GADGETS & ACCESSORIES

DIY Cat Teepee: Designing Tips for All Cat Lovers

Image showing a simple DIY cat teepee
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

Most of you will agree with me that cats are curious little things and they crave adventures. Anything new in our house seems to attract them. However, if you let them loose to explore every corner of the house, your cat could end up causing mayhem by knocking things over, or worse, falling and hurting himself. To prevent this, you would want to draw your cat’s attention to a centerpiece designed with his safety in mind—a DIY cat teepee.

Building a cat teepee for your cat is a great way to show your love and devotion. With a DIY cat teepee, your cat will have the chance explore the world around him. If previously he had to stay indoors for fear of encountering dangers such as dogs or other things out in the open, your cat can now play and enjoy the outside environment under the protection of this fantastic structure. The teepee can also serve as a fun playground for a strictly indoors cat.

Image showing a cat and a cat teepee in the background

This simple guide will take you through all the steps you need to follow for a proper DIY cat teepee construction. In this simple article, you will go through the advantages of making a DIY cat teepee, all the different types available, factors to consider before going for a DIY cat teepee construction, and a step by step guide.

Why Go DIY?

Cat teepees are really easy to make. You can simply use what is readily available in your house. However, it does take a bit of time and effort to make. If you’re wondering whether going DIY is really worth it or not, below we will list out a few benefits to making a cat teepee DIY compared to purchasing a commercial one.

Save Your Money

Making a cat teepee DIY costs far less than if you had chosen to buy a commercial one. DIY cat teepee construction requires tools and equipment that are readily available in your home. Even if you end up having to spend money on some supplies, it will cost only about a quarter of the total cost of purchasing a commercial teepee.

Cat relaxing in a cozy cat teepee

If you have a workshop, you will save even more while going green at the same time. You can use waste materials to make a fantastic cat teepee. For instance, you can pick up the unused pieces of timber from your carpentry work, pieces of cloth and strings from your tailoring shop, and the old carpets to make an awesome cat teepee.

Learn New Skills

You will gain a lot from building a cat teepee. This may be a simple task, but you will still engage your body and mind in doing something constructive. You may fail for the first time, but later you will know how to do it correctly.

A cat looking up to the camera from his teepee

Actually, if you happen to be proficient in this work, you can start a side hustle. You can make something beautiful for all those lovely people and their cats for a small fee. You can use your spare time well doing something constructive, and the extra income doesn’t hurt.

Easy to Customize

With DIY cat teepees, you will have no problem matching the color to the floor, the walls, or the other furniture in the room, so it fits in well with the interior decor. You can also decorate the teepee to fit you and your cat’s personality, which isn’t the case with commercial ones that have fixed structures. For example, you can add nylon netting to the teepee. The mesh will let your cat enjoy the sunlight while napping.

A cat sitting in a red cat teepee

Mesh is not common with commercial teepee, but you can add it to yours—thus making it unique and beautiful. You can even make the nylon netting easy to remove for when you want to bring the cat indoors.

Make What Suits Your Cat Best

If you go for commercial cat teepees, you will realize that they come in three fixed sizes which include small, medium, and large. The dimensions may not fit your needs. You may need to have a cat teepee that lies in between the three of them. By going DIY, you can make one that suits your cat. You can also add some personal touches.

A cat relaxing in a DIy cat teepee

A cat teepee is meant to give your cat some fun moments. Because you know what your cat loves, you can include it in the teepee. For instance, if your cat loves hanging toys, you can hang some from the roof of your teepee.

You can even include closable teepee doors. Simply add a vinyl door at the base. The door will allow your cat to go in and get out of the teepee easily. You can customize the door so that it can be shut from both inside and outside the teepee.

The Best Materials

If you go for a commercial teepee, you are likely to get one that is made from a low-quality fabric. But if you do it by yourself, you will choose the best quality fabric that can be both heat and cold resistant. A teepee made from durable materials will last for a long time.

Types of Cat Teepee

Now that you’re sure you should go DIY when it comes to your cat’s teepee, you should know the kinds of teepee available in the market so you can pick the model that suits your cat best.

Petmaker Cat Teepee

It is the most popular type in the market. In most cases, it comes in the fixed size of 18 inches square. It has a base made of memory foam which is covered with non-skid corduroy. The corduroy will prevent the cat from scratching the floor and tearing it out.

A cat sleeping in a blue cozy petmaker

It is portable and easy to pack in a car while traveling. It is easy to wash, and it comes with a zip top so you can reach the insides easily. The teepee comes with a small bell that will excite your cat.

Zebra Stripe Cat Teepee

As the name suggests, this is for those people who love striped patterns like that of a zebra. The teepee is suitable for humid places because, with that color, it will both reflect and absorb the heat. The standard size of this teepee is made to house one cat only, but if you DIY it, you can customize it to hold more than one cat.

Black and White Print Cat Teepee

It is basically a bed with a pink trim. It has black and white spots, making it look like a zebra but not exactly so.

Black and White Print Cat Teepee and a cat

It is usually made in a size that can fit in any room you like. The good thing about this tent is that it is a handy hole which can be used by cats both for playing and for napping.

Colourful Stripe Cat Teepee

This teepee can contain up to 2 cats. It is made of durable materials. It has many colors mixed in with the zebra stripes blend. It can be created with many more colors depending on the manufacturer, but the name remains the same.

