A pictorial tour of the many glorious uses of the cardboard box as an enrichment tool for your cat. It is so much more than "just a box".
It's a hideout or cubbyhole
Cats take great comfort in the safety and security that a cardboard box can offer. As a species that is both predator and prey they like to feel protected and "have their back."
As a predator, boxes provide a great ambush opportunity for pouncing on unsuspecting friends!
An impromptu cat condo
Boxes can stack in many configurations to create a cardboard castle for your cats.
Can't afford a cat condo?
Just moved and not sure where to put vertical space for your cats? No problem! Stack up some boxes and you are all set.
Clip them together with binder clips for stability, cut holes in them to allow your cats to climb through the different levels. You can also move them around and reconfigure to renew interest!
A cozy bed
Did you know that cardboard is insulating?
One of the theories as to why cats enjoy cardboard boxes so much is because when they nestle down in one it aids in maintaining their body temperature. This is referred to as maintaining the cats "thermal neutral zone." Meaning they can more easily maintain their body temperature without having to expel much energy.
It's a fun toy!
Do you have a cat that likes to shred paper? Stuffing a box with craft paper, tissue paper, even ripped up brown paper bags can be loads of fun for your cat. Especially if they like to make noise!
Drop in your cat's favorite toys, a few pieces of dry food or treats and they can go fishing through the paper for snacks and treasures.
Use one as a food puzzle
Boxes make great food puzzles!
Cut some holes in a shoe box, tape the lid on, stuff with balls and mice as obstacles, sprinkle in dry kibble or treats.
Small boxes can be a rolling puzzle. Simply cut however many holes in the box you would like, secure it closed and your cats can flip it around to obtain food.
Larger boxes can be food puzzles too.
A neat and tidy way to provide catnip
I hear a lot of complaints about how messy catnip is to provide. First of all, have a catnip party the day before you plan to vacuum or clean your floors. That just makes good sense!
A nice big cardboard box that can be easily rolled and flopped in is a wonderfully tidy way to bring the two worlds of catnip and cardboard together. Two of our kitties favorite things!
As a tunnel
Tunnels are great for new cat safe rooms, shy cats, large open floor plans, and just for fun!
Some cats find the commercially available nylon tunnels too small or too noisy. These cardboard tunnels may be just the texture your cat is looking for! You can cut holes along the side to let in some light and for a great game of peek-a-boo.
A perch or step for a senior
Need a window perch for your cat?
Have a senior who cannot get up on the bed or sofa anymore?
A box can help!
As a feline rooting box
Allow your cat to experience the scents and textures of the outdoors by creating a feline rooting box!
Fill a box with leaves, sticks, pine cones, hay, rocks, small branches, etc. The list is a long one! For added interest throw in a handful of dry food or treats and let them forage among the natural textures!
As a cardboard box race car
Have you ever pushed your cat around the house in a box? Try it!
All three cats depicted here love "cardboard box race car fun." It's a blast.
If your cat is fancy...
For something slightly more upscale these Catty Stacks make a fantastic fort, play arena, hiding spot, window perch, cat condo, you name it! Both versatile and cute if you cannot stand the thought of traditional cardboard boxes all over your house; these are a more decorative alternative.
Just for fun-if it fits it ships!
Cats love to squeeze into small spaces, so next time you get an awesome box, even if you think it is too small, give it to your cat. Let them be the judge!
Fun, free and fantastic!
You really cannot get much more fun for free than giving your cat boxes. My cats are never without one (or five) in the house. Rotate them out so there is always something new to explore. That being said, you may be hard-pressed to throw away an old favorite too. Both choices are good ones.
Enrichment does not need to cost much or be fancy. Give your cat the comfort and fun of a box today!