Love your kitties? Looking for a fun DIY? My DIY raised cat bowls project will help you create a beautiful feeder for your spoiled kitties. An elevated cat feeder will help contain cat food mess and help senior kitties eat easier at feeding time.
DIY elevated cat feeder plans!
I’ve really been on a kick with projects for my cats (did you see my DIY cat tree using real tree branches?!), and I have another to add to that list today: a raised feeder for their food bowls! I’m starting to wonder if the babies are really appreciating all the hard work I put into things for them…
For my feeder, I used a piece of scrap oak. It isn’t as fancy as my inspiration pics, but it was a ton cheaper…as in, it was free! I already had the wood and all other supplies I needed. This makes a great scrap wood project since it doesn’t require much wood.
Here’s what I used:
- A piece of wood big enough for the bowls.
- A hole saw with an attachment size that matches the bowl diameter. (Optional: If you don’t have a hole saw attachment or you don’t have a drill powerful enough to drive a hole saw through wood, you can use a jigsaw instead.)
- Two bowls with lips on the top—this is necessary because it will allow the bowls to sit in the holes without falling through.
- Legs—I chose to use two pieces that we cut off of the bigger piece when we cut it down to size.
- Stain and finish. I used Minwax Wood Finish in Espresso and Minwax Polyurethane in Semi-Gloss.
- Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive. (Optional: Nailgun or hammer and small nails for extra reinforcement.)
- Assorted sandpaper—I used 150 and 220 grit.
And here’s how I made my DIY raised cat bowls feeder!
Step 1: Prep the wood for the DIY raised feeder
First I prepped the main piece of wood. I used a piece of oak from the wood scrap pile. I needed a piece that was big enough to hold the diameter of the bowls. Since my two bowls are roughly 4 inches in diameter, we cut out piece down to 16″ x 5.5″.
Once it was cut to size, we measured and marked where we needed to drill the bowl holes. If you can use a softer wood like pine, that’s probably the best option. Oak is really hard, and it can be difficult to cut through. Working with scraps is always my favorite option, though 🙂
Step 2: Drill the cat bowl holes
Next we drilled the holes. We clamped our piece in place because sawing the hole saw through oak was a b! My dad actually did this part because he is experienced (he is a licensed contractor), and I do not work well with the hole saw. Our roughly 4-inch bowls fit perfectly into the holes made by a 4-inch hole saw. The lip on the bowls kept them from falling through.
If you don’t want to buy a hole saw attachment or don’t have a drill strong enough to drive a hole saw attachment through wood, you can use a jigsaw. This will just take a pretty steady hand, and the circles probably won’t be super perfect. But the cut areas will largely be hidden by the bowls, so it’s not a huge deal.
Step 3: Cut the legs for the DIY elevated cat feeder
For the legs, we wanted something that we could make using the scraps we created when we cut the main piece down to size. I cut a longer scrap piece in half and was lucky that it created legs exactly the length I needed!
Before I started this project, I’d experimenting with different heights by putting their food bowls up on something. I found that girlie wouldn’t really touch the food if it were higher than 2 inches off the ground, so I kept my legs very short.
Step 4: Polish and stain the pieces
I used 150-grit sandpaper to clean up the main piece and two legs, rounding the edges and buffing away rougher spots. I ran the sandpaper in a circular motion around the inside of the two circular cuts. Then I used 220 grit to polish the entire piece.
When I was happy with how smooth it was, I wiped all three pieces down and stained them using Minwax Wood Finish in Espresso. You can stain and finish yours as desired—or you can leave it unfinished. I do recommend a sealant coat, though, to make it easy to clean. Something like a few coats of polyurethane or polycrylic.
Step 5: Glue and finish the raised feeder
When the stain had dried, I positioned the legs and glued them on using Gorilla Glue. Disclaimer! I think I kind of hate Gorilla Glue for projects like this and would suggest using Liquid Nails instead, but I didn’t have any on hand. I just hate how Gorilla Glue expands so unpredictably as it dries. I ended up having to clean up the edges around the glued area as the glue expanded.
Here’s my very advanced setup for applying pressure while the glue dries. You can obviously use bar clamps. That’d be preferable. But this had to do in my apartment without a workshop!
When the glue was dry enough, I gave the pieces two coats of Minwax Polyurethane in Semi-Gloss, sanding lightly with 220-grit sandpaper between the first and second coats. Polyurethane or polycrylic is a necessary step to seal the wood. If the wood is seals, you can easily wipe down the raised feeder to keep it clean.
Finished DIY raised cat feeder!
Here are a few closeups of my finished DIY raised cat feeder, the bowls fitting perfectly in the holes, and my sweet Henry giving the elevated feeder a test run! (You can also check out my DIY raised dog bowls feeder if you have a pup.)
- A piece of wood big enough for the bowls and two smaller pieces for legs
- Two pet bowls with lips
- Stain and finish
- Strong glue (optional: Nailgun or hammer and nails in addition to the glue)
- Assorted sandpaper
- A hole saw attachment that matches the bowl diameter
- Powerful drill
- Cut the main piece of wood down to a size appropriate for your bowls. My bowls are roughly 4 inches in diameter, so I cut my piece to 16 inches by 5 1/2 inches.
- Mark where the centers of each hole will be; use a hole saw attachment and powerful drill to drill two holes. I used a 4-inch hole saw attachment.
- Cut two small pieces of wood to elevate the main piece of the feeder; mine were two scrap pieces about 1 1/2 inches tall.
- Sand rough spots using 150-grit sandpaper; use 220-grit sandpaper to polish the pieces.
- Use strong wood glue to attach the legs to the bottom of the feeder's main piece. Apply pressure to ensure the glue gets a good bond. (Note: You can use nails to further reinforce the bond, but I chose not to)
- Stain and finish as desired. Add bowls.
If you don't have a hole saw attachment or a drill powerful enough to use a hole saw attachment, you can use a jigsaw instead. I don't have a jigsaw.