DIY: Make a Cat Hammock

Bear with me on one of my sillier DIY posts. This is how I turned a cheap cat bed into a superior cat hammock.

Cats are so fickle. I buy inexpensive cat stuff just in case they are deemed uncool by our picky pets. Sometimes the strategy backfires when the cheap buy becomes a favorite and then doesn’t hold up.

Pixel in her hammock

Here’s the perfect example. This particular cat bed happens to be something Pixel loves. She lays across the top panel using it as a hammock all the time.

Pixel's Broken Cat Bed

She used it so much that the poorly constructed piece began to fall apart. You can see in the above photo how silly she looked sitting in the broken bed in different positions. I decided I needed fix it up for her.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

Neither cat ever used the bottom portion as a bed so I got rid of it yo make a proper cat hammock.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

The old bed fell apart at the seams, so instead of having a seam right at the frame joint my plan was to make the whole hammock from one continuous piece of fabric.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

With a black frame, I bought purple fabric to match our Great Room. I lucked out at Joann’s and found a perfectly sized remnant of purple polyester for a couple bucks.

My Cat Hammock Materials List

  • Less than a yard of purple heavy weight polyester or nylon
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Straight edge
  • Newspaper
  • Pencil and sharpie
  • Iron on low setting

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

With all my materials ready, I removed the old bed from the frame and use it as a rough pattern for the new hammock.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

Using a piece of newspaper, I sketched out the shape with pencil. Then I used a straightedge and pen to make exact lines for my pattern and cut it out.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

I ironed all the kinks and wrinkles out of the fabric before I pinned it to the pattern.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

Then I cut about an inch out from the actual pattern piece for my seam allowance.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

The polyester has a tendency to fray so I folded all my seams twice (1/4″ each) to enclose the raw edge. I worked slowly around the entire piece first pressing the edge with my iron then securing it with straight pens.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

When it was all pinned, I sewed my seam slowly. (I always make mistakes if I go to fast.) Then I went back and pressed the seam again with the iron.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

Since the frame pulls apart really easily, I decided to sew permanent closures, but I could have also used Velcro or snaps to attach the hammock to the frame.

I used the frame as a guide to figure out how much clearance I needed. Then folded over each end and sewed it to create a channel for the frame to fit through.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

Installation was a cinch. I just took apart the frame and slid the hammock on then reattached the frame. Here’s the finished piece I presented it to Pixel. She gave it a sniff before walking away and ignored it. Such a fickle cat! I waited on eggshells to see if she would use it.

DIY: Cat Bed Makeover

Days later, I came home from work to find her lounging in the hammock. Her actions showed the project was a success. Pixel has a cool place to spend her afternoons and I feel like a proud cat mama.

I know this project would be hard to do without the frame, but I bet you could use a milk crate like this or this instead with Velcro or snaps closures.

Who knows, maybe I’ll try it myself if we need a second cat hammock in the house.


  1. Tubin says

    I apologize, I might have just submitted a low number of stars for this post. It was an iPad problem. It deserves maximum stars. And in case my previous comment didn’t post it would be easy to make the frame from PVC. You can buy corner pieces online.

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