Cage Mat Tutorial
DIY Cage Mat
A cage mat is a lovely thing. Its' warmth and comfort can make a homeless rescue feel less frightened and anxious while waiting for a home.
The local Hawaiian Humane Society uses volunteers to sew together donated fabric remnants to make cage mats. These pet comforters line the bottoms of the cold metal cages allowing the kitties some softness and warmth.
I use mostly fabric remnants when sewing these cage mat quilts. Sometimes I cut up old cotton clothing and piece together both the top and bottom of the cage mat to keep this project more cost effective. I try to make these pet mats as sturdy and comfortable for the rescue animals as I possibly can, keeping in mind the cost so I can continue making more as my time allows.
If you can sew a semi-straight line, you can certainly sew a cage mat.
Materials You'll Need
- Remnant fabric pieces
- Batting or old mattress pad
- Backing material
- Pinking shears
- Needle & thread
- Iron & ironing board
- Cardboard grid cutting board
- Straight edge ruler or T-square ruler
- Pencil or pen
- Straight pins
Measure and Cut
Measure the bottom of the cat cage, so the finished quilt will fit nicely without shifting. Add 1/2" to each side for seam allowance. Cut a piece of an old quilted mattress pad to this size.
Using a quilted mattress pad as batting is ideal. It adds additional cushioning to make the cats more comfortable, and it's cost effective in making cage bedding.
Choosing the Fabric
Select the fabric to make a sleeping mat for cats. Choose cotton fabrics or anything soft, comfortable, washable and wearable like terrycloth.
Avoid polyesters, rayon, and materials that are slick or will snag easily. Launder and press fabric remnants before cutting.
Cutting Fabric Pieces
Lay the fabric wrong side up on the gridded cutting board. Use the ruler to draw straight lines with a pencil or pen.
Salvage as much of the fabric as possible into square or rectangular shapes for the cat cage quilt. Cut pieces along the drawn lines.
I use a handy cardboard cutting grid along with this t-square aluminum drywall ruler. (An awesome combo for sewing projects!)
Yes, this particular T square is used mainly for drywall work, however, this is the one I use. It's got great ratings and saves me so much time while sewing.
Layout Cut Pieces
Choose the cut fabric pieces to be sewn together for the cat mat bedding. Lay into place on top of the quilted mattress pad to give you an idea of how the layout sizes up.
A Pause for a Pet Poll
What are your feelings about adopting animals?
Sew the fabric sections together in a 1/2" seam on the sewing machine. Finish seams with pinking shears and press all seams flat during construction of the cage bedding for cats.
Lay pressed and sewn top piece of the cat cage quilt centered onto the previously cut mattress pad batting. Smooth hands over the top of the quilt.
Turn quilt and batting over so batting is facing up. Hand baste the top and batting together close to the edge of the batting. When hand basting is complete, trim any excess fabric with scissors so the edges are even.
Make a cage mat for dogs using these same instructions. If the animal is significantly heavier, put a double layer of quilt batting in between the top and bottom.
Cut out Backing Material
Lay cat cage quilt top face down onto the right side of the backing material. Pin into place if necessary and cut along the edges of the batting.
In this sewing project, I chose to use a small portion of a flat sheet as backing. You can use fabric remnants pieced together on the back as you did the front if your prefer.
Sew the three layers together with a 1/2" seam from the edge, rounding the sewn stitches gently at corners. Leave an opening approximately 10" in length along one edge to allow for turning the quilt.
Remove basting stitches. Trim around the rounded corners with scissors.
Turn cat cage quilt right side out through the opening. Fold opening edges under and pin in place. Use the sewing machine to stitch this opening closed.
Top stitch along a few of the seam lines on top of the finished cage mat bedding to reinforce the layers and strengthen the quilt. Take the finished cat bedding to the local animal shelter or Humane Society. The kitties will thank you, and you'll walk away feeling better knowing you gave some comfort to a deserving animal.
Better yet, donate some DIY cage mats and bring a dog or cat back home to love.
Remember... DON'T SHOP. ADOPT!