How to Make a Cat Maze Playhouse with Cardboard Boxes
Build your cat a cardboard playhouse from supplies lying around the house.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Today I decided to build a cat maze playhouse for my cat, to help pick his spirits up after a traumatic day at the vet (where he had his head shaved and got a rabies shot). Anyway, I wanted to make him something fun to play around in, so I decided to build him a two story cardboard cat house maze. It was actually pretty easy and fun to build, and it only took about an hour and a half to build from start to finish.
To get started building a cardboard cat house for your cat here's what you'll need:
- Cardboard boxes (if you build a two story house, you'll need very stiff cardboard for the bottom level)
- Packaging tape
- Utility knife
- Paper stencils (for making doors and windows)
- Pencil or Pen
- (optional) Glue
To build the cat maze playhouse, I just used cardboard boxes that I had lying around. The largest and most sturdy box I had was a Dell computer cardboard box, so I used that for the bottom floor of the main section. (If you're not going to build a two story house, then you may not need to have super sturdy boxes, but they are definitely recommended.)
Here are the steps I used to create a cat maze playhouse:
- Gather up cardboard boxes to use for the cat playhouse and supplies used to build it.
- Assemble the bottom floor cardboard box (if it is flattened out), using packaging tape to assemble the box.
- Create the paper stencils to use for cutting out the cat doors and windows. (Print out Cat Door Template and Cat Window Template.) These templates are found at the cat playhouse article on MarthaStewart.com.
- Stencil the cat door on main bottom floor cardboard box.
- Use a utility knife to cut out cat doorway. Note: I made two doors on the bottom floor, which I recommend. So if you plan to make a second doorway, stencil and cut out the second doorway.
- To build a two story cat house, stencil the opening on top of the first floor box (I made the opening 7 inches by 8 inches, however if I were to do it again I might make the opening larger; like 9 inches by 9 inches, since my cat is fairly big at 13 pounds.) Then cut-out the second floor opening.
- For the second story, get the cardboard box you are going to use and stencil on the bottom opening so that the floor cut-out will match first floor opening. Make sure to line up the top floor box with the bottom floor box, then cut-out the opening.
- Use the cat window template above to stencil on windows for the second floor. I placed the windows 4 inches up from bottom of the box and 2 inches from side. Then use the utility knife to cut-out the four middle squares to create each window.
- Make the roof for the second floor. To do this, use a ruler and pencil to draw a line from the top center of the front cardboard flap to the bottom right and left corners. Repeat on the opposite side flap. Then use your utility knife to cut along the stencil lines to create the triangle roof peak. (At the end you should create the actually roof with one large piece of cardboard that can be bent in the middle, or two pieces to form each side of the roof, and attach using packaging tape or hot glue.)
- Now attach the first floor to the second floor using packaging tape, making sure that the cut-out holes line up (you could also use glue to hold down the boxes together.)
- You've now done the hard part of creating the main cat playhouse, now it's time to create the smaller detachable side box rooms...
- Use smaller cardboard boxes to create detachable side maze rooms. Simply use the cat door template to stencil on the door. However, this time DO NOT cut off the door completely from the cardboard box. You will want to cut only the top and sides of the door, leaving the bottom of the door attached to the box. This is so you can connect the boxes together by sliding the one of the doors into the opening of another cardboard box, which will then keep the boxes held together without the use of tape or glue. It also allows you to remove the boxes at anytime to move easily and create different maze passageways. (I only made two smaller maze boxes, but if you have more cardboard boxes, you could get really creative and build a huge complex of maze passageways for your cat.)
- That's it!
If you're the artsy type, you could also use crayons or colored pencils to draw on the boxes to make them look a little fancier or even use wrapping paper to cover the outside of the boxes.
At any rate, this is a pretty fun project for big and little kids alike, and will certainly be a lot of fun for your kitten or cat to play around in.