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How to build a cat house out of wood

Updated February 21, 2017

Although many cat owners may not realise it, cats love to have shelter and places of sanctuary just as dogs do. Building them a little house with a comfortable padding or blanket inside is perfect for your cat and does not take too long to create. It may take a couple of weeks for the cat to become accustomed to the house, but once she does, you will have a hard time getting her out of it!

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  1. Separate the six pieces of wood. The four pieces measuring 30 by 17.5 by 2.5 cm (12 by 7 by 1 inches) will be used for the cat house sides (two on each side), and the remaining two pieces measuring 30 by 10 by 2.5 cm (12 by 4 by 1 inches) will be used to frame the doorway of the house.

  2. Start by building one side of the cat house. Place two of the planks -- measuring 30 by 17.5 by 2.5 cm (12 by 7 by 1 inches) -- side by side, sitting perpendicular to your body. Place the first plank slightly on top of the second plank, and nail them securely together. Repeat with the other two 30 by 17.5 by 2.5 cm (12 by 7 by 1 inch) planks. These will be the sides of the cat house.

  3. Stand each cat house side (two planks nailed together each) straight up off the ground on the 2.5 cm (1 inch) side and lean them on each other where they touch at the top, creating a tepee effect. When you look at this model straight on, it will resemble a tepee that becomes a little narrower on the inside. Even up the tops as much as possible, and make sure the bottoms of the planks are even and level on the ground. Nail the top planks to each other. This creates a solid tepee, with the opening between the boards measuring almost 45 cm (18 inches) wide where the wood meets the floor. This is the entryway to the cat house.

  4. Place the plywood sheet against the back end of the tepee, which appears as the most narrow opening to the tepee. Trace a line where the edges of the wood end on the plywood.

  5. Use the handsaw to trim the plywood into a triangle and to get rid of any excess plywood. Nail the plywood to the planks to create the back of the cat house.

  6. Take the remaining two planks that are 30 by 10 by 2.5 cm (12 by 4 by 1 inches) that will frame the cat house entry. Place one of the planks wide side down against the front of the cat house so it creates a 10 cm (4 inch) frame around the front. Nail to the front of the cat house. Repeat on the opposite side with the last plank. This will create a narrow opening that cats like.

  7. Inside the cat house, place the chosen bedding you want for your cat. This can range from old towels or sheets to fluffy pillows to pet store bedding specifically made for cats. Set some catnip around the house and inside. Place your cat by the house and let him explore until he is comfortable enough to go in.

  8. Tip

    There are several types of cat houses you can build. This is just a model that is easy to construct and will fit a cat comfortably.


    Always be cautious when working with sharp instruments and materials

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Things You'll Need

  • Nail gun or hammer and nails
  • Padding that you desire (e.g., carpet, cushions, blankets, old towels)
  • 4 planks of wood, 30 cm (12 inches) long by 17 cm (7 inches) wide by 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick
  • 2 planks of wood, 30 cm (12 inches) long by 10 cm (4 inches) wide by 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick
  • Sheet of plywood, 60 cm (24 inches) square
  • Handsaw
  • Marking utensil
  • Catnip

About the Author

Lauren Wise
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