How To Build A DIY Cat Cave From Cardboard [Step By Step Guide]

Building a DIY cat cave is a creative expression and a loving gesture towards your furry friend.

With their love for snug hideaways, cats often enjoy spaces crafted just for them. But what if you could make it extra special?

Join us as we share a delightful DIY story from member NewYork1303.

Through a weekend of imagination and dedication, NewYork1303 created a cardboard cat cave for a beloved cat named Carrot.

It's a tale of creativity, love, and the timeless bond between a cat and its human.

Grab your crafting supplies and get ready to be inspired. Your cat's new favorite place to lounge could be just a few cardboard cuts away!

Steps to Create a DIY Cat Cave from Cardboard

When NewYork1303 first brought Carrot home, this unique cat clearly deserved something extraordinary.

Having been returned to the shelter twice, NewYork1303 was determined to make him feel loved in his forever home.

The idea to build a unique indoor playhouse took shape, and here's how NewYork1303 turned cardboard into a delightful cave for Carrot.

1. Finding Inspiration

Wanting more than just a store-bought cat house, NewYork1303 found an article about a geodesic dome playhouse for children.

The decision to create a smaller version for a cat formed, promising a weekend project well worth the effort.

2. Preparing the Materials

collection of cut cardboard shapes

Gathering the Shapes

NewYork1303 gathered:

  • 30 AAB triangles
  • 10 BBB triangles
  • 10 B squares
  • Lengths of 5.5 inches for A and 6 inches for B

Though a door and window would reduce the need, NewYork1303 prepared all, ultimately using 8 BBB triangles and 9 B squares.

Measuring and Cutting

NewYork1303 measured, drew, and labeled the patterns on cardboard, adding a half-inch tab to each side for gluing.

Click here to see these cardboards on Amazon.

3. Organizing the Shapes

folded cardboards

After cutting, NewYork1303 folded the shapes over the tabs, used a ruler's tip to create a crease, and stacked them in groups for organization.

Click here to see this ruler on Amazon.

4. Constructing the Dome

Forming the Pentagons

NewYork1303 glued five AAB triangles together to form pentagons, preparing six in total.

Click here to see this glue gun kit on Amazon.

Connecting the Pentagons

NewYork1303 connected five pentagons with BBB triangles left one side open for the door, and stood up the structure, revealing a star pattern.

five pentagons with BBB triangles  revealing a star pattern


Adding the Remaining Triangles

NewYork1303 glued the remaining BBB triangles into the pattern, leaving one out for a window, and glued the final pentagon to the edges, except where the window was.

glued the remaining BBB triangles into the pattern

5. Adding the Base

NewYork1303 glued the B squares to the bottom exposed sides, leaving one square out for the door.

gluing B squares

6. Adding Details

NewYork1303 added a window frame using rectangular cardboard and installed a floor by gluing large cardboard pieces.

window frame using rectangular cardboard

7. Painting and Decorating

NewYork1303 painted the entire house with two white coats, then added colorful designs.

painted cat cave

A New Playground Comes to Life

True to cat nature, Carrot ignored the house for weeks before embracing it. The playhouse became livelier with the new kitten Angua as they took turns hiding and pouncing.

carrot inside his new cat cave/playhouse

The success of NewYork1303's DIY cat cave is more than a crafting achievement; it's a symbol of creativity and love.

With cardboard, paint, and imagination, this story inspires us all to create unique spaces that bring joy to our furry friends.

It's a heartwarming reminder that the simplest projects can sometimes lead to the most cherished memories and connections.

Share this DIY project on your social media by pinning the image below; your friends will love it.


How to build a DIY cat cave from cardboard

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14 comments on “How To Build A DIY Cat Cave From Cardboard [Step By Step Guide]

njsmirk February 24, 2022
I was thinking about covering each piece with some scrap upholstery fabric and a piece of quilting cotton before glueing them together or maybe even some scrap carpet squares. Oh my gosh! Now I've taken all the simplicity out of it. This is another reason I just can't get rid of my scrap fabric. Thank you for sharing. I just love the shape of this thing. It looks really cool.
Spookyandsammy May 3, 2019
That is too cute
NewYork1303 November 12, 2015
I used hot glue. It dries faster than anything else.
alex and marshy September 12, 2015
I need to get time ot make this for my cat and soon!
Margret September 11, 2015
Cool! I've bookmarked the page so that I can make one for Jasmine. What kind of glue did you use? Margret
mrsragdoll89 August 21, 2015
That is the most lovely idea ever. I would do something like that , only cause i have so many extra boxes too lol.
harriet lister August 8, 2015
A bit of a synchronicity... I had put down "Men at Arms" about a half-hour ago and got on the computer to find out how to stop my 19 year old baby from throwing up his dinner the next morning. I started reading this article and saw the name Carrot and thought that was funny, but he was a ginger so I thought that was the source of the name. Then I read the name Angua and realized the source. Of course, he is ginger, so it fits perfectly. When I have chickens, I will name them Esme, Magrat, Agnes and Gytha, which I thought would fit perfectly. If one is particularly naughty she might have to be Perdita. Lovely house. Glad he finally took to it.
betsygee August 5, 2015
That is fabulous--and what a lucky kitty Carrot is to have someone like you who would take the time to make such a great toy for him!  :-)
Kat0121 August 5, 2015
We have a bunch of cardboard box caves in our house too. This is a great idea!! 
chom-chom August 5, 2015
This is geometric genius - I love it!
catsknowme August 5, 2015
Congratulations on such a successful project!!! I love that your labor of love recycled those cardboard boxes. Thank you for being so generous with sharing the instructions :)
mservant August 4, 2015
This is a fabulous way to revamp those boxes which have been worn out from being sat in.  I love this cat cave, it's a great creation NewYork1303.  Thank you for sharing how you made it.  :-D

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