Build An Easy Cardboard Cat House Out Of Any Box: The Construction Part One

I have a thing with boxes. I keep them for the cats, and then still have trouble letting go of them because, "it's a very good box." Eventually there are too many boxes, and the cats are fighting over which one is better to sit inside of, and I get rid of them all... even the very good boxes... and the entire process starts all over again. It's exhausting.

orange cat sitting next to and looking at a calico tabby cat sitting inside a cardboard cat house.

I thought maybe it was time to make a very good box into a very good cardboard cat house. Maybe that will be the thing that keeps all the boxes from cluttering up the living room and definitely won't turn into a living room full of cardboard cat houses. That totally couldn't happen. *This is the dripping sarcasm part of this post.*

Supplies needed for The Construction (Part 1 & 2):

  • Cardboard box with 4 flaps on the top that's big enough for your cat to hang out inside, plus either extra cardboard that's longer than the shortest side of your first box or just a bigger box that you don't mind cutting up.
  • Scissors. I used sharp little orange ones (see photo 4) for cutting out the shapes and larger ones to chop off the top edges. You can also use x-acto knives, or whatever else you might like.
  • Elmer's glue or something similar and non-toxic.
  • Clips or clamps or clothes pins. It's easier to glue the pieces into place if you can clip them, rather than holding them until the glue dries.
  • A pencil for tracing and sketching.
  • Some lids or anything circular that are the size of the window holes you want to put into your cat house. I used 3 inch, 2.5 inch, and 1.5 inch lids.

You can scroll down for the written directions or click the photos below for visual directions. READ ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE STARTING YOUR CARDBOARD CAT HOUSE.

Photo 1. Choose a cardboard box that is big enough for your cats to hang out inside of it.

Photo 2: Grab your lids and pencil for tracing windows and the entryway.

Photo 3: Pick which side of your box is going to be the front, and with your pencil sketch out an upside down U shape from the bottom of the box. Make sure it's big enough for your cat to fit through. This is the front entryway to your cat house. This can be any side that you want. There is no "right" side.

Photo 4: Cut out the U shape that you just sketched onto your cat house. Do not cut along the bottom. 

Photos 5 -7: Trace the windows on the other 3 sides of the box. Cut them out, making sure to only cut along the lines because you'll be using those pieces later to fill in the roof and for decorations.

Photo 8: Cut out the front and back top lid of your box without cutting them up and set aside. These are part of your roof.

Photos 9 & 10: Hold the cut front a back top lid pieces horizontally. Fold about 1.5 - 2.5 inches in from each edge towards the middle. Make sure the front and back lid folds match in size. You will be gluing these to the side top lid pieces to make a roof.

Photo 11: Get your glue and clips ready. You should probably get some paper towels too because glue is messy.

Photo 12: Tell your cat that his house isn't done and he can't eat glue.

Photo 13: Glue the folded edges of the front and back top lid pieces.

Photo 14: Tell your cat to get out of the box so you can get the roof glued together.

Photo 15: Tell your cat that you're serious and he totally needs to get out of the box so you can finish his house. Plus the glue is starting to dry.

Photo 16: Warn your cat that if he bites you again you're going to be very upset and he still needs to get out of the box.

Photo 17: Tell your cat that you love him and you will play with him when his cat house is finished.... gently dump cat out of the box.

Photo 18: Hi Nina!

Photo 19: Glue the top lid pieces to the side top lid pieces, placing the folds of the top lids onto the top edges of the side lid pieces. Your glued pieces will hang down the side of the roof, securing the roof together. Line up the front and back of the top pieces of the roof and clip the pieces into place. You will have a gap in the middle. It's supposed to be there.

Photos 20-21: Make sure your clips are holding the edges of the lid pieces together so your roof is as strong as a cardboard box roof can be.

Take a break and let the glue dry for about an hour. 

Click here for Part Two

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