My tuxedo cat, Teddy, is a weirdo. His favorite things involve sitting on plastic bags and trying to eat my bobby pins.
He also enjoys sleeping in strange places — the shelves after he knocks all my knick knacks off, on top of the very highest kitchen cabinet or on my head while I'm in bed. He's kind of a dick. So, because I'm not a dick, I decided it was time to find a designated sleeping spot that actually sounded like something that would be comfortable. Plus, Ted had been sick for awhile, and it seemed like he deserved a bit of a hideaway.
My cat's name sake is also Teddy Roosevelt, lover of conservation, who established the first five national parks. And what do you do in parks? Camp! And what do you camp inside? Tents! And what is camping like? In-tents! (rimshot) Voila, a cat tent was born.
The best part of this tutorial is that these are all supplies you should have lying around at home. I love DIYs, but coming across something you can just do on a rainy day and don't have to leave your house to find supplies for is really a treat.
- Piece of cardboard, about 15"x15"
- Old t-shirt
- Two wire hangers
- Pliers, or something to bend and cut wire
- Safety pins, various sizes
- Take the piece of cardboard and cut it to size if needed. Place tape over the freshly-cut, rough edges to make a smooth surface.
- Unwind the wire hangers and stretch them out. With the end of one piece of wire, puncture the corner of the cardboard, pushing the wire through about one to two inches. Bend the wire on the underside of the cardboard to secure it, and place a piece of tape over the underside. Do the same with the other end of the same wire, crossing the wire diagonally across the piece of cardboard, cutting it to size if necessary, but leaving room for it to bend to make a dome shape.
- Repeat this step with the other piece of wire, crossing it over the first. Then, bend both wires so they make a dome shape, much like a pop-up tent, and secure them together with tape.
- Take your t-shirt and act like you are dressing the cardboard wire figure. The hole where your head goes in the shirt will act as the entrance to the tent, and should sit near the cardboard bottom.
- Fold the bottom of the shirt underneath the cardboard and secure with safety pins. I think larger safety pins work better here, since they should puncture the cardboard. Then, take the arm holes of the shirt and secure them to the bottom of the cardboard, making sure they stay in place. The whole shirt should be taut over the wire frame. You can also secure the arm holes to the body of the shirt to make sure they aren't flapping around.
- You're done! Place a blanket of some sort in the bottom of the tent to make it cozy and try to tempt your cat inside with catnip. It won't be hard!
Photos and text by © Katie Currid