If I’m remembering correctly – when we first adopted our cat Avery, he absolutely hated cardboard boxes. He refused to be placed in them – immediately jumping out whenever we tried, and would never dare go near them on his own. I used to think this was the most peculiar thing on earth since cats are typically obsessed with the things, but I wrote it off assuming maybe it was possible not every cat was a fan of boxes.
It’s hard to remember back to those days since early on, he actually did a full 180, and within a year of us having him developed an otaku for boxes of all kinds. My guess is that sometime in the first few months, as he got used to his new home and his cushy new life (he was a stray/feral cat we found and took in) he started inching his way toward cardboard boxes, or we started placing him in them and he stayed for some time before hopping out, then stayed in boxes longer and longer the more he was placed. My memory is fuzzy so it’s hard for me to remember the exacts.
I’m convinced part of the reason Avery hated cardboard boxes had something to do with the fact that he was a stray/feral kitten. Maybe he’d had a terrible experience outdoors related to a confined space? Not quite sure, but either way, he’s now a full-on addict like all the rest of the cats in the world.
Picture from post When your cat finds the perfect sized box…
Now that he’s grown into boxes, I really haven’t met a cat who’s not into the cubed, angled things. We met Avery because we were cat-sitting for a friend’s very pesky cat, Weiss, and he was so obsessed with boxes he’d cram his mildly overweight body into any he thought he even had a chance of fitting into. That included soda boxes that would have to bend to accommodate his shape. But give that cat a box and he was always a happy camper.
When it comes to cat toys and products that make use of this passion cats mostly all seem to have for boxes, the pickings can be a little slim. Cat toy boxes exist, they’re usually either wood, MDF, or cardboard boxes with holes in them that allow a cat to poke his or her hand in, grab toys, and continue this method of foraging for as long as interesting things remain inside. These are really great toys for cats home alone if your cat will play with them, and while – if your cat is anything like mine – they may be less than interesting with simply toys kept inside, place a couple pieces of kibble or dental treats, and that toy will miraculously turn into something ever-so-engaging.
There are whack-a-mole style cat toy boxes as well, which look incredibly promising, there are a few poker-box style mentally challenging box toys out there for cats. Then in the non-toy department, there are a slew of box and cube inspired pet furniture pieces – from cat houses to cat cubes, to box shaped modular cat trees. I’ve done my best to showcase a huge mishmash of all sorts of products in this post, and have written up viable alternatives I’ve found in the descriptions of the products as well.
Know of any more box or cube inspired toys or cat product that might be a huge hit? Let me know in the comments below! Always love trying out new things for my Avery. Now let’s get into it..
Picture from post The Pesky Houseguest: Weiss the Cat
Toy Boxes & Other Cubed Pet Products for Cats
Starting out in the number one spot are these high-quality cat toy puzzle boxes with holes. I think this SmartCat Peek-a-Prize in particular is probably the most popular amongst pet owners. It’s fairly big, incredibly sturdy – which makes it easy for a cat to even stand on it with no issues, is a very easy toy to use in a multi-cat household since, once it’s filled with toys or kibble, multiple cats can easily dig for treasure without getting in each other’s way, it’s got deep corners that might make this box a little more challenging if pieces get stuck in there, and all round, seems to be quite well liked by cats.
If you’re looking for something similar, direct alternatives include Tribal Produce Puzzle Box & the smaller version by SmartCat – the Peek and Play Toy Box. Cat ended up loving toys he or she could dig paws into and grab something out of? Looking for something completely different but that uses the same drive to pull and drag out? The ANG Hide & Seek Game Pop-up Collapsible Puzzle and the ever-so-popular SnugglyCat The Ripple Rug should do the trick there.
This is a cat toy I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. My cat Avery loves a game I play with him where I run the butt of a feather teaser wand under a bath mat for him to pull and sneak under the carpet to grab. I have always had a feeling whack-a-mole style toys would be up his alley for that reason, though I’ve sadly never tried them yet. High up on my list, though!
Hugs Whack-a-Mouse box in particular looks incredible to me. It’s aesthetically so darn cute, and can be played with two ways, with a full square panel on the top, or a paw with holes it in on the bottom. I love the idea of using this to play with Avery.
If you think whack-a-mole type toys will be up your cat’s alley, but would rather an automatic version instead, take a peek at the OurPets Catty Whack, introduced to me by Caren from Caren and Cody, whose cat strongly recommends this toy!). There’s also the Animal Planet Automatic Peek-a-Boo Mouse & Cheese Interactive Toy, the Pawaboo Cat Toy Electronic Mouse, and the Iconic Pet Knock ‘N’ Roll Interactive Spinning Cat Toy that may be up your feline’s alley!
You know, while I’m not a fan of buying cardboard toys for my cats or products that in general will not live for a lifetime if there are alternatives, when it comes to this particular cardboard cat toy box, I feel like this puzzle feeder’s got the right idea. It’s not just about the holes, it’s got physical obstacles inside, making this cat puzzle box look like it’d be ever so much more challenging than a typical puzzle feeder.
When I used to DIY puzzle feeders out of flat cardboard boxes myself, one of the most frustrating things I found was that Avery eventually mastered it to the point where he pulled out his food in under 10 minutes with a considerable amount of kibble, when I’d really rather it have taken him longer. I used to stuff toys in there to provide obstacles, but my bet is these would do a lot better insofar as slowing him down goes.
