Tips on Making a Cat Playhouse Out of Cardboard

by Faith Chandler

A cat playhouse from the store is a costly purchase and takes up a large area of space in the corner of a room. Save time and space with your own cardboard kitty condo. A cat hiding spot and play area can be made for just a few cents using old cardboard boxes and whatever supplies you have around the home. Make the playhouse as small or large as you like, decorate how you like and furnish it with your cat's own personal items. Owners can even get creative and design theme houses that look like airplanes, tanks and fire engines.


The cardboard cat playhouse is not perfect for every cat. While lots of cats enjoy playing with paper bags and cardboard boxes, some just aren't interested. Before building this project, consider how interested your cat is in playing with these items. If the cat is mortally terrified of small spaces, he will not go into the cardboard house no matter how nice you make it. Also, the size of your cat is important to creating a comfortable house. Larger cats not only need larger boxes, they also need larger entry and exit holes. If the cat is wary of the play area after building, he may not feel it has a large enough entry or enough exits. Try cutting a few more into the cardboard for the kitty.

Materials Needed

The cardboard cat house requires at least one cardboard box, but you can make it more complex with two or three boxes of different sizes. You'll also need a set of markers to trace the windows and doors and decorate the outside of the box when finished. Scissors or a box cutter are useful for cutting cardboard out of the box. Depending on your time frame, go with either glue or tape. Glue will need a day to dry so the box is good and sturdy and the cats don't track it everywhere.


The cardboard cat house is a flexible project. You can use one box or several boxes and lay them next to one another, or stack them up. Draw out your plans for a kitty condo using pencil and paper, then gather materials based on your needs. Use a marker to draw on doors, windows and even holes for entry to other boxes. Cut out the doors, windows and entry points. Line up your boxes and glue or tape them together. Decorate the outside of the cat house with markers, if you like, but allow the marker scent plenty of time to dissipate as cats don't like the odor.

Furnishing the Playhouse

After completing the cat house, furnish it with some toys and personal items to encourage your cat to investigate. A few squeaky toys or even motorized mouse running around inside the box will get your cat's attention. A soft blanket of yours or your cat's will make it more inviting. Get measurements of the box interior and find a pillow to place inside for the cats to nap on. Hang some yarn or a cat toy from the ceiling of one of the cardboard boxes for the cats. To encourage your kitty to go into the condo, incorporate it into your play. Hide out on one side of the box and call the cat through one of the entry holes. Pull a piece of yarn through the boxes while your cat is playing with it. Eventually, the cat will investigate the house and grow comfortable inside.

Photo Credits

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