your cat seems uncomfortable
  • Replace fabrics as they wear down or tear
  • Expand size to accommodate a growing kitten
  • Freshen up decorations to keep it stimulating

Choosing Materials for Your Cat Cave

When selecting materials, keep these guidelines in mind:


Opt for large, thick moving boxes for durability. Avoid thin cardboard that easily tears.

Duct Tape

Look for heavy-duty tapes designed for shipping boxes. Reinforce all seams.

Fleece Fabric

Choose 100% polyester or cotton fleece without loose threads or strings.


Go with dense upholstery foam at least 1-2 inches thick for padding.

Decor Items

Select non-toxic paints and glues if accenting the cave. Avoid small pieces that could choke your cat if ingested.

Plan Your Design

Sketch out some cave shapes and visualize how you’ll construct them before starting. Figure out how many boxes you’ll need and how to stack or join them. Decide on a color scheme or decorative theme. Have a plan ready to follow as you build.

Make a Template

Using cardboard or thick paper, make templates by tracing the shape of the openings and interior space. These will ensure precise sizing when cutting out fabric and foam pieces.

white cats and their cave

Safety First

Take precautions when crafting your cat cave:

  • Supervise the use of box cutters, scissors, hot glue guns
  • Check for sharp edges and cover with tape
  • Read all safety instructions on supplies and materials
  • Work in a well-ventilated area if painting
  • Monitor your cat’s interaction with the cave

Give Your Cat the Purrfect DIY Hideaway

Let your creativity run wild to construct a one-of-a-kind cave bed your cat will adore napping and playing in. Customizing a cave to your pet’s personality with fun colors and textures makes a sweet DIY gift!

Not only is it a homemade cat cave budget-friendly, but it also allows you to create a bed unique to your feline’s needs.

Adjust the size, shape, padding, and fabrics to craft the perfect retreat. Your cat will love having their own handmade hideaway!

Building your cat a custom cave bed is a great way to provide them with security and appeal to their natural instincts. The DIY process lets your creative side run free for a cat-pleasing finished product!

Plus, you can modify and upgrade the cave over time as needed for continually evolving fun.

Put your crafting skills to work and build an enclosed cave bed tailored exactly to your cat’s preferences. The customization, creativity, and cost savings of a DIY cat cave make it a rewarding project that results in happy kitties.



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