Felted Cat Cave, A Quick How To

Felted Cat Cave, A Quick How To

Another old post from me. This is one of the most visited posts we have, so thought everyone might like to see it again.

I have been wanted to make a cat cave for sometime now. I decided it needed to be bright. I picked some Blue Faced Leicester  wool so it would be strong and dyed it chartreuse. Then I picked some purple and magenta for the spikes.

Spikes and Wool

I wanted an oval cat cave. I used my oval hat form to get the shape and gradually sized it up.

Drawing the Resist

I laid out 4 layers of wool for strength and even shrinkage. I put the first side aside and after laying out the second side I poked holes to put the spikes through.

Spikes in the Wool

After wetting it all down I wrapped each spike in plastic wrap so it would not get felted down flat.

Spikes all Wrapped Up

I covered it with a sheer curtain and rubbed both sides for a while and rolled it for a while and then wrapped it up and put it in the dryer twice, changing the position of the felt each time.  It was starting to shrink so I cut out the resist and switched to rolling it in a stick blind. I find the stick blinds to be very aggressive and shrinks felt quickly.  I did do some throwing too. Finally I rinsed the cave out in a bucket of alternately hot and cold water being quite aggressive with it. I then had to stretch the top so it would be domed up. I steamed it to heat it up and make it easier to stretch. Mostly I used a wooden spoon to push in a sliding motion to get the shape. Here it is on top of the resist so you can see how much it shrank.

Finished Cave on top of the Resist

Here it is in use, it didn’t take long for one of my cats, Wu, to take up residence.


Cat in Cave

As a foot note Wu ( queen of all things) is no longer with us. This is one of my favourite pictures of her. She really like the cave and we buried her in it, here on the farm.

51 thoughts on “Felted Cat Cave, A Quick How To

    1. They do like to get in things. Now She is lying on top of it. I think it got to hot is has cooled down to a high of 28c(83f) here so maybe a wool cave is a bit much.

  1. Great idea.. might try doing something similar with the new felting machine I just got from a friend who picked it up in the States… This is a small Simplicity machine, 12 needles. Just got it, so haven’t had much time to play with it,… but your idea of a cat cave, has inspired me. thank you my dear.. PS.. if anyone out there has had experience with these small felting machines.. I’d love to hear about your experience..

    1. Thanks Dymoon. You should ask over on our forum about the needle felting machine. I haven’t used mine much. I liked it its just finding the time.

  2. Love everything about it and wish I was a cat too, and I do know the spikes make it even better from the cat point of view. Always look forward to your projects, read every one through a lot more than one time, thanks!

  3. The cat cave is lovely Ann, pretty colour and I like the spikey design (by the way, Nancy said the cats like spikes – I didn’t know that!)

    1. Thank you Lyn. They like anything the can bat at and play with, especially if it’s a good excuse to pounce on your friend inside it.

  4. OOOOOH a cat cave for the winter will be fun. Third week of triple digit temps and with 108F here today and my cat is quickly shedding hair even though we have central Air conditioning. My cat likes to lie on the cool ceramic tile floor but when winter come with 10F, she will enjoy a cat cave. Thanks for the details and pics.

    1. it was fun to do. here we have both extreams of temperature. with humitity we went over 40c (104F)a little while ago but in the winter it goes down to -40c thats whére the 2 scales meet so -40F too.

  5. I am sure she will like it. it is nicer to have around the house than a paper bag or old box. I think if you want or need it to be taller it might be easier to do it in two pieces and then sew a larger top to a smaller bottom.

  6. I think it would also be ideal for those little dogs who like to curl up in a covered basket or bag. Looks very safe and cozy! Makes me wish it came in “people” size for the occasional nap!
    Great job, Ann! Love those spikes!

    1. No reason you can’t make them bigger.

      I know they would be popular with children, as they like small places just like cats, and ANYTHING sized for them instead of adults.

