DIY: Build a better cat trap


If you build it, cats will come. Use this wooden bench solution for your feline exam roomand never use the chase-and-net technique for catching cats again.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners created the Cat Friendly Practice program to provide clinics with the tools to integrate a feline perspective in both the physical environment of the practice and the way medical care is delivered. It equips practices with the tools, resources and information to elevate the treatment, handling and overall healthcare of cats, as well as emphasizes ways to reduce the stress associated with the visit. To learn more, visit: 

The cat's out of the bag: Cats just love boxes. And you can take advantage with this simple wooden bench.

At one time or another most of us have been whisker-to-whisker with an anxious, can't-be-handled cat in the exam room. Instead of using a “chase-and-net technique,” we have modified a simple bench to provide a safe place for fearful cats to retreat.

Little do the kitties know that this safe place is actually a box in a bench.

We can close the front entrance with a sliding door and lift the seat of the bench to remove the safely confined cat.

Here's how you can build your own cat bench:

1. Start with a pre-made storage bench. Remove one front panel and place a metal brace. This will keep your cat box from moving.

2. Build a box to fit inside the space. Our original design was over-engineered and made out of 1-inch thick plastic. It weighs about 15 pounds by itself. When I make this in the future I will use a lighter weight material.

The front of the box had a cat-sized opening with a door that slides shut.

The box has a sliding door so you can remove the cat.

This has been a great place for nervous cats to escape to. 

They're mildly surprised when they are removed from the top of the bench, but handling is minimal-and there's no more chasing cats around the room.

Dr. Apryl Steele

Tender Touch Animal Hospital

AAFP Cat Friendly Practice,

Gold level practice

Denver, Colorado

For more information on Cat Friendly Practices, visit And to view more case studies visit

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