How to Make a Cat Hammock

Four Parts:Preparing the FleecePreparing the StrapsAssembling the HammockUsing the Cat Hammock

The cat hammock is a creative alternative to the traditional cat bed, and it allows your cat to enjoy its rest while simultaneously looking out over its territory. You can make your own cat hammock using a durable material, like fleece, and long strips of webbing ribbon.

Part 1
Preparing the Fleece

  1. 1
    Cut the fleece into two large squares.[1] To fit an average sized cat, both squares should be about 19-3/4 inches (50 cm) on all sides. Use sewing shears to cut the two fleece squares down to size.
    • Fleece works best for this project because it is durable, soft, and easy to work with. You can use new fleece purchased from a fabric store or recycle an old, clean fleece blanket you no longer wish to use.
    • You can vary this size based on the size of the cat. Consider using squares as small as 13-3/4 inches (35 cm) for a kitten hammock, or square as large as 36-3/4 inches (93.3 cm) to accommodate multiple cats.
      • Note that the size of your two squares should be about 1-3/4 inches (4.5 cm) larger on all sides than the desired size of your finished hammock.
  2. 2
    Press a 3/4-inch (2-cm) hem around both squares. Fold a hem measuring 3/4-inch (2-cm) around all sides of one fleece square, keeping the raw edge on the "wrong" side of the fabric. Press the hem in place using an iron. Repeat this process with the second fleece square.
  3. 3
    Cut a separate square of batting. Choose thin cotton batting. Cut the square with sewing shears, making it 18 inches (45.7 cm) on all sides.
    • This step is technically optional; you may omit it if the fleece is fairly thick or if you're trying to save money on the project. Using cotton batting will make the finished hammock softer and more durable, however.
    • You'll need to adjust the size of the batting square based on the size of the original fleece. The batting should be cut to your desired finished size, so it should be 1-3/4 inches (4.5 cm) shorter on all sides than the original fleece squares.
  4. 4
    Pin the batting to one fleece square. Turn one fleece square so that it is right-side down, then center the batting square over it. Use straight pins to hold the batting in place along all sides of the fleece.
    • Note that you only need to pin the batting to one piece of fleece during this step.
    • Make sure that the head and point of each pin is visible from the right-side of the fabric. If you insert the pins from the opposite direction, you may trap them inside the hammock after sewing it together. To avoid the issue completely, you could also tack the batting to the fabric using long, loose straight stitches (made by hand or by machine).
    • Also note that there should be 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space in between the edge of the batting and the edge of the fabric around all sides.

Part 2
Preparing the Straps

  1. 1
    Cut four 12-inch (30-cm) lengths of webbing. Using sharp scissors, cut four pieces of 1-inch (2.5-cm) wide flat nylon webbing ribbon, making each piece 12 inches (30 cm) long.[2]
    • These four pieces of webbing will become the straps from which you’ll hang the cat hammock. Webbing is finely woven and highly durable, making this material ideal for this purpose. Do not use less durable ribbon, however, since it could pose a safety threat to your cat.
  2. 2
    Melt the raw edges of the webbing. Carefully apply the flame of a standard handheld lighter to both cut edges of each length of webbing. Pass the flame over each edge for 5 to 10 seconds, or until the material melts into a solid mass.
    • Melting the raw edges should prevent any fraying from occurring, thereby making these straps safer and more durable for long-term use.
    • Work carefully. When done correctly, the webbing should not catch on fire, but you should always exercise caution when working with an open flame. Only pass the flame over the cut edges—not along the solid length—and keep it away from other people and materials. Allow the webbing to completely cool to the touch before continuing to the next step.
  3. 3
    Pin the webbing straps to each corner of one fleece square. Take the empty fleece square (the square without the batting attached) and flip it so that it lies right-side up. Pin one length of webbing to each corner at a diagonal angle.
    • The corners of one side of webbing should lie flush with the adjacent edges of the fleece square at the corner of that square. Keep the webbing facing inward, across the square, instead of directing it outward. Try to keep the webbing at an approximate 45-degree angle from either edge of the square, as well.
    • Only the end overlapping the corner of the fleece should be pinned in place. Leave the opposite end free.
  4. 4
    Form loops with the webbing. Fold the loose end of the webbing back over its length, continuing until both melted edges meet. This should form a loop measuring about 6 inches (15 cm) long.
    • Repeat this step with each length of webbing. Re-pin each piece of webbing at the corner of the square, holding both ends and the resulting loop in place.
    • Note that the length of the webbing loop should still lie at a 45-degree angle from the corner of the fleece, pointing in and over the body of the fleece instead of pointing away from it.
  5. 5
    Baste the loops to the fabric. Sew several loose, long stitches over the ends of the webbing loops and into the fleece beneath them. Remove the pins when finished.
    • You can sew these stitches by hand or by machine, depending on which seems easiest for you.
    • Basting the loops should hold them in place more securely than the pins, making the final hammock assembly easier.

