Quick Project: Cat Toy

After one too many hours of looking at cat videos, I started searching online for environmental enrichment devices (for your cat they’d probably be called “toys”).  Before I dropped too much cash, I realized that I could repurpose an old shipping box we had kicking around the apartment.

First, the stats:

  • Difficulty: 🙀 / 5 frustrated cats
  • Success: 😻 😻 / 2 happy cats

You’ll need packing tape, something for cutting cardboard (I used a cheapo steak knife), some small cat toys, and a cardboard box that isn’t bigger than 2x the length of your cat’s arms (legs?) in any dimension.  I used a medium sized Amazon shipping box.

Take your box and cut the shorter flaps off one side.  Tape that side closed.  Submit to a cat scan.

Opal inspects the box; the shorter flaps on the inside have been removed.

Cut one of the flaps you removed into 4 long thin rectangles.  Score a right angle into the rectangles using the corner of the other piece.  Cut a few chunks out of the other one.

Bend each of the 4 small pieces as shown below.

Use the small pieces to reinforce the inside of the top and bottom of the box so that it will hold up to 20 lbs of cat at a time.

Tape the flap with the chunks cut out of it to one of the remaining flaps, fold the remaining small flaps down and tape them to the reinforcement pieces. Trim one into a large triangle, and the other to match the de-chunked piece. This will be the top side of the cat toy.

Sorry this is like 3 steps in one.

Tape the box closed. Keep the tape-eating cat away from the sticker shreds.

Now the fun part: cut a bunch of holes in the top and sides of the toy, trying to avoid the double-thickness parts on top and using a variety of hole sizes.

Grab a handful of your cats’ favorite small toys and stuff them in the box.  These mice are basically the best cat toy ever – other mouse toys don’t compare, even if they LOOK the same, the cats know the difference (available from Amazon).

Fern inspects the mousies.

Put the box out somewhere the cats will find it and enjoy the show.

10 minutes later: