Woman’s Brilliant Invention For Her Cats Also Keeps The House Tidy

Unlike dogs, cats domesticated themselves. They are inherently independent mini-panthers that stalk around their domicile, normally as its leader — whether or not we cat owners want to admit it. In their quest for dominance, there can be casualties: the arms of the couch, frayed edges of carpet outside of doors, and gouged walls.

Cat owner Gentry Sanders decided to alleviate her cats’ destructive nature by creating a relaxing space for them to escape from their stressful lives of sleeping in the sun and hunting bugs that find their way inside the house. Combining cardboard and her ingenuity, she built her own genius cat invention to keep her cats happy.  

Cats can be frustrating. You try to order a cool (and often expensive) bed for them online, but they’re much more interested in sleeping inside of the cardboard box it shipped in.

Pixabay, Pexels

Gentry Sanders could certainly get a little frustrated with her feline pals every now and again. These natural troublemakers tended to get in her way at all the worst possible times.

Gentry Sanders

At a certain point, Gentry needed to find a way to get a little peace. It turned out that her background as a graphic designer provided her with just the creative spark she needed. It started with a perfectly ordinary observation.

While watching her cats, Huckleberry and Floyd, play in a cardboard box, Gentry was inspired. Her beautiful floofs were in love with their simple box, why not upcycle it into something more aesthetically pleasing?

Gentry Sanders

Over a weekend, Gentry set to work. She combined a Hello Fresh box and an Amazon package to create Mid-Century Meow-nor, a mid-century-style cardboard cat house.

Gentry Sanders

During the build, Huckleberry and Floyd acted as dual construction supervisors. After all, Gentry was making their home, so they needed to make sure all of the details were completed to their high standards.

Gentry Sanders

“I can’t do anything in my house without them being involved in it. They loved the cutting of the cardboard because they got to lay on it and chew it,” said Gentry. Cats make the best helpers.

Gentry Sanders

The Meow-nor is gorgeous. It has bold colors, an angular roof, and a modern appeal would impress even the Property Brothers. It is a masterpiece in its own right, but would the cats like it?

Gentry Sanders

Would Gentry’s entire weekend of designing, painting, gluing, cutting, and doing whatever else it took to craft a cat home be worth it? Cats seem to be very reluctant to do things their others want.

Gentry Sanders

Don’t worry, they loved it! Gentry said, “Huckleberry has slept in it all day while I have been working and Floyd put his catnip banana inside so it has gotten the Cat Seal of Approval.”

Gentry Sanders

Envious of Gentry’s creation? With a few cheap and easy-to-obtain materials, you can use some of your free time to make your purrfect cat palace to spoil your feline pals. Let’s do it!

Gentry Sanders

First, gather your supplies: cardboard, an exacto knife, a metal ruler, glue, tape, craft paint, and measuring tape. For the cardboard, you’ll likely need at least two medium- sized delivery boxes or more.

Public Domain Pictures

Now, it’s time to get creative. Gentry shared her mid-century house design that’s ready to be copied, but if you’re an architect at heart you can make your own one-of-a-kind cat condo.

Before using the boxes, you’ll need to remove all the tape and stickers. Once you have a smooth surface you can start translating your design onto the cardboard with your black marker.

Wikimedia Commons

These lines will be the places you cut for the design. The roofline, windows, and doors will be the house elements you’ll need to reflect on your cardboard workspace. Once your lines are in place, it’s time to get cutting.


Use your exacto knife or box cutter to carefully cut along your guide lines. Make sure to save the scraps. These can be used as extra decorations for the house, like flower beds or statues.


Once your pieces are cut out, it’s time to assemble. You’ll need to glue the pieces together and hold them in place with painters tape as they dry. Your best bet is using a hot glue gun or super glue. 

National Park Service

When everything is in place, remove the tape and spray the cat house with a primer spray, which helps the rest of your paint stick. After drying, you can paint the house. Will it be a brick chateau? A woodsy log cabin? Let your imagination run wild.

sk, Flickr

It should take about two coats of paint to make the colors clear and vivid. After the house is completely dry, you can lay something inside to entice your cat to explore their new space.

Nicole Doherty, Flickr

Cardboard liners and cat nip can be particularly effective in grabbing their attention. Now, you can sit back and watch your furry friend enjoy their palace — for the price of some paint and whatever you had delivered.

