Boxes are feline magnets, no question about it. There are tons of social media posts out there, joking about our cats overlooking a gift in favor of the box in which it arrived. They aren’t even snobs about the kind of box they occupy. They’ll loaf up inside a shoe box from Payless just as happily as one from Jimmy Choo.
When our family receives a boxed delivery, the three cats are all over the situation. The smell of cardboard brings all the cats to the yard … or the foyer, as it were. They don’t want anything fancy — the box in its pure, naked state pleases them in a million different ways; however, sometimes it’s fun for us humans to fancify things a little bit.
Why should your cat settle for a plain brown box, when you can make it an apartment complex? My kids and I stacked three boxes and created Kitty Village, the hot new building for cats who want to see and be seen. You know, like Melrose Place, but with UPS boxes and cats. In all seriousness, some cats do enjoy height and a safely stacked box could be the perfect little penthouse apartment for little Miss Fancy Puss.
Use markers or stickers to decorate the boxes, and even place apartment numbers on them. Why not? Assign each child one of the boxes and let them design the walls inside each box, drawing “art” on the walls and rugs on the floor. That is, if the cats get out of the boxes long enough for you to complete your art project! Ha ha, I know.
Some friends of ours made a fort for their cat, Frances. It was complete with labeled “petting holes” cut into the sides. Frances’ dog-sister, Etta, read the “No dogz!” sign with a sad face. That’s OK, though, cats with box forts can make their own rules. You know, like a private club. Hand colorful markers to your kids and let them go to town. You could even glue patterned scrapbook paper on the outside, creating a funky look. The possibilities really are endless! Just make sure your materials are pet-safe: Avoid glues or markers with heavy, sometimes dangerous fumes and anything kitty could swallow.
After the holidays, I found myself with an excess of boxes of various sizes an decided to build some fun for my cats. My son joined in, and we concocted a cute little setup for Saffy, Cosmo, and Phoebe.
Soda boxes make perfect tubes, and boxes within boxes are choice. Double your cats’ pleasure! Let your kids plan the forts ahead of time with drawings, and then watch them create their masterpiece. And also watch your cats excitedly watch your kids create the masterpiece. Build it, and they will come.
I added a theatre where a cat could lounge on the “stage” or watch the lounging cat perform several acts of the world-famous show, Sleep.
The whole setup was sort of a little town. Our cats were intrigued and seemed to enjoy the wide variety of boxes. Plus, I believe any kind of project you and your kids can create together is a winner.
So again, you can toss a used Amazon box on the floor and your cat will be completely ecstatic. These silly forts are mostly for us humans to enjoy, but your cats probably won’t walk away from them and will likely be pleased with the various sizes and shapes. And I think they all secretly want to be on stage, anyway. Little divas, they all are.
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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.