      You will need much more wool!

      People sized ones would probably be popular too, adult humans too like comfortable and safe-feeling places.

  7. Some dogs just love a cave. We have had many that would try to get in a dog cage when one of the others was on cage rest. Seeing 3 dogs sqeeze in was quite funny. I saw a human sized one on line somewhere as part of an exhibition. It would take a lot of wool for a big one.

  8. Nice looking work! I was wondering how much wool it took to make this. I’m thinking Id like to give it a go myself, but I don’t know how much wool to order. Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. The more wool you use, the stiffer and more durable it becomes.

      Many commercial designs seem to use around 500-750 grams (~1-1.5 pounds)

      Use undyed wool (NOT merino, but one of the better felting breeds with more crimp in the fiber,) for the core layers and save your colors for the final finish layer.

      You can also use needle felting to add design elements or texture.

      You can incorporate hard into the design too, particularly good for bases.

  9. Thanks. I think it could use a little more fulling to stiffen it some more but I have to get it away from the cats to do that. I just weighed it and it is 232 grams. I would use a courser wool not merino it’s to fine for this I think. Remember the courser the wool the less of it there is per gram.

    1. right on. I know how my cats are when they find a favorite..you have to pry it away from them! Thanks for the info. Its a great project 🙂

  10. This is adorable!! (I love wild and spiky things!)
    …and the ‘side entrance’ seems to make more sense than the open-top one that I made for my cats, since they often flatten it when they get in and out of it. XXO-

  11. Thanks, I thought it looked more cave like but I plan to make one with a hole in the top at one end and one with the opening in the end. I like making things that don’t ave to fit anyone. I gives more room for experiments in new techniques.

    1. For mine, I made a bubble wrap resist that was oval, with the longest measurement being 23″ across, the smaller was 22. This made a 19″ X 17″ cat cafe in corriedale after it was felted. (it weighed out at 10 oz of wool ) Since I have some big cats- siamese and one is very tall and chubby, and the other is not fat, just big -it was a bit too small for them (19lbs and 14lbs respectively- but I swear they are dieting!) but they lay on it like a bed. I would say it would be perfectly sized for a cat 10lbs and under. I’ve made a new resist that I haven’t yet used so I can make one they will crawl inside…the size on this one is 31″x33″ so they can move around in it a bit and I can just keep felting it down if its too large. Hope this helps.:)

    2. I will did it out and measure it. the easiest thing to do is think how big you want it finished. the make it 50% bigger so when it shrinks 1/3,it will be the right size.

    1. I bought a bag of corriedale roving from the copper moose on ebay, (I had bought fiber and my wheel from them in the past and was satisfied), but you really could buy from anyone on ebay or etsy or the like. I used around 10-12oz of fiber for the cat cave in total.. I’m not sure about trying the quilt batting, but only because I’ve not tried to felt from it in the past. good luck!

  12. Copper moose has some nice stuff. I’ve had wool from there before. if you are used to using batting then go ahead. It might be a good project to try batting with. I am sure your cat would be forgiving if it wasn’t perfect. this one is 224grams of merino. I would use a little more and the courser wool should make it stiffer.

    1. the pattern is just an oval you make it what ever size you like. The roving is 100% wool. you could use a batt if you wanted too. You need wool or it won’t felt.

  13. Planning on giving this a try for the first time, you mentioned merino being a less stiff variety – what type of “courser” wool would you recommend?

    1. It seemed fitting. I plan on make two big leaf shaped they can sew me into to cremate me. Making pet caskets out of wool is something I have thought about doing. I am not sure how you would sell them without sounding macabre.

  14. Hi,
    Great site!
    I already bought a cat cave.
    One big problem- my kitty won’t go in.
    Have gotten her to go in half way to eat kibble in her dish inside.
    I think the opening i\s just too small for my big cat.
    Manufacturer says to just cut hole bigger. I rather just stretch the hole wider.

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