Outdoor Cat Teepee

Lastly, the outdoor cat teepee is the best enclosure for indoor cats. It gives your cat a chance to get out and enjoy the sunlight with maximum safety. You all understand that sunlight is essential for the growth of any living thing. If you leave your kittens indoor for long, they may not grow well.

Pink & Light Blue Watermelon Pattern Cat Teepee

But with a DIY cat teepee, things are now different. You can take your cat out in an enclosed teepee and let them enjoy the inflow of vitamin D from the sun. It is the most complex type because it usually comes with a teepee and a cat tree all in one. It is easy to fold, making it quite portable although a bit heavy.

Factors to Consider Before DIY-ing a Cat Teepee

We have explained the many cat teepee types and designs. The design will be affected by what you want. A commercial teepee will have a single fixed model, but if you go for DIY cat teepee, you can add more and more features to it—making it a fantastic structure that you will never find in the market. The features that you should consider before you go ahead and make a cat teepee for your cat are:

Size

What size do you want? Do you want it to be big or small? All that depends on you and your cat. If your cat is big, then you should probably go for a big one and vice versa.

A black cat sitting next to a white cat teepee

By going DIY, you can make a teepee of any size without restriction. You can decide for the teepee to have any capacity depending on the number of cats you have or the size of the room you want to place the teepee in.

Materials

Commercial cat teepees are usually made of metal. This detracts from its portability. If you want to get a portable one, it is usually more expensive. With DIY cat teepee, you can choose to use lightweight materials to add to its portability. You can also decide to make a permanent on that is fixed in one place.

Teepee cat bed

Other than the portability, you also need to consider the reliability of the teepee you want to make while choosing the materials. If your cat is very active, you should go for a teepee made of sturdy metal even though you wouldn’t be able to carry it around. That way, you will be sure that your cat is safe while in the teepee.

Color

Take a look at the previous section—the one about the different types of cat teepee. You will realize that color is a primary factor to consider when making a cat teepee. You can be creative and add your best colors or be conservative and match the color to the interior décor of your living room.

Step by Step DIY Cat Teepee Making

In the guide, we shall go through a step by step process on how to make a basic cat teepee. We will use widely available tools that you probably already have lying around.

Materials

Here is a list of the materials needed to make a DIY cat teepee.

Image showing washi tapes on a table

We focused on recycling waste products or reusing old items when listing this out, but if you don’t have any readily available, you can go to the nearest store to buy them, and they shouldn’t cost much.

5 wooden dowels or bamboo or pieces of timber/tree branches

Scissors

Scarfs

Tape

Hot glue gun

Twine or leather cord

Soft carpet, old/new

Safety pins or needle and thread

Writing material, pen, and paper

Steps to Follow

First things first, you need to have a blueprint. With your pen and paper, draw what you have in mind. You can even go ahead and use the same paper to make a paper teepee and try to fold it into shape. Have all details written on the paper to prevent you from forgetting. This will make your work easier.

Image presenting a diy cat teepee

You will need to make a nice template and have some extras at hand. This way, if you happen to need more, you would have given yourself some leeway. For instance, we will be offering an extra of 5cm marked on a thread. If you end up not needing the extra 5cm, you can simply cut it off.

Now, here’s how you make a DIY cat teepee:

  • Fix three balls of tape on the ends of the type of stick you have chosen.

  • Make a triangle shape and place it on the floor. You will have a cone-like structure standing, but it is not complete.

  • Weave and tie the cord at the intersection of the three sticks at the top.

  • In this step, we will use a hot gun to stick the wire to the rods we are using. You can continue wrapping and weaving over the glue until you are done.

  • Continue adding sticks while twisting and binding.

  • Add glue and cord until the structure stands on its own.

  • We will use scarfs of any color and size. Take this option because they are easy to use.

  • Drape the scarfs around the structure and pin them or sew using a needle and thread. You can also use safety pins so that it will be easy to change the fabric any time you like.

  • If the material is big, you can fold it and cut it using scissors then pin it to shape.

  • Put the soft carpet on the base to make a bed or a sleeping area for your cat. We used a soft rug because just like humans, cats like cushiony things too.

  • If you want your cat to have more fun with the DIY cat teepee, you can hang a ball on the roof for your cat to play with.

Wrap Up

This is a 20-minute project that you can undertake to make your cat happy. In this article, we have looked at the advantages of making a DIY cat teepee as opposed to purchasing commercial ones, the types that you can find in the market, factors to consider before going DIY, and the step by step guide on making your teepee at home using materials that you can find around the house.

From the guide, you can see that the makings of this magnificent structure are quite simple and affordable. Materials needed for DIY cat teepees—things like sticks or bamboo, used tough fabric, threads, and soft materials such as a used carpet—are usually readily available. Making a DIY cat teepee is preferable over purchasing a commercial teepee if you are on a budget. This is definitely the better option if you have time to construct it.

Image presenting two DIY cat teepee outside

Ask yourself if you have time to do this work. Can you spare 20 minutes to make a DIY cat teepee? If you are always busy, this option may not be of advantage to you. In this case, you will be forced to dig deep into your pocket to get what you want.

Have a look at whether you already have the required materials or not, then consider the time and energy you will devote to the project and compare it with the price of a commercial teepee. Choose the best one for you and your cat.

Do you have a DIY cat teepee at home? Did you make it purchase or did you purchase it from a store? If you made it yourself, what type of teepee is it and how long did it take you to make it? Please share your experience making or purchasing a cat teepee with us in the comments section below!

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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