There are other cardboard toy boxes, but they don’t look as good to me as this particular one, and though a few of them, like the Bartonisen Puzzle Box Feeder Treat Maze Scratcher & Kitty City Scratching Post, Cat Bed, Cat Toy, Cat Cube combine this element with others to make decent products, I can’t help but feel it’s better to just get one good puzzle box, one good scratcher, etc. all separate, but you may disagree about that.
I love Trixie’s products. They’re typically so high quality and well thought out, and are reasonably challenging for pets who, like mine, need engagement and mental stimulation thrown into their day. I tried Trixie’s 5-in-1 Activity Board and it was excellent; click here if you’re interested in reading through my review.
This particular poker box cat toy is along the same lines to an extent – you put some food in and your cat has to work to get it out and have its snack. But because it’s a different behaviour than any of the elements on the 5-in-1 board (which had a cat pull out, push around, and lick out food), I think having this poker box, as well as some other feeder toys from Trixie would make for a more engaging, challenging routine for lunches or snacks. I do think I will always feed Avery dinners, however, in his Catit Senses Food Maze. That toy is perfection when it comes to feeder puzzles.
Trixie also has the poker box activity in Level 2, which I think is meant to be more challenging than the first. Trixie’s Brain Mover also looks like an amazing puzzle board that’s similar to the poker box activity.
Now, we all know every cat needs to scratch, so if your cat loves cardboard, and your cat loves boxes, and your cat loves hanging out, I can’t see how this scratch lounge box could ever be a miss. I can’t believe all the pictures shared in the reviews section of Amazon about this product – those cats could not look happier… I mean come on; all their favourite things in one package so I suppose it’s not too surprising.
This genius reviewer also pointed out how scratchers with underlays like this work amazingly well next to litter boxes: “so your kitties ‘wipe’ their paws and you can easily dump the litter that collects in the box.” Oh so clever! Especially since personally I hate stray litter so very much!
Alternatives to this boxy-cat scratcher include: PAWABOO Cat Scratcher Lounge, which is literally a scratcher box that your cats can even go into and hide and nap in – looks amazing. The Understated Corrugated Kittyblock, which is incredibly similar and aesthetically looks so cool! For less boxy scratchers that are incredibly popular, there’s the Necoichi Cat-headed Scratcher Bed & the Pawmosa Vertical Cardboard Cat Scratcher, the second of which is I guess half a box, chopped diagonally, haha.
There are quite a number of lovely things you can gift another cat owner. I’ve personally tended to gift some of my favourite pet products (cat springs, the Catit Senses Food Maze, the Sturdibox portable litter box) or cat toys my Avery wouldn’t play with but that I knew other cats would love (like the OurPets Annette Catnip Fish or the Catit Digger Food Tunnel Toy), but I’ve only ever gifted to family and not friends, and if I were to gift to friends, I’d probably buy something prettier for humans to look at like this box set.
An alternative that looks more fun for cats – the Cat Is Good 12-Piece Pounce Toy Gift Box, and one for friends who love sushi – Munchiecat Sushi Toys for Cats Set. The Prime Pet Box Premium Cat Gift Box Care Package also looks great, and oh so fun for kitties.
Now onto the cardboard cat houses, because for cats’ enjoyment – these look absolutely amazing! I have a feeling they’d be quite easy to DIY, but if you’re not the DIY sort and just want a few cardboard products around the house your cat will love to run down, this particular cat lounge and the Vencer Recyclable Cardboard Cat House Scratcher look like great options to me.
I’ve never seen stack-able/modular cat houses quite like these Cat Stacks Cubes. I mean, they look like they’d be absolutely addictive for cats to be in, and you can stack them in so many different ways it’s ridiculous! I’d imagine they’d be quite good for those looking to keep their cats on their toes with novelty, because they could essentially have a new cat tree every day if you took the short time it time to re-arrange it for them every morning.
The Cat Lovebox Indoor Cat Tree House Condo Box 4 Pack are more or less the same idea, but may look aesthetically better to you. For a higher end version of the same – there’s the BeOneBreed Katt3 Kube.
If you’ve ever tried modular cat cube condos like these, please let me know how you liked them in the comments! They look so so good to me!
Of course, no list of cubed cat products would be complete without the ever-so-popular cat cube! I have no idea why I put off having one of these for so long. I guess since I’m in a studio apartment, I bought a lot initially, then when the space filled up, I completely stopped buying anything more that could clutter my small space. But these cat cubes are perfect for small spaces, as they can be easily moved around, placed in a new spot each day, to keep cats feeling a sense of novelty yet familiarity.
Factoring a cat’s obsession with boxes into your choice of cat tree is also completely viable these days. Actually, a lot of the most gorgeous, modern cat trees, like this Vesper V-Box cat tree, are based on cubes and boxes. Like the Designer Pet Products The Sebastian Modern Cat Tree which is pretty pricey, but looks more like art than a cat tree to me. Trixie also makes a Lilo de Luxe Cube-Tower that fits the same criteria, though this one’s covered in sisal and fabric, which looks less pretty, but also more appealing to cats to me.
Do Your Cats Love Boxes & Cubes?
Do your cats love boxes? Cubes? Have you ever met a cat who doesn’t?
What are your cats’ favourite types of box and cube related items? Obviously, besides what I do believe has to be the #1 of all time for pretty near well all cats – the humble cardboard box.
Are there any box or cube related cat products your felines have been completely disinterested in? Are there any that some of your cats have liked while others have ignored?
Can’t wait to hear about your experiences in the comments below!