Next time you receive a gift or get a package in the mail, don’t kick the box to the curb! Instead, turn it into a fort, puzzle feeder, or scratcher for your favorite feline. These hacks are so simple and satisfying that the whole family will want to join in. So come along! It’s time to think inside the box.
Box Hack #1: Cat Fort
Cats love to explore, climb, and hide, which explains why there is a such huge market for cat forts and cat condos. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your cat the playhouse of their dreams; all you really need is some boxes and a box cutter or X-Acto knife.
When it comes to designing a fort, the possibilities are endless. You can cut holes for your cat (or cats) to squeeze through, create small square windows for peeking, or fashion arched doorways for a fort that’s fit for royalty. Stack boxes, line them up side by side (secret tunnel, anyone?), or spread them out around the house.
If you really want to get creative, you can get out the art supplies and paint the fort to look like a little house, a castle, a hotel, or whatever you dream up.
Box Hack #2: Cat Puzzle Feeder
What if you could feed your cat, provide them mental stimulation, and satisfy their hunting instincts all at once? Puzzle feeders — games that require your cat to problem solve in order to get their food — do just that. There are plenty of cat puzzle feeders for sale at pet stores, but you can easily make your own at home.
What will you need? A small cardboard box and a box cutter or X-Acto knife should do the trick.
1. Seal up the box if it is open. If it is a box with a lid, tape or glue the lid so that it will not separate from the box.
2. Cut holes into the top of the box. The holes should be big enough that your cat can reach their paws through and fish out the food.
3. Give it a test drive. Put the box on the ground and let your kitty have at it. If they are having trouble reaching the food, make the holes a bit larger. You can also cut off the bottoms of plastic water bottles (make sure they are sanitized!) and stick them into the holes, then fill those with food. This will give your cat easier access, but will be less challenging.
You can also use the puzzle feeder for games that don’t involve food. Stick your cat’s favorite toys into the holes — a mini mouse, a bell, a fuzzy ball — and watch them go wild.
RELATED STORY: How To Play With A Cat
Box Hack #3: Cat Scratcher
Cats love to scratch, and sometimes, our furniture or pocketbooks suffer for it. Fortunately, making a cat scratcher at home is ridiculously easy. All you’ll need is some corrugated cardboard boxes, a ruler, a box cutter/X-acto knife, glue, and masking tape.
1. Cut strips of cardboard that are all the same width. You can make the scratcher as wide or narrow as you want. For a wider scratcher, you’ll need more strips.
2. Once you have all of your strips cut, you can make either a round or square scratcher. To make a round scratcher, simply wrap the strips around each other with a line of glue between each layer. Once you have all of the strips wrapped, seal the whole thing off with masking tape (you can even get a decorative kind with a fun pattern).
To make a square or rectangular scratcher, run a line of glue along the center of each strip, stack them all together, and then apply pressure for several minutes until they are packed tightly. Then, seal off the edges with masking tape, or place the scratcher into a box where it will fit snugly (like a shoe box).
Your cat will probably be waiting in the wings to get access to their new scratcher, but if they need a little encouragement, sprinkle some catnip on top.
RELATED STORY: Treat Your Cat To A Catnip Surprise
Making DIY projects at home is just one savvy way to save on your cat’s supplies. If you want to save even more, consider signing up for PetPlus. PetPlus offers discounts of up to 75% on pet medications, and ordering is so easy! Have any other money-saving tips for pets? Leave a comment below and let us know!