Even though your cat may be happy with their cardboard box bed, it isn’t very aesthetically pleasing. This is a fun way to spice up their box and get rid of something that’s an eyesore. But there are wilder cat crafts out there, for those who dare.

Tomas Ryant, Pexels

Mugi, Naru, and Nya tried not to panic as they watched their owner. The three Scottish Folds had seen him do plenty of strange things before, but this time was different. For one thing, his antics would make them all famous.

Purr and Roar

See, their owner Ryo Yamazaki always had a flair for the creative, but he couldn’t have expected his talents to put him on a magazine cover (of course, the designer had one of his models pose alongside him).

While there are plenty of other pet clothing stylists out there, Ryo is one of a kind. You see, he specializes in hats — cat hats. But what’s his process like? Let’s chat.

Instagram / rojiman

A few years back, Ryo noticed his cats shed quite a bit. Though that was nothing new, an unorthodox idea crossed his mind: rather than toss all that fur into the trash, would it be possible to make something out of it?

With the help of family and friends, Ryo cleaned the fur clumps and organized them by color. Then, with a spark of creativity and painstaking attention to detail, he molded the shed hair into something magical…

Instagram / rojiman

Like this devilishly dapper top hat, complete with a white band! Even if you’re grossed out by the concept of collecting hair, you have to admit this accessory is fit for the finest black tie occasions. With all the work he puts in, Ryo naturally wants to share his creations.

Instagram / rojiman

That’s why he posts all his creations on social media, spearheaded by his Instagram account rojiman. He describes himself as a “fallen fur hat designer,” and boy, does he deliver.

As you might know from experience, most cats don’t take to kindly to wearing any kind of garment, let alone something on their heads. Fortunately, Ryo’s found himself three feline models willing to put up with his handsome headgear.

For example, his Scottish Fold cats don’t even mind taking on the appearance of a different animal, even a dog! Then again, it never hurts to have a disguise, especially if Mugi wants to spy on the canine ranks.

Instagram / rojiman

Using his expert felting skills, Ryo crafted a fully three-dimensional duck hat. And if you look closely, you’ll notice he used fur from Nya, Maru, and Mugi. Everybody’s a team player (whether they realize it or not)!

Instagram / rojiman

Nya often rocks a highly detailed warthog look, perhaps as a nod to Pumba from The Lion King. Speaking of Disney movies, Ryo also enjoys paying tribute to his favorite cartoon characters.

Instagram / rojiman

Any anime buffs out there will appreciate Maru’s Gundam helmet. However, we bet this cat won’t be fighting any other giant robots — unless they try to scratch his belly. Then they’ll get the claws!

Instagram / rojiman

In addition, Ryo’s dropped some Pokemon references in his work. Rather than going with a fan favorite like Pikachu or Charizard, however, Ryo likes the deep cuts. Here, he’s transformed Maru into the ultra-intelligent Slowking.

That doesn’t look like a genuine smile, does it? Sure, Ryo’s feline friends might not always seem thrilled to be modeling his creations. However, their legion of fans sincerely disagree.

Instagram / rojiman

With over 100,000 devoted Instagram followers, Ryo and his three kitties have become kings of the internet. In fact, their success has led to some interesting new directions for Ryo’s artwork.

Instragram / rojiman

His hats and wigs have officially hit the market! For a nominal fee, you can have a 100% cat hair accessory for you or your pet. You can guarantee there’s no pesky dog hair in these products.

Instagram / rojiman

After all, a cat hair hat makes for the perfect gift around the holidays. A miniature Santa hat would complete any Christmas card photo — if you can manage to get your pet to hold still.

Instagram / rojiman

Though Ryo doesn’t want his customers to limit their holiday spirit to December. Once Halloween rolls around, your cat will feel extra spooky if he’s sporting a pair of horns and a bleach-blonde moptop.

Ryo’s American audience can’t agree on whether Donald Trump’s hair is real or not, but both Democrats and Republicans can enjoy this presidential wig. Your cat better brush up on constitutional claws!

Instagram / roijman

Every once in a while, Ryo goes above and beyond headwear. Can you believe he collected enough fur to make a full sculpture of Maru? Obviously, the real cat looks much more well-fed.

Instagram / rojiman

Nya, Maru, and Mugi’s hats are only getting better and better as their owner hones his skills. A truly unique artist, Ryo is flying high.

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