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How to Carve a Wooden Cat: The Detailed Guide on How to Whittle a Cat

by Roman Law 18 Apr 2023 0 Comments

How to carve a wooden cat

If you're a cat lover, you know how much joy these feline creatures bring into your lives. But what if we told you that you could bring the same joy into your home with a beautifully carved wood cat? Carved wooden cats are an impressive decoration that will make any cat enthusiast purr with delight.

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of how to whittle a cat, including the materials and tools you'll need, how long it takes, and step-by-step instructions on how to make your own carved wood cat. So, if you want to know all these secrets, keep reading.

wooden cat

What Materials Do You Need for Cat Carving?

To create carved wooden cats, you'll need a few basic materials. The most important is a block of wood – softwood such as basswood or pine is a good option for beginners. You'll also need a pattern or design for your cat, which you can find online or draw yourself. Other essential materials include wood glue, finishing oil or wax, and sandpaper.

glued wooden block

What Tools Do You Need to Carve a Cat Out of Wood?

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced woodcarver, having the right tools can make all the difference in the quality and ease of your carving. To carve a wooden cat, you'll need some essential tools to shape and refine the wood:

  • Wood carving knives and chisels for shaping and removing wood from the larger areas of the carving;
  • Gouges in various sizes and shapes for cutting and shaping curves and contours in the wood;
  • Wood rasp or file for smoothing rough edges or removing larger amounts of wood quickly;
  • Sandpaper for finishing and smoothing the surface of cat carving;
  • Pencil, marker or pen for sketching the cat design on the wood before carving;
  • Carving gloves, safety tape, or a thumb guard to protect your hands from accidental cuts;
  • Workbench or sturdy surface – to provide a stable work area for safety and to prevent the wood from moving while carving.

carving knives

How Much Time Does It Take to Whittle a Cat?

Carving a wooden cat takes time and patience, and the time it takes to whittle a cat will depend on your skill level and the complexity of the design. A simple cat wood carving can be completed in a few hours, while more detailed wood relief carving cat projects may take several days. It's important not to rush the process – take your time and enjoy the carving experience.

Step-By-Step Cat Carving Guide

Now that you have all the necessary materials and tools, it's time to start carving your wooden cat. Follow these steps and create a beautifully carved wood cat that you can proudly display in your home or give as a gift. Let's get started and bring your creative vision to life.

Choose the Right Wood for Cat Carving

Choosing the suitable wood for your cat carving project is crucial because it can affect the outcome of your carving. Different types of wood have different textures, densities, and grains, making them easier or harder to carve. Softwoods like basswood or pine are ideal for beginners because they are easy to carve, whereas hardwoods like oak or maple require more advanced carving skills due to their density and hardness. Additionally, the type of wood you choose can also impact the overall look and feel of your finished cat wood carving.

wooden blank

Prepare Templates of Wooden Cat Pattern

Once you have chosen the right wood, the next step is to prepare the pattern or template of the wooden cat. You can either draw the pattern yourself or print it from online sources. If you're looking for a wide selection of cat wood carving patterns, including simple cat wood carving designs and more intricate ones, you can check out BeaverCraft's 150+ wood carving patterns collection. To access the collection, send a request through our website, and get the link for downloading the patterns via email.

Prepare Whittling Tools

Before you start working on your cat wood carving, prepare your tools. Clean and sharpen your carving knives, chisels, and gouges, and ensure you have everything you need at hand. You can find all the tools, sharpening accessories, and more on our official website.

whittling knives

Draw or Trace the Outline of the Cat into the Wood

Transfer the pattern onto the wooden block using a pencil, marker, or pen. You can do this by tracing the outline of your cat onto the wood or using carbon paper. Make sure to correctly position the pattern onto the wood to avoid any mistakes.

wooden cat pattern

Carving the Basic Shape

After the outline is traced onto the wood, it's time to start carving the basic shape of the wooden cat. Begin by removing large wood chunks using a whittling knife or flat chisel. Take your time and carve slowly, using light and smooth strokes. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and always carve away from your body.

Add Details to the Wooden Cat

Once you're satisfied with the overall shape and size of the cat, pay close attention to the details you want to incorporate. Add your personal touch to the carving to create a realistic-looking carved wood cat. Use small carving knives, gouges, and V-chisels to add details such as the cat's snout, whiskers, ears, paws, fur texture, and more. Remember that the more details you add, the more time it will require to complete the carving.

carving wooden cat

Sand the Wooden Cat with Sandpaper

When you've finished working on your cat wood carving, use sandpaper to smooth the surface of the wood. Start with coarse grit sandpaper and work up to finer grit sandpaper. It will help remove all the tool marks and give your carved wood cat a smooth finish.

Finish the Wooden Cat

The final step is to finish the carved wood cat. Apply a finishing oil or wax to protect the wood and give it a nice shine. You can also paint the cat if you prefer a colorful look. Again, take your time and apply the finish carefully.

Conclusions and Tips about Cat Carving

Carving a wooden cat is a fun and rewarding experience. Choose the right wood, gather all the necessary tools and materials, and take your time carving. Don't rush the process; always prioritize safety. Carving gloves or safety tape can protect your hands from accidental cuts, and a dust mask can prevent you from inhaling wood particles.

If you need any help finding quality carving tools, cat wood carving patterns, and supplies, BeaverCraft is always here to help you. We have a wide range of products that can assist you in creating beautiful carved wooden cats and other wood carvings.

So, keep carving and experimenting with different designs until you become a wood carving master!



Roman Law

Wood carving guru

From a childhood enchanted by nature, my passion for wood carving guided me on a path of creativity. With a pocket knife, I uncovered the transformative power of my hands, breathing life into driftwood and forging a lifelong connection with the medium.
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BeaverCraft Company guarantees that:

Each tool is tested and undergoes strict quality control. Our tools are professionally-sharpened and come razor-sharp ready to use right out of the box. Every instrument has a sturdy construction, and its blade is securely glued and firmly attached to the handle. The tool blade is made of hardenable carbon steel and hardened to 56+ HRC. Our tools will not break if appropriately used (only for wood carving jobs).

The warranty does not cover the following cases:

Normal wear and tear of the product. Each customer should independently maintain the sharpness of the purchased tool. Loss of sharpness during operation is not a reason for the repair or replacement of the tool manufactured by BeaverCraft. Misuse or abuse. BeaverCraft tools are designed for hand carving only. Lack of maintenance and cleaning (learn about tool care). Defects resulting from incorrect tool storage are not reasons for replacement. Self-repair, modification, disassembly, and other human behavior that causes damage. Tool loss.

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Please contact our customer service team if any BeaverCraft tool has failed due to manufacturing defects or doesn't match the listing description. Let us know what happened; attach a picture of the instrument that clearly shows the problem, and describe how you used the tool. We also require further information, such as your contact details which include the following: your name, phone number, address, and email address that you can send to We will replace the tool with a new one at our own expense and pay all the shipping costs.

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The ten years guarantee applies only to wood carving tools from BeaverCraft. Always pay extreme attention when unpacking, using, or sharpening any of our tools. BeaverCraft tools are not designed as weapons and should never be used as such. Injuries occurring during the careless use or improper maintenance of BeaverCraft tools are a risk that our customers are aware of. You should never forget safety precautions and follow the correct procedure for using wood carving tools. Children should not use BeaverCraft tools without adult supervision.

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