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If You Make These DIY Cat Toys, You'll Make Yours the Happiest Kitty on the Planet

by Marlene Sauer
How to make easy DIY cat toys
Image by Marlene Sauer

It's pretty clear by now that cats are taking over the world. From global Instagram cat celebrities, to cat cafes, to enough cat-themed accessories to clothe an army, our feline friends have us wrapped around their paws. My own cat, Jax, is no exception --- he is definitely the boss in our household. Now he's even got me making DIY cat toys!          

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How to Build a Cozy Radiator Cat Bed

by M.E. Gray

From the new book, "DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs." A tutorial on how to make a radiator cat bed.

If you're a cat owner, you know two things about kitties: #1, They like heights, and #2, they like warmth. I can always count on finding my own cat in a handful of different places around my apartment, including either right up against the radiator, or high up on my bedroom dresser. If your feline is anything like mine, she'd flip over a DIY radiator cat bed like this one.       

This project comes straight from the soon-to-be-published book DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs. The book was created for those who love good design, and value the DIY over an expensive buy. DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs offers 20 easy-to-build projects, from a dog-friendly bike basket, to a fancy rolling litter box cabinet. All the projects are cheap, and all are easy to make. The book publishes on May 8th, but in the meantime, you can pre-order it from Amazon.

For a sneak peek into the kinds of stylish creations you can make from this book, here's a look at my favorite project from the collection: the DIY radiator cat bed. 


WARNING: This project is designed for hot-water radiators in homes heated by gas or oil (usually older houses and apartment buildings). Electric radiators can overheat and cause a fire if they come in contact with a combustible object.


  • 1 sheet OSB (oriented strand board)

  • 2 furring strips, about 2 feet (60 cm) each

  • 2 shelf brackets, minimum about 8 inches (20 cm) on shortest arm

  • 4 corner braces, about 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm)

  • 2 nuts and bolts to fit the corner braces

  • About 12 screws

  • Fabric, foam, and a staple gun

  • Glue


Step 1 | How to Make a Radiator Cat Bed

Cut the furring strips to the desired length, referring to the photo of the finished project - you determine the distance between the top of the radiator and the bed.

To prevent the wood from splitting when using screws, it's important to drill pilot holes first—don't just drill the screws straight into the wood.


At the top of each furring strip, screw on a corner brace.


Step 3 | How to Make a Radiator Cat Bed

At the bottom of each furring strip, on the side opposite the one with the corner brace, screw on a shelf bracket.

Choose your corner braces carefully—their shape will determine the success of your project. Use metal corner braces, which will hold up better under pressure, heat, and repeated use.


Step 4 | How to Make a Radiator Cat Bed

At the top of each furring strip, use a nut and bolt to attach a second corner brace to the first corner brace to form a U-shape; this is what will fit over the radiator.


Step 5 | How to Make a DIY Radiator Cat Bed

Screw the board to the shelf brackets as shown. Make sure you choose a screw that is short enough not to go through the top of the board. If the screws do slightly break through, use adhesive putty to cover the tips.

If you can find someone to help you, this step is easier with two people.


Step 6 | How to Make a DIY Radiator Cat Bed

Glue the foam to the top of the board, cutting to foam to size as needed.


Step 7 | How to Make a DIY Radiator Cat Bed

Lay the fabric over the foam, staple it to the underside of the board, and cut off any excess fabric.

In the end, this piece will have cost about $12, not counting the cost of heating—but who can put a price on keeping your cat warm and happy?

A cat bed that fits over your radiator - from the new book, "DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs"

If you enjoyed this DIY radiator cat bed project, you'll love the 19 other creations in this book! DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs will be available to purchase on May 8th. Pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs

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