Part 3
Assembling the Hammock

  1. 1
    Pin together the two fleece squares. Place the two fleece squares right-sides together, evenly aligning all four edges. Smooth out any wrinkles, then use straight pins to secure both squares together.
    • Note that the webbing loops should be pinned in place between the two squares, but the batting should remain visible on the outside (wrong-side) of one square.
  2. 2
    Sew around most of the perimeter of the fabric. By hand or by machine, sew a line of stitches around all four edges of the doubled squares, placing this line as close to the edge as possible. Leave approximately 4 inches (10 cm) of one edge open.
    • You must leave an opening along one of the edges; otherwise, you won't be able to complete the next step and finish the cat hammock. It does not matter which edge you choose, but keep it along one of the straight edges and do not choose one of the corners.
  3. 3
    Turn the fleece right-side out. Pull the right-side of the stitched fleece structure through the 4-inch (10-cm) opening left along one edge.
    • When finished, the batting should be sandwiched on the inside and the loops should be free on the outside.
    • Take a moment to flatten out the fleece structure and straighten out the four webbing loops. You should be able to do this with your hands; an iron won't be necessary.
    • Remove any pins before continuing. By removing the pins now, you'll still be able to reach inside the hammock to grab any pins inserted from the wrong direction. That won't be possible after the next step.
  4. 4
    Stitch the final opening closed. Fold the opening so that the raw edges meet and face inward. Stitch over this fold as close to the edge as possible.
    • It's best to complete this step by hand using a hidden stitch or ladder stitch, since doing so will hide the stitch from sight and create a neater appearance. If you are unable to do this, however, a simple straight stitch would still work to close the opening.
  5. 5
    Sew a parallel row of zigzag stitches around the entire perimeter.[3] Starting 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) in from the edge, sew a line of zigzag stitches around all four sides of the perimeter, overlapping the start and end stitches to keep them secure.
    • The zigzag stitches create more flexibility and a slightly decorative finish, but you can use straight stitches if preferred.
    • This second row of stitches creates a stronger, more secure bond between both sides of the fabric and the four webbing loops.
    • The batting should ideally sit to the inside of these stitches, rather than being sewn into them. The project may lose some tidiness if the batting gets caught into the stitches, but it should still remain just as durable.

Part 4
Using the Cat Hammock

  1. 1
    Attach hooks to each loop. Slip one metal carabiner onto each of the webbing loops sticking out from the corners of the hammock.
    • Carabiner hooks work best because they’re sturdy and latch into a closed loop. Avoid using open hooks or plastic hooks since these may loosen or break under the weight of your cat.
  2. 2
    Hang the hammock from the hooks. Identify where you want to hang your cat hammock. Use the carabiners to hook onto the structure and secure the hammock in place.
    • It's easiest to hang a cat hammock inside a wire kennel cage. Latch the carabiners onto or above one of the horizontal bars so that the hammock stays in place. Leave enough room between the hammock and the top of the kennel for your cat to fit.
    • Alternatively, you can hang the hammock beneath a bed frame, a chair with four legs, or a coffee table. You may even be able to hang the hammock inside a plastic laundry basket or a sturdy, hollowed out cardboard box.[4]
    • Additional hardware might be needed depending on the dimensions of the structure used for hanging the hammock. Use Velcro strips to tighten the loops around posts with no horizontal support, or bungee cords to provide extra length when hanging the hammock from a posts that are far apart.
  3. 3
    Introduce your cat to the hammock. The cat hammock is complete and ready for your cat to use. Make sure your cat sees the hammock, but do not force your cat to climb inside.
    • Don’t be too disappointed if your cat doesn’t immediately fall in love with its new hammock. Many cats like to approach unfamiliar objects with caution and will naturally climb inside once they get curious enough. Forcing an unwilling cat to sit inside the hammock may make it afraid of it, however, and the cat will be less likely to return on its own later.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-1/2 yds (1.5 m) fleece
  • 1-1/2 yds (1.5 m) thin cotton batting
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing shears
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • 4 ft (1.2 m) nylon webbing ribbon
  • Handheld lighter
  • 4 metal carabiner hooks

Article Info

Categories: Pictures | Pets and Animals | Cats