How to Make a Cardboard Cat House

How to make a cardboard cat house

Just last week, I was doing the dishes from lunch, after which it’s my custom to feed Jenny, my cat. I set down her food on and called out her name, but she didn’t come. I called again—still no answer.

Thus began a feverish search that lasted for the better part of an hour, and guess where we finally found her? In a cardboard box, way up in the cellar!

Well, I should have known. If you own a cat, then you know how much those cuties love to curl up in small, dark spaces, particularly boxes.

So today, I’m going to tell you how to make a cardboard cat house. Because let me tell you, my cat absolutely loves it, and I guarantee your fur baby will, as well.

What You’ll Need to Make a Cardboard Cat House

Before we get started, here’s a short checklist of the items required to build your cat’s cardboard house.

  • A cardboard box large enough to fit your cat with a little extra space
  • A sheet of cardboard measured out to be the house’s roof
  • Ruler
  • Utility knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Permanent marker

Additionally, you can also opt to use other craft items like paint or glitter to decorate the house. If you choose to layer the house with papier mache glue, then you will also need water, glue and newspaper scraps—instructions for making papier mache glue can be found anywhere on the internet.

Got everything you need? Great! Let’s start.

How to Make a Cardboard Cat House

So without further ado, let’s start building our new cardboard cat house. It’s an easy process, and not very time-consuming; however, before you start, make sure it’s in a clutter-free area with little distractions.

If you have kids, be extra careful how you wield that utility knife!

Step 1: Take apart the cardboard box

For this, you will need your utility knife. Cut off the two length-wise top sides of the cardboard box and keep them aside. Leave the width-wise sides alone for now.

Step 2: Setting up the roof peak

Now, take your cardboard sheet; it will become the base of the house’s roof. First, you must cut off any extra sides according to the dimensions of the house.

Then, fold the sheet in half to create a ridge in the center. It’s a good idea to cut it such that there is an overhang, meaning the roof should extend on both sides.

Now, you have to work on the width-wise sides of the cardboard box. Get your permanent marker, because it’s time to start drawing!

Draw a triangle by joining two lines from the two bottom corners. Cut out the sides to form triangles. Together, the two triangles will form the roof’s peak.

Step 3: Attach the roof to the house

With the two triangles that you have cut out, you can now begin to attach the roof of the house. Get your hot glue gun and let’s get busy.

On the tops of the two width-wise triangles, lay down a line of glue on each exposed side. Now, take the cardboard sheet from earlier and position it on top of the triangle’s sides. Then, gently press down.

Voila—the roof is now done! It’s really starting to look like a house now.

Step 4: Cutting out the door and windows

This is personally my favorite part because the house really starts taking shape. You do have to be careful with the measurements, though, so ensure that the ruler you’re using has its markings on the right.

First, draw a rectangle/square on one side of the house. If you’re unsure about the measurement, use your cat for reference! It’s her house, after all.

You can also choose to cut out a circle instead of a quadrangle shape, although for that you’ll need to be extra careful.

Finally, it’s time to cut out the windows; put as many or as few as you like. These are mostly for show, although the added ventilation is also good for kitty.

After you’ve completed all the steps, leave the house alone for a bit to allow the glue to dry.

And that’s it! Your cardboard cat house is complete. Now, you can either choose to let your cat use it as is or decorate it.

Decoration of the Cardboard Cat House

This is a purely optional step and not a very necessary one since your cat can’t really differentiate between a regular cardboard house and a prettily decorated one.

Nevertheless, we all like to look at beautiful things; especially if you’re going to place the house in a common area, it should suit the overall aesthetic, right?

Also, taking care of small things like the decoration of the house and taking the cat out in a cat stroller can go a long way to make your pup happy.

Painting the house is usually a good place to start. Instead of putting the paint directly on the cardboard box, though, it’s a good idea to first layer it with some papier mache glue (a mixture of glue, water, and paper). This ensures your chosen paint color will pop, and also adds to the overall sturdiness of the house.

Of course, what colors/implements you will use are completely up to you. Use washi tape, or glitter, lace, or whatever else your heart desires. In fact, why not let the kids make it a decoration project?

A word of warning: remember to check that the ingredients of the paint you are using are non-toxic. You don’t want kitty inhaling dangerous fumes when she’s chilling out in her new house.

And of course, do remember to allow the paint/glue/glitter/whatever to dry out completely before introducing kitty to the house.


Giving the cat shelter is as important as providing it with a non tracking cat litter.

Also, the process is easy, simple and fun, and will give your kitty a much-needed place of her own.

With only minimal effort and time to build, you can provide kitty with maximum fun. So the next time you have some free time, why not spend it on building a cardboard cat house?

Good luck, and we hope your kitty loves her new house!