Cats are smart creatures and have long lists of likes. A few of their likes include long naps in cozy spots, plenty of fun activities, enclosed spaces, and so on. To provide your dear feline with a cozy space, a wool-felted cat cave comes up being the best option. Unlike others, wool-felted cat cave bears a lot of benefits. Not only for the cats or their owners, but for the entire environment.
We, Felt and wool are providing you a tutorial on how to make a felted cat cave (Cat house) of your choice by yourself. For creativity-loving people like you, you can give a perfect design and color to your own cat house.
First, you will need the following things to make your own wool felted cat cave:
Merino wool roving(400-500g)
A resist/template which measures 20 inches in diameter. You have to make it from laminate floor underlay.
A plastic doormat or mat
Laundry soap or liquid soap
Bubble wrap or pieces of plastic
Curtain netting, enough to cover the template
A tumble dryer
After you have gathered the things mentioned above, let’s get started. Follow the simple and easy steps below to prepare the cat house for your beloved cat.
Step 1: Grate the laundry soap
Take out the wrapper of your laundry soap if any then start grating it. After you grate the laundry soap, you have to add its small amount in a hot water so that it gets dissolved. After a while, pour the dissolved laundry soap into a squeeze bottle. Or, you can use a sponge to add soapy water to the fibers.
Liquid or dishwashing liquid soap plays the role of substitute here. Granting the soap could be taking longer time. So, it is better to use liquid soap.
The use of soap seems kinder to the hands along with the roving of merino wool, so the choice goes to you.
Step 2: Cut out the template
After the liquid is ready, the next step to follow is to draw and cut out the template. The template should measure 20 inches in diameter. As the template is generally used as the base for the manufacturing of a cat cave, it should get drawn and cut out. If not, then the cat cave could take a different shape which may be uncomfortable for your cat.
The template should be of laminate floor underlay. You can substitute the template with others like cardboard as it can also given shape. But, if we use other materials as a template for a cat cave, it can get cracked or fall apart. We have to use the template for preparing the entire cat cave. That’s why laminate floor underlay will be the best choice.
Step 3: Place a plastic doormat or mat below the template
After you get your template ready, follow the next step. For that, you should place a plastic door mat below the template.
One should do so while preparing a cat cave so that the excess water can get passed out. You don’t have to put much effort into releasing of water from the cat cave. Besides that, the cat cave will take lesser time to dry if the water releases while manufacturing.
Step 4: Start first layering
Now, all our required materials are in their positions. Let us begin by laying down the wool fibers from the wool roving. The wool fibers should extend beyond the edge of the resist/template as shown in the picture. Before that, we should get the template wet with soapy water or liquid soap. You can also use the soap without grating.
Cover the template in a circular pattern by adding the wool fiber. Make sure the whole template gets covered with wool.
Step 5: Cover the fiber layered template with the net
As you get completed with the first layering, cover the template with the curtain netting. Do it without any rush as you are a beginner.
Curtain netting which you are about to cover the template should be enough. It should be covering the whole template. We can use the mosquito net or a similar type of net as a substitute for curtain netting. But, the thing is that it should be enough.
Step 6: Wet and press the fibers till flatten
Wet the netting above the template with hot soapy water that we prepared in step 1. You can use liquid or dishwashing liquid to wet the net as well.
Afterward, press and smooth the fibers down with your hands. Keep pressing the water out towards the edge. The excess water will drain out through the doormat or mat we used in step 3. Even when you are pressing the water towards the edge, keep the wool dry that extends beyond the edges. We should do it so that the wool gets folded over to the other side in the next step. Keep on flattening the wool fibers until you reach the edge of the template.
Step 7: Remove the curtain netting and turn the template over
Remove the curtain netting from the template without displacing the fibers below. Afterward, turn the template over.
As soon as you turn the template, fold the dry edges over the edges of the template. Use your wet soapy hands along with a little extra water. It helps to smooth the edges over the edge.
Step 8: Start layering the template then cover it with curtain netting
Once again, start layering the turned-over template with merino wool fibers. Repeat step 4 overlapping the edges of wool from the first layering.
Same as the previous steps, you have to leave the wool fibers beyond the edge. It will be much easier now in comparison to the previous steps as we have to repeat the same thing.
When the back side of the template gets covered, cover the template using the curtain netting. Or, the other kind of net if you have any. Then as before, wet the net with hot soapy water or liquid soap. Press the fibers with your hands.
Step 9: Remove the netting and repeat the process
Remove the curtain netting from the template. Turn the template over from the plastic door mat or mat. Thereafter, fold in the edges.
After doing so, both sides of layer one are complete. As both sides of the template are now covered with merino wool fibers, you should repeat this process. Until you have 4 layers on each side of the template keep repeating.
Step 10: Make a circle in the top layer and cut it off
Now, we are heading towards the final steps in making a wool-felt cat cave. After you have completed making 4 layers on the template, you have to press the wet wool fibers. Be sure that the wool fibers felted together.
Later, mark a small hole in the top layer. Do it by pressing a small round object into the wool. The hole should have a diameter of 20 cm. After creating a mark, cut around it and remove the small circle of fibers. Be alert not to cut through the bottom layer. After you make the hole, make certain that you rub the edges of the cut hole. You should rub them until they are stable before removing the template.
Don’t make the hole larger than 20 cm because it will stretch later. It is better if the hole is small rather than too large. It is so because you can make the small hole larger later. Whereas, the large hole can be of no use. It can damage the appearance of the cat cave reducing the main feature that’s required.
Step 11: Remove the template and dry it in a machine
Once you complete making the hole, remove the template from the inside. Make sure that the shape of the cat cave remains as before. You have to be aware so that the cat cave won’t get deformed during the removal of the template.
Our cat cave is almost ready now! To remove excess water from the cat cave and to help it dry faster, use the tumble dryer (a clothes drying machine).
Step 12: Put the bubble wrap inside the cat cave
Remove the cat cave from the tumble dryer after it’s done. Then, fill in the cat cave with bubble wrap through the hole that we made in step 10. If you haven’t got bubble wrap at your home, you can use large pieces of plastic. You should do it to give proper shape to the cat cave.
The wet cat cave can shrink after getting it out of the tumble dryer. Thus, we have to keep its shape while it’s still wet. Keep the shape using wooden planks. Hitting the bubble wrap-filled cat cave with a wooden plank provides it with a proper round shape. Now, leave the cat cave for some time.
Step 13: Remove the bubble wrap and sundry the cat cave
After some time, remove the bubble wrap or plastic from the cat cave. You may observe that the cat cave has retained its shape.
So, it’s time to sundry the cat cave.
Natural drying is best for everything. When you feel that the cat cave is completely dried, get it out from the sun.
Our cat cave is ready!
Now, you can give your cat a perfect and adorable enclosed space.
Hope you enjoy the manufacturing of felt cat cave and being with us. Felt and wool wish you all the best for your journey towards creating something new. Hence, the creative work you want to get involved in not only benefits you but the entire environment. Get in touch with us for such interesting felt projects.