The Cardboard Cat Chaise
BY Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

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Perhaps you noticed that while you were unwrapping your Christmas gifts, your cat was playing in the empty box?

It seems that it is a rule of feline behavior that there is something simply irresistible about an empty cardboard box.

The sight of an empty box seems to call to a kitty to enter and claim it as a perfect place to settle in for an afternoon nap.

Although we may not know exactly why a feline thinks that way, it is clear that a cat in a box is a happy cat.

Now you can exploit this mysterious fact, and make your cat its very own special corrugated cardboard chaise lounge — and it costs nothing, just a little time and a cardboard box or two!

Ready to start?

Your goal is to build your kitty its own cardboard cat chaise. Not only is is stylish, but since it's just cardboard, it's also easy to modify the basic design to suit your own (or your cat's) taste.

This content tortoiseshell seems very pleased with her Cardboard Cat Chaise

The Materials

What you will need:

  • Several big sheets of cardboard
  • Hot glue gun
  • Markers
  • Scissors and/or a utility knife
  • Cutting mat or surface where you can cut safely
  • T-square (optional)

The Chaise Pattern

You will need to have a pattern for your kitty's chaise.

Download a pattern by clicking on Chaise Pattern #1 and Chaise Pattern #2.

  • The pattern has two pages.
  • The first page has an actual size drawing of the foot of the cat bed, and a corresponding "tab" that will keep it in place.
  • The second page has drawings of all of the parts at 25% scale, mainly for reference. If you happen to have an enormous printer, you are welcome to print out the second page (at 400% scale) and trace the drawings directly onto the cardboard for a head start.

The Feet of the Chaise

  • For the rest of us, we'll start by printing out the first page and cutting out a traceable pattern the size of the foot and the size of the tab.
  • To make a more durable pattern for the foot, you can also trace the pattern directly onto cardboard to cut out a cardboard foot template (and one for the tab too).

Cutting out
Cutting out


The Base of the Chaise

  • Next, using the pattern on page 2 as a reference, draw the base of the chaise. For the base you'll need a sheet of cardboard at least 20" x 26". (Folks outside the US: 1" = 1 inch, which is defined as exactly 2.54 cm.)
  • Begin by drawing a rectangle 12" x 18" in the center of the sheet. Use the T-square to make the corners right angles.
  • Next, use the foot pattern, eight times, to trace where the feet will go on the outside of your rectangle.
  • Connect the lines between the two feet on the long side to make one continuous foot/side panel.

Cutting out
Cutting out


Cutting out

  • Next, add the tabs. Trace the tab pattern in four places as shown by the dashed lines: stuck to the middle part of the four feet on the long sides of the base.
  • And cut it out.

Cutting out


Be careful not to stall at this stage of the construction, or your kitty customer may become impatient.

Cutting out

  • Next, use a straight edge to bend the cardboard at the lines and see how it fits together.
  • The tabs should fit neatly underneath the feet on the short sides.
Cutting out
Cutting out


  • Apply hot glue to the tabs and use them to attach the two feet together, one corner at a time.
  • Be sure that you make a clean right-angle joint here so that the finished base is nice and strong.

Cutting out

The Brace

If your cardboard is weak or your cat is heavy, the base may not yet be strong enough. Our design includes an optional bottom brace that can make the base much stiffer and stronger. The brace consists of two pieces each of two shapes of cardboard.

  • Each piece is essentially a long rectangle with two folds. (See the PDF pattern for dimensions)
  • The first fold is a 1" flap that glues to the inside corner of the box.
  • The second fold helps to form an inner rectangle shape, where each piece has a large area where it can be glued to the next one.
  • The shapes are not actually rectangles — they are only full height at the edges. Towards the center, the braces can optionally have less height (sinking by 1/4" - 1/2") so that the top cardboard surface can gradually stretch and deform to make a nice concave surface for the cats.
  • If possible, cut out these braces with the grain of the cardboard (the corrugation) pointing perpendicular to the long direction.
Cutting out
Cutting out


Cutting out

The Back Panel

  • You can start the back panel by tracing the long side of the base onto a sheet of cardboard and improvising from there. This is your chance to be very creative with the design.
  • After tracing where it meets the base, we just freehand drew the rest with a marker and added a flap on the left hand side to attach to the headboard. Again, we used the hot glue to attach bottom part of this panel to the base.

Cutting out
Cutting out

The Headboard

  • The headboard is also a good place to improvise.
  • Start by tracing the narrow side of the base onto a new sheet of cardboard.
  • For ours, we crinkled the top of the cardboard so we could make it curve, and added several tabs to the side so that it could be glued to the matching curved part of the back panel.

Cutting out

The Finished Look

Cutting out

The Happy Lounge Cat

Garnish with catnip and you're done!

Serves one cat (at a time).


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