How to make partial cage covers aka “CURTAILMENTS”

Last updated: 2020-07-02
Document type: Information Sheet
Topics: Shelter Design and Housing, Behavior and Enrichment
Species: Feline

Managing stress can mean the difference between a healthy cat and a sick cat. A simple, cost-effective cage curtain is part of a proper housing environment that addresses well being and promotes health among cats under your care. Plus they are fun to make! Check out our instructions and photos.

 Mission - to curtail cat stress in confinement housing

These are a darn cute and pretty easy to make and provide shelter cats some visual choice within their housing environment when used as partial cage covers.  They can be placed on the cage without disturbing the cat inside and simply washed between uses.   They have elastic in the top so they can cover more or less of the cage depending on the cat’s needs. 

These are wonderful for those small traditional 2x2 size cages, but they have application for larger cages too.  If you are handy with a sewing machine these can be made up in a few minutes.  These are easy enough that they would make great 4-H, Girl Scout, Boy Scout or first timer sewing projects. 

The shorter ‘curtailments’ double to make great hiding space below raised beds too!

 Material needed:

  • 1 yard (45" wide) fabric: Cotton is easy to work with however it will discolor when bleached, but any material will work (second hand sheets, old dresses, mumu’s, etc.)
  • ¼“ elastic
  • Round elastic cord
  • Two ¾" to 1” buttons 


1.Cut fabric

  • 1 yard of 45” wide material will make 3 short curtains or 2 long curtains
  • Short curtailment - cut the material into 3 pieces: 15” x 36”
  • Long curtailment - cut the material into 2 pieces: 45” x 18”

Drawing of curtailment layout. Two ways to cut fabric.

2. Hem all edges

  • Turn edges under ¼” then again ¼” so no raw edges can be seen along interior edge of fold

3. Fold top edge over 1 ½” and sew a line of stitching along interior edge. On the short curtains the top will be the 36” edge.  On the long curtains the 45” side will be the top.

4. Sew a second line of stitching ½” away from interior edge (to make sleeve for ¼” elastic)

5. Cut ¼” elastic to 10” length. The elastic is pretty stretchy. The 10” length works well for a curtailment that will cover only part of the door on a 2x2 cage door. You don’t want it to stretch across the whole door of a 2x2 cage – the space left uncovered allows visual choice for the cat. 

6. Pull elastic through ½” sleeve made in top of edge - use large safety pin or the like. (Note: Be careful not to pull elastic completely through the sleeve - when the end of the elastic nears the edge - sew it in place – see step 7 - before pulling the elastic to the opposite edge.)

7. At ~ ¾” in from the edge sew over each end of the elastic in the ½' sleeve (go over it a few times so it will not pull loose)

8. Cut rolled elastic cord to two 8” lengths

         a. Fold elastic in half and tie both ends into a single knot

         b. Slip the knotted end of elastic into the ½” sleeve pushing the knot farther into sleeve so you do not have to run over knot when sewing the end close

 9.  Sew back and forth over the end of the ½” sleeve end making sure to catch the elastic cord.

 10.  Sew a button to each end of the ½” sleeve- slightly inside the hemmed edge so as not to have to sew through the knot of the elastic cord

 We'd love to hear how these work out for you!  E-mail us at

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