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How many times have you bought your cat a new toy or invested in a scratching post or cat tree, only to find that they are much more interested in the box that it came in? Cats of all ages love empty cardboard boxes and it doesn’t matter what size or shape they are. So, what is it that makes cardboard boxes so attractive?
Provide a sense of security and comfort. Boxes provide an enclosed, secure space where your cat will feel safe – in fact, the smaller the box the better. Sitting or lying in a cardboard box, gives your cat a sense of security knowing that they are protected and safe from attack by predators. Add a comfortable blanket to the box, and your cat will be snug and warm and as happy as can be.
Satisfy predatory instinct. Part of being a cat, is being able to hide and then stalk and pounce on a predator. A cardboard box provides the perfect environment for surveying the outside world virtually unseen and when the moment is right – ambushing another cat when they walk past. It’s all about the thrill of the game.
Allow a birds eye view. Some cats love heights and feel safer off the ground. Tall boxes, or boxes stacked on top of one another give your cat a birds eye view of the room where they can safely observe what is happening around them.
Provide chewing and scratching surfaces. Cardboard boxes are fun to chew especially for teething kittens and the corrugated edge of boxes make them perfect scratching surfaces, just check out some of the commercial scratching toys available today that are made from corrugated cardboard.
Encourage playtime. Cats love to play and boxes provide many opportunities to have fun. They can hide in the box and ambush other cats that walk past. They can jump in and out of the box, and climb to the top. You can add one of your cat’s toys to the box, or cut out a few holes in the side so your cat can see out and stick his paw out to swat another cat [or you] when you walk by. The possibilities are endless…
Providing an empty box or two is an environmentally friendly [you can recycle the box when they’re finished with it] and inexpensive toy that will provide your cat with hours of entertainment. Just make sure that your cat can get in and out of the box easily and that there is no risk of them becoming trapped inside.
How does your cat react when you leave an empty cardboard box in the room? Please share…