Upcycling Boxes for Your Pets

Even with packaging improvements over the years, you are probably still left with a lot of boxes from your online shopping. What can you do with those boxes, other than recycle them? Well, if you’ve got pets, the answer is quite a lot! Read on for ideas on upcycling boxes into new and better toys for your pets. 

Cats In Boxes: The Easiest Toy 

Gray tabby relaxing in a box on the floor

If you have cats, you probably don’t need to read this article to know that your cat loves new boxes. Cats are known to try and get into boxes before the object or packing material is even removed. So this hits the top of our list: give the boxes to your cats. Cats tend to like boxes up high: on counters, or tables, or couches. And they like to be the center of attention, so don’t put the box in a corner of a rarely used room. Let your cat feel the limelight as they bask in their new favorite toy. 

Arts & Crafts: Cat Furniture With Cardboard Boxes

If you have a lot of boxes -- and we do mean a lot -- you can consider a larger craft for your cat, rat, or other curious animal. The two most popular cardboard box projects we see are cat scratchers, and cat castles. Both of these could be modified for other pets. 

To make a cardboard cat scratcher, all you’ll need is a cutting tool (box cutter, scissors, or Xacto knife), and some glue. Decide what shape you want your cat scratcher to be, then start cutting strips of cardboard. For example, if you want a rectangular cat scratcher, you’ll cut thin strips of cardboard, then glue them together. The small edge (“thickness”) of the cardboard is the corrugated scratchy part. It’ll take a lot of cardboard to make a scratcher, but they do last a while and provide lots of fun for your cat.

Another, easier project for your cat is a cat castle. You should only use sturdy boxes for this, as you don’t want it to collapse under your cat’s weight. Cut doors and windows for your cat to squeeze their body (or just a paw) through, and then stack and glue/tape your boxes together. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can add some homemade cat scratches to the mix, too. If you want to make the cat castle more permanent, you may want to add a little bit of wood to give it more structure and security. Use non-toxic paint or markers to spruce up your design. We guarantee your cat won’t be able to stay away. 

 A daschund standing up in a cardboard box

Cardboard Box Tricks For Your Dog

If you’re a dog owner, your dog probably doesn’t want to lounge in boxes. That’s ok -- there are other things you can do with them! Boxes are large and lightweight, which make them great training tools for your dog. You can start training the desired behavior (retrieving or placing a box, for example) with an empty cardboard box. Then, as your dog starts generalizing the command, you can have him switch over to other objects: toys, drinks, the classic newspaper, etc. 

If your dog is smaller than the box, you can also use it as a way to teach him to jump into, on top of, or over. These mini-agility classes are sure to keep your dog occupied for hours.

What do you do with boxes? Share your creations and tag us on Instagram or Facebook!