Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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This large pvc cat hammock frame’s finished measurements are: 13 ” tall, 17″ wide, 22″ long.

When I starting volunteering in my local animal shelter, I saw that someone had made pvc pipe frame cat hammocks. The hammock frames were various sizes, some were damaged, and there weren’t a lot of hammock covers to use. They were also fairly large, so they wouldn’t fit in the smaller kennels.

I designed some smaller hammocks to fit into most of the cat kennels, and designed a standard large hammock. Using my basic sewing skills, I made simple patterns for the hammock covers, in both small and large sizes.

Hammocks are great places for kitties to rest comfortably on, to add a little more vertical space to their area, and are a great for the shy kitties to hide under.

These are very easy to make for home use and several can easily be made for animal shelter use. They are especially useful during kitten season. And if the kittens manage to pull it over, it is very light weight and no one will get squished.

Step 1: The Finished Large Frame

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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This large hammock frame works very well in our shelter’s larger kennels. It would also be a spacious hammock for the kitty at home. The finished measurements are: 13 ” tall, 17″ wide, 22″ long.

This frame works great for multiple kittens or a large cat. Customization is possible – see the notes at the end.

(If a smaller frame is needed, see my instructions titled “Small Cat Hammock – Home or Shelter Use”.)

After the frame is assembled, a cover is needed for the kitties to relax on. The more weight the hammock is expected to hold, the stronger the hammock cover material needs to be.

Step 2: Materials and Steps 1 & 2

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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Material List:

” 1 10’ stick of 3/4″ pvc pipe – I typically use the “thin wall”, or class 200, pvc pipe. This pipe is thinner, lighter weight, and cheaper than the “thick wall”, or schedule 40, pvc pipe. But either type of pvc pipe will work for this project.

” 4 3/4″ pvc corner pieces (all sides slip, no threads)

” 4 3/4″ pvc caps (slip, not threaded)

” Tape measure ” Hand saw or pvc pipe cutter ” pvc primer and glue – optional

Instructions:

Step 1. Cut the pvc pipe as follows:

” 2 pieces 19″ long

” 2 pieces 14″ long

” 4 pieces 11″ long

Step 2 Wash the pvc pipe and fittings in hot, soapy water. Dry pieces.

Step 3: Step 3

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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Step 3 Take the 19″ length pieces, and push the corner pieces onto each side.

Step 4: Step 4

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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Step 4 Take the 14″ pieces, and connect each side to the corner pieces, making a rectangle.

Step 5: Step 5 – 7

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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Step 5 Place the 4 11″ pieces into the corner pieces, forming legs.

Step 6 Place the caps on the end of the 11″ legs.

Step 7 If you wish to use pvc cement to glue the frame together, you may, but it is not required. Read and follow the glue and primer manufacturer’s directions exactly.

Most of the frames at our kennel are not glued together. Occasionally, the cats are able to disassemble the frames, but they can be quickly reassembled.

Next step – create covers for the kitties to relax on, or under.

Note: This frame may be customized to fit your space. If you are going to use the hammock cover patterns that are listed next, the most important measurement is the width of the hammock. The height and length of the hammock may be altered, but keep the width the same.

Step 6: Hammock Cover

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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This hammock cover is basically a sleeve that fits onto the large size pvc hammock frame. I typically use the polo / golf shirt material and denim for the large hammocks. (See notes at the end regarding fabric choice.) This pattern works for knit, woven cotton or denim fabric.

I make most of the hammock covers from previously owned shirts. I usually get them from family members who are no longer wearing them, or thrift shops and yard sales. When I get the shirts home, I wash them in hot water and add – 1 cup of white vinegar with the laundry soap to get any storage smells out.

You can certainly purchase fabric for this project; I like the idea of re-using, or re-purposing fabric that I already have.

Step 7: Hammock Materials List

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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Materials List:

” 1 polo / golf shirt or jersey or demin fabric – see notes at the end regarding fabric choice

” Sewing machine (My favorite stitch is the “triple stretch stitch” with a ball point twin needle when using the knit material. It seems to hold up really well with the weight of cats and the frequent washing in the shelter environment. I use a demin needle with the denim fabric), but a regular straight stitch with a single needle works as well.

” Fray Check (not required, but highly recommended) ” Thread ” Scissors ” Ruler or measuring tape

Step 8: Hammock Cover Step 1

Instructions:

Step 1 Cut fabric

If using knit fabric, or t-shirt, cut 23″ long x 15″ wide. If the fabric allows, you may go longer, but don’t go much wider than 15″.

If using denim or woven cotton fabric, cut 23″ long x 18 ” wide. If the fabric allows, you may go longer, but don’t go much wider than 18 “.

Step 9: Hammock Cover Step 2

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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Step 2 Hem the 15″ cut sides.

If this is for shelter use, and you intend to use small hammocks as well, I found it helpful to sew tags onto the covers indicating the size. I made very cheap tags using leftover fabric from the hammocks and made an instruction titled “Fabric Tags” if you’d like to take a look.

Step 10: Hammock Cover Steps 3 – 4

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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Step 3 Take the 2 pieces of fabric, and pin the right sides together.

Step 4 Sew the 23″ sides together.

Step 11: Hammock Cover Steps 5 – 6

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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4. Turn right side out.

5. Slide fabric onto the frame. It will be a little snug.

Notes:

I like to make extra long covers, either from extra large shirts or demin, or sew 2 standard covers together so that it covers the sides and top of the frame. This allows for maximum privacy for the shy kitties and those new to adoption who don’t quite know what’s going on yet.

I make most of the hammock covers from previously owned shirts and blue jeans. I usually get them from family members who are no longer wearing them, or thrift shops and yard sales. When I get the clothing home, I wash them in hot water and add – 1 cup of white vinegar with the laundry soap to get any storage smells out.

I stay away from slippery and very stretchy material (like Spandex). The slippery material easily slips off the frame and the stretchy material doesn’t have the strength to hold much weight. The length may be changed, longer or shorter, but don’t change the width very much.

Step 12:

Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use
Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use
Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use
Large Cat Hammocks - Home or Shelter Use

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