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Friday, January 9, 2015

A Free or Frugal, Warm and Covered, Cat Bed Tutorial

We have had several days of really cold weather, at least for us.  Yes, Canadians, we are wimps; if it goes below freezing, we are cold.  And our pets aren't any more stoic than we.  Even though our cat is usually pretty cozy in the garage, it also has been into the mid thirties at night lately.  I used to have a pillow inside a Rubbermaid tub turned on its side, but I had to use it for something this summer.  I thought I could do better this winter.

At the store, I saw a dome tent bed that had thick foam all around it.  It would have been great, except for three things, it was expensive, it was too small for my twenty pound boy, and it wasn't cleanable.  At home I had a plastic tub, an extra pillow, and tools, so I made my own covered cat bed.

What is needed:
Plastic storage tub with snap on lid (mine is 18 gallon) Similar tubs sold at Home Depot for $9
Drill and 1/2 inch bit (or any size bit that will go through plastic and make a hole big enough for the jig saw blade)
Jig saw
Rasp or heavy sand paper
Pillow (Mine came from Walmart for $2 not long ago)
Blanket (optional)

Step One: Find a plastic tub that is big enough for your cat, allows room to stretch and move around, and allows the pillow to lay flat on the lid, but is not so small that your sleeping cat touches the sides of the cold tub. He needs an air pocket around him. Luckily, I had reorganized my Christmas ornaments and had just the right size tub.

Step Two: Measure your cat across the shoulders and mark an opening. I wanted the opening above the pillow to keep the pillow in and keep that area warmer. You can make a circle but a square is easier. Drill the four corners of the square, or just one in the line of your circle.

Step Three: Cut out the opening with the jig saw. The drilled holes in the corners make it easier for the jigsaw. I thought it might be hard to jig saw on plastic (I thought the saw might make the box move around too much), but it was really easy. Then sand the edges with the rasp or sandpaper, especially around the drilled holes.

Step Four: With the pillow on the lid, snap the tub on top of it.

My cat recognized his pillow and went right for it on the lid, but he wouldn't go all the way into the box while I was there even though I put a few treats in there. He still has a fear of being trapped from his feral days. But I hope he will go in tonight when it gets cold, especially since he knows his pillow is in there.

This will be warm enough for my cat, at least for now. I put the tub next to the office wall with the heater, and faced the opening to the wall and away from the garage doors. If we go below freezing for days or lost power, I would put a blanket or two across the top of the tub and that would keep it toasty.

And there you thought I already broke my resolution to post every day.


  1. Not really, but thanks for not saying I'm just cheap - which I am of course. lol Marti

  2. I have seen these. It is a great idea, but my cat, who is an indoor only cat, would never get in it. And why - he prefers the bed - cuddled with his little hot body next to me. You did a great job.

  3. LOL, mine would like to be a house cat but he just can't keep his claws to himself. Marti

  4. Great way to make the most of what you have. Did he end up sleeping in it?

  5. Yes, he loves it! He doesn't come out until someone taps on it in the morning.


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