Turn excess vacation boxes into hangouts for your cat

The holiday season brings with it an endless supply of boxes, making it an exciting time for cats! Crates of all kinds, from shipping boxes to shoeboxes to gift boxes, provide alluring places for cats to hide and take a nap.

Cats were born to love boxes! They instinctively look for safe hiding places. Open boxes with tall sides help Kitty feel safe inside while she can peek over the edge to see what’s going on. Closed boxes offer even more privacy both at lunchtime and at game time. And don’t forget about flat, open boxes either! They make great cat beds.

Here are some creative ideas on how to turn those excess vacation boxes into attractive and functional hangouts for your cat. There’s no need to leave ugly boxes lying around. make them festive and fun!

Simple bed box

Everyone knows the “cat trap effect” when you throw a box on the floor and a cat occupies it within seconds. Why not dress up that ugly old box for the holidays? Take a flat open box, decorate the outside, add a soft blanket or small pillow, and now kitty is sitting pretty!

Each box is sufficient because we all know that cats are liquid and squeeze themselves in the smallest of spaces!

I recommend using water-based colored pencils to decorate the outside of your boxes. Colored pencils have an opaque surface that shows up nicely on cardboard. Ideally, look for colored pencils that are ACMI approved, which means they are certified non-toxic. Be careful not to add decorations such as beads or sequins that could pose a choking hazard to cats. Safety first!


Turn a bigger box into a gingerbread house for kittens to play and nap in. First, cut off two opposite flaps and cut the other two flaps into triangles to create a pointed roof. You will need an additional piece of flat cardboard to make the roof.
Cut out windows and doors and decorate the outside. I used white and gold colored pencils to create a “frosting” effect. Trace overlapping semicircles on the roof to look like shingles. Hot glue the roof onto the triangular flaps and let Kitty enjoy her new vacation home.

Peek-a-boo box

Here is your chance to get creative! Take a box with taller sides (this measures approximately 12 x 12 x 6 inches high) and carefully cut off the flaps with a utility knife.

Find something round and draw circles of different sizes on each side. Now carefully cut out the circles to create peepholes that cats can look into and pierce their paws.

Save the round pieces of cardboard you cut out and hot glue them to the outside of the box for extra three-dimensional decoration. Now use colored pencils or water-based markers to decorate the outside of your box. Place a piece of fleece or felt inside to add a pop of color and create a soft place for kittens to rest.

When reusing an old box, remove any staples, tape, or plastic labels that could pose a choking hazard to your cat. To close the box I like to use hot glue on the inside of the flaps instead of tape. (Will you try? We’d love to see your version – send a picture to [email protected])

Why cardboard?

Cats are drawn to cardboard because it is the perfect texture to scratch, rub, and chew. Because cardboard is soft, it absorbs the smell of a cat and creates a sense of ownership. This is why your cat keeps coming back to the same old crate that she loves so much. It belongs to him! So use those cardboard boxes again to make sure it’s a very happy time of year for Kitty.

Read Next: How To Use An Amazon Box To Keep Your Cat Entertained All Day


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