Kitty hideaways don't get more stylish than this. Learn how to make a contemporary cat house with our step-by-step instructions.

Read step by step instructions after the video.

Channel your love for your pets into a cat hideaway that doubles as a midcentury-modern accent table. "We love our kitties, Henry and Blanche, and we like to give them special places around the house," says Brittany Goldwyn Merth, who designed and built this project. "I try to make their cozy caves and hiding spots part of a room—not just a piece of cat furniture." Brittany, who writes the blog By Brittany Goldwyn, built this plywood cubby side table for about $40 over a few evenings and a weekend. As a bonus, she recreated the piece, using the leftover materials to build a modern indoor planter. To cut a perfect circle for the opening, Brittany used a drill attachment called a hole saw. Another option: Use a jigsaw for a near-perfect circle. Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to make this midcentury-modern cat house.

  • Working time 4 hrs
  • Start to finish 1 day
  • Difficulty Kind of Hard
  • Involves Sawing, Sanding, Gluing, Screwing, Drilling, Staining/sealing

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

wooden boards for cat house
Step 1

Prep the Boards

Cut the plywood into six pieces according to the cut list. You can use a table saw to cut them yourself, or head to your local home improvement store and have them cut the plywood for you. Thoroughly sand all edges of the cut boards using an orbital sander. On the side pieces, drill five pocket holes along two opposite edges and three pocket holes along one edge. Clamp the bottom piece to the workbench. 

wooden boards for cat house forming right angle
Step 2

Attach the Sides

Apply wood glue along one short edge of the bottom piece. Place one side piece on the glue so that the five pocket holes face inward. Attach the side piece to the bottom using 1-1/4-inch pocket-hole screws. Repeat these steps to attach the other side piece. 

four wooden boards for cat house
Step 3

Attach the Top

Place the top piece on the workbench. Glue along both short edges, then place the open end of the three-sided piece on the glue. Screw the sides to the top using the five pocket holes on each side.

wooden board with circle opening for cat house
Step 4

Cut the Hole

Using a 6-inch hole saw and corresponding bit, drill a 6-inch-diameter hole in the center of the front piece. Alternatively, you could use a jigsaw to cut the hole. Sand the edges with 220-grit sandpaper until smooth. 

five assembled walls of cat house with circle opening
Step 5

Attach the Front

Place the front piece on the workbench, and apply wood glue along each edge. Position the box on the glue with the unused pocket holes facing down. Screw the box to the front using the three pocket holes on each side piece.

square cat house with circle opening
Step 6

Attach the Back

Glue along the exposed ends of the box. Position the back piece on the glue and press to seal. Secure the pieces together using a finish nailer.

wooden cat house
Step 7

Finish the Cat House

Stain the box to achieve your desired finish. When dry, apply two coats of polyurethane to protect the finish. To give the cat box a furniture-like look, screw hairpin legs to the bottom. Decorate the top like an accent table with potted houseplants or a decorative table lamp.

Comments (1)

How difficult was this project?
Better Homes & Gardens Member
May 2, 2020
Difficulty: Kind of Easy
Love this design! Cats shed a lot of hair, and the small opening would make the house difficult to keep clean. By adding hinges to one side it could be opened wide to clean and disinfect the cat house.The addition of a washable towel or pad would make it super comfy for kitty. I would recommend eco-friendly, no emission finishes for your cat's health and safety. Thanks for this great idea.

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