How to Sew a Cat Bed

I just got another 2 cats. But that doesn’t put me in crazy cat lady status, I swear, since it still adheres to the n+1 rule (where n= number of adults in a household and n+1 is the number of allowable cats before you have a “problem”). I intended to just get one more cat so that Tig could have a companion again, but when we went into the shelter room to meet Etta, Bandit jumped into my lap and started purring and playing with Evie. So I managed to convince my best-ever-in-the-whole-wide-world-husband to let me bring both Bandit and Etta home. Tig still isn’t quite convinced that she wants companions, but a sort of detente has been reached, and I know they’ll be friends soon. Since Bandit & Etta started their introduction to our home by living in the bathroom, I needed to quickly make them beds so they had something cozy to sleep in. And since I was making Bandit & Etta beds it was only fair that I made Tig a bed too!

Sewing polished looking cat beds is really easy, and you can do it without a pattern and without any math to make whatever size and shape you want!

To sew a cat bed you need:

    • fabric (amount will depend on the size of your bed, but 1.5 yards will┬ábe more than enough)
    • fabric shears
    • pinking shears (optional but prefered)
    • stuffing (for the edge of the bed)
    • batting (for the pillow of the bed) (optional but preferred)

Start by cutting out four layers of fabric in the size and shape you want your bed to be. Cut 1-3 layers of the batting (depending upon the loft of your batting and how puffy you want the insert to be) from the same shape. Chalk a line 1/2″ in from the edge of your shape. Measure that line. (This is for a 1/2″ seam allowance. If you want to use a different width of seam allowance, chalk the line at that width.)

Cut a rectangle of fabric the length of the line you measured plus 1 inch. The width will determine how big the lip of the bed is. Somewhere in the 7″-11″ range is a good size.

Sew the rectangle right sides together along the short edge.

Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together.

Place two pieces of your base fabric wrong sides together (so the right sides of the fabric are visible on top on bottom). Sew the rectangle to the edge of the bed with your 1/2″ seam allowance. If your rectangle and base aren’t quite the same length, it’s okay! Let one of the fabrics gather and bunch a little as you sew. When you stuff the bed it won’t be visible at all. Leave a 3″ gap in your sewing on either end of the bed so that you can stuff the bed through the gaps.

Use the gaps on either end to stuff your bed.

You want to stuff the outer tube pretty full as stuffing does settle and compact with use.

Sew the gaps closed. This takes a bit of manhandling under your sewing machine so if you find it too complicated you can hand sew the gaps closed.

Trim the seam allowance with pinking shears to finish the edge of your fabric.

Rotate the bed so that the pinked edges are tucked on the inside and the clean finish is on the outside of the bed (the bottom of the bed is shown in the picture here). You won’t see the pinked edges in the finished bed because they will be hidden by the pillow insert.)

Take the other layers of fabric and place them right sides together with the batting behind the fabric. If you don’t have batting, you can leave it off in this step and instead stuff the pillow insert after sewing it. I like to use batting because it stays evenly distributed across the pillow whereas stuffing in the pillow can clump.

Sew the bed insert around the edge, leaving a 3″ gap on one end.

Turn the insert right side out through the 3″ gap. Make sure that you turn between the layers of fabric so that you end up with the fabric right side out on top and bottom with the batting on the inside.

Stitch along the edge of the insert close to the edge of the fabric. This will close the gap and keep the layers from shifting.

Put the insert into the bed and give it to your kitty!

If you want to see more photos of my cats (who wouldn’t!) you can find them on Instagram as #tigglesthewiggles, #thedivinemissetta, and #oldmanbandit. If you’re a fan of cats and sewing, I can heartily recommend looking through #sewingwithcats – always good for a laugh and a smile!

Comments 8

  1. Oooh I love it! Thank you for showing me how these are made. :D I’m curious if my bunnies would like these or not. They do just as much lounging as cats do but don’t gravitate towards warm areas as much. Hmm…

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  2. I came across this from Google. I have a picky rescue cat and She loves to lounge by the window but it is quite sunny where I am at. So, I made a square bed and used ribbon and suction cups to hang it on the window. She loves it. I used old wire hangers to keep the bed stiff and not hammock like. This was a great idea. She is happy and that means I am happy.

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  3. Thanks for posting this. My daughter wanted to make a cat bed and this for our needs perfectly. And it was easy to follow, wish I could post a picture.

  4. These look like great fun to make. But I have to wonder if they’d meet the same fate as the cat toys I’ve wasted money on over the years. I finally gave up when my husband came home with one of those plastic wristbands medical labs put on you. My two cats have been playing with that thing for weeks — best toy EVER!! I’d probably make two of these adorable beds, only to find those ingrates curled up on a dish towel.

    1. LOL! It’s a cat “thing” and I get it! I have cats of my own. They ARE little ingrates at times, but they’re also very affectionate with me, so I take the good with the less-than-good! I’ve made other beds for them (not as nice as these) but I think I’m going to make these anyway.

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