This is a fun, simple project that your cat will love now that the weather is getting cool. These beds are made from recycled sweaters and can create a favorite snug and warm perch anywhere. No craft/sewing experience required. Anyone can make a Huggy Bed!
- Find a natural fiber sweater (thrift stores are a great source). Large men’s crew neck styles work well and make a nice large bed big enough for more than one cat, but bear in mind your washer capacity. Smaller sweaters may be an easier size to wash. You can adapt the pattern for other styles or make different size beds.
- Felt the sweater by washing and drying to shrink the fibers. This works when the sweater is mostly wool or other natural animal fiber (cashmere, angora, alpaca). You can use a sweater that is made from synthetic fiber but it will not be as warm, thick and durable. The Huggy Bed can be washed when finished, but large beds are best washed in front load machines.
- Using yarn and a large darning needle, stitch across the chest of the sweater to create an upper and lower compartments. Any simple stitch will work to make a seam from the bottom of the arm holes.
- Using the open neck, fill the upper portion including the sleeves with polyester fiberfill. You can adjust the density of the filling to suit your cat. This will be the bolster around the bed.
- Stitch closed the neck of the sweater.
- Stitch sleeves together to form the sides of the bed.
- Stuff the lower portion of the sweater to form the bottom of the bed. You can adjust the amount of padding to please your cat, but most cats appreciate a flatter bottom.
- Stitch the bottom of the sweater to close it and attached the bottom to the sleeves’ sides.
- You might not get all your seams done before your cat moves in to test the Huggy Bed!
Melissa Shandley is one of the founders of Happy Cats Haven, a Cat Behavior Consultant and Cat Care Provider.
Thanks also to to Life After 50 for publishing our monthly Ask Ms Kitty column.