How to Make a DIY Cat Hammock for Your Furry Friend

DIY Cat Hammock
Mollie Johanson
Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $35

Give your furry friend a place to hang out with this cat hammock in a wood frame. It's low enough for them to climb in and out easily, but it still hangs in a way that keeps them comfortable. The simple style (with your choice of fabric) can fit in with any decor, but would look especially cute in a craft room!

Gray and Brown Cat on a DIY Cat Hammock
Mollie Johanson

The frame for the hammock uses large quilting hoops so there's minimal assembly. The only power tool you need is a drill (you may also need a hand saw to trim the support slats), then you simply bolt the pieces together. For the hammock itself, the sewing is quick and easy, and those who sew will have all the tools on hand.

Ready to making something for your kitty? Grab your materials and get started!

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Pencil
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Rotary cutter (optional)
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Drill w/ 1/4" bit
  • Masking tape
  • Scrap wood block

Materials

  • 1/2 yard anti-pill fleece
  • 1/4 yard woven fabric
  • 1 18-inch wood quilting hoops
  • 6 1/4-inch thick wood slats, 6" long
  • 12 1/4-inch bolts, 3/4" long (or the thickness of the hoop, slat, and wing nut)
  • 12 1/4-inch wing nuts

Instructions

  1. Trace and Cut the Hammock

    Place one of the hoops on the fleece and trace the inside with a pencil. Pin two layers of fleece together and cut out the circle.

    Trace the Hoop on the Fleece
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Make the Hanging Strips

    Cut six strips of woven fabric each measuring 1-3/4 x 21 inches.

    A rotary cutter and ruler are helpful for this, but you can also mark the lines and cut them with scissors.

    Cut Six Strips of Woven Fabric
    Mollie Johanson

    Press each strip in half, then press the edges into the center and iron it well. Then, topstitch each strip on the open edge, backstitching at the beginning and end. Tie a knot at the end of each strip.

    Press, Sew, and Knot the Fabric Strips
    Mollie Johanson

    Tip

    You can substitute bias tape for these strips, and simply sew the strips and knot the ends.

  3. Position the Hanging Strips

    Fold each strip in half and space them evenly around one of the fleece circles with the folded side aligned to the edge. Pin the fleece circles right sides together with the ties in the middle.

    Pin the Folded Ties Between the Layers of Fleece
    Mollie Johanson

    Tip

    To space the ties evenly, place two folded strips directly across from each other, then add the remaining sets of two. Viewing each set of two as a straight line makes it easier to divide the circle into six equal sections.

  4. Sew the Hammock

    Sew around the circle with a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning. Backstitch over each strap as you sew.

    Turn the hammock right side out, then use a needle and thread to sew the opening closed with a blind stitch.

    Hand Sew the Opening Closed
    Mollie Johanson
  5. Measure and Mark the Hoops

    Measure the outside circumference of one of the quilting hoops and divide the total by six. For an 18-inch hoop, this should be about 9-2/3".

    Align the two hoops by the tightening blocks and mark the outside of each hoop with the six equally spaced measurements.

    Be sure to space the markings on either side of the tightening blocks.

    Mark the Outside of the Hoops
    Mollie Johanson
  6. Drill Holes in the Hoops and Slats

    Hold a block of scrap wood behind the hoop and use a 1/4-inch bit to drill holes through the markings on the hoops. It helps to work on the corner of a counter so you can get some leverage while also letting the drill do the work.

    Drill Holes on the Marked Hoops
    Mollie Johanson

    Use masking tape to hold several wood slats together. Hold the bundle behind one of the drilled holes, aligning the edges, then mark where to drill the holes at each end.

    Set the bundle on the wood block and drill a hole through each end.

    Drill Holes in the Ends of the Wooden Slats
    Mollie Johanson
  7. Assemble the Hammock Frame

    Hold a wood slat on the inside of one hoop and thread a bolt through the holes. Secure it with a wing nut. Repeat this around the hoop, then repeat it again with the second hoop at the other end of each slat.

    Bolt the Hoops and Slats Together
    Mollie Johanson
  8. Attach the Hammock to the Frame

    Tie the fabric hammock to the top hoop in the frame.

    Tie the Hammock Onto the Frame
    Mollie Johanson

    Because the tightening blocks on the hoop are centered between two supports, you won't be able to center the ties, but you can space them near the centers.

    Fleece Cat Hammock in a Wooden Hoop Frame
    Mollie Johanson

Introduce your cat to it and enjoy

Your cat can now enjoy their little hammock-style pet bed! This sweet kitty was hesitant to try it right away, but after letting her have a treat or two, so gave it a go. Now she comes back to it again and again—even without the treats!

Keep this in a favorite spot in the house and encourage your cat to keep a few toys stored underneath. To clean the hammock, simply untie the straps and machine wash. You can also take the frame apart for storage if needed.

And while this was designed with a cat in mind, we think other small pets will love it too!

Cat Hammock in a Quilting Hoop Frame
Mollie Johanson