So I came up with a way that they could enjoy the warm air, without blocking the air flow.
A few years ago my mother in law gifted us a cute little pet hammock. The kitties hadn't really ever seemed very interested in it though, until I recently placed it over one of our heat registers that they'd been sitting on. Instant love!
But then the drama started. Our fat cat, Topper, kept kicking little Hailey out of the hammock, so he could enjoy the warm air. So we were in need of another hammock. And since I had no idea where the original hammock came from, and we had some leftover PVC pipe laying around, as well as some fleece, a quick DIY version was in order.
And I do mean quick, this hammock was done in just 20 minutes.
First, here is what you need to make your own pet hammock:
- 2 x 18" pieces of PVC pipe (either 1/2" or 3/4" diameter)
- 2 x 12" pieces of PVC pipe (either 1/2" or 3/4" diameter)
- 4 x 5" pieces of PVC pipe (either 1/2" or 3/4" diameter)
- 4 x 90 degree side outlet PVC elbows (either 1/2" or 3/4" diameter) like this
- 1/2 yard of fleece
- Thread and needle or sewing machine
It doesn't matter if you use 1/2" or 3/4" PVC, just make sure everything you get is the same diameter so it will all fit together. And you can just use a hack saw to cut the PVC, you don't need any fancy tools for this project!
Once you have your pieces of PVC cut, use the longest pieces for the long sides, middle length pieces for the short sides, and 5" pieces for the legs, and assemble to look like this.
I made this new hammock slightly wider and taller than the old hammock, to accommodate our fat cat, since he barely fit in the hold hammock.
Next, take your fleece and lay it out, placing the PVC stand upside down over the fleece. The wrap the fleece around the long sides, pinning it into place.
Make sure you don't pin the fleece all the way to the elbow joints, because you want to leave a little room to make it easy to take apart later when you want to wash the fleece. I used another pin to mark how far over I was going to sew.
Then, take the stand apart to remove the pinned fleece and just run both of the long sides through your sewing machine (you could also sew it by hand if you wanted, or probably even use iron-on binding tape, although I don't think it would hold up to the cat's weight as well).
Once you've got your long sides sewn, put the fleece back on the PVC stand, just to make sure everything still fits. Then repeat the last step with the short sides, pinning them in place, and leaving some unsewn space at the joint edges.
Once you've got all four sides sewn, your piece of fleece will look like this, with flappy corners.
To get rid of the flaps, and to make it easy to put together and take apart, just cut the flaps off. I cut at a diagonal, about one inch from the edge of my hem lines.
Then, on the inside, I cut straight up to the fold from the hemmed side, revealing the nice little pocket that was sewn to hold onto the PVC frame.
Cut all four flaps off, and you've got a fleece hammock.
Just flip it over and slide it over the PVC structure, and you're done. One pet hammock ready to get your pets warm over the heat registers, and not block the air flow at the same time.
Optional, sprinkle it with catnip and put a favorite toy in the hammock. Hours of fun and relaxation!
So far only two of my cats have been interested in the heat registers and hammocks, but I might need to make a third hammock in the future if my youngest cat starts showing an interest. Or maybe I could even build them bunk bed hammocks! :)
Do your pets love sitting on the heat registers this time of year? I know it can't be very comfortable to lie on the hard metal grates though, so I'm happy I thought of a way to make it a more comfy place for them to sleep away their days.