Games for Pets: Build this DIY cat playhouse in less than 15 minutes

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My new adoptee Wes, who has Cerebellar Hypoplasia, and foster kitten Peekaboo (also with CH) from K9Kastle in NYC love their playhouse.

diy cat playhouseThis article is the latest in our series on environmental enrichment for pets, offering easy ways to keep your pet’s mind and body active.

Cats love to hide, climb, and pounce — and you don’t need to buy expensive cat furniture to help them satisfy those instincts. I built the cat playhouse in the video above with readily available items and in just a few minutes — and as you can see, my cats love it.

What you need:

A sharp knife
Two extra-large cardboard boxes (appliance boxes are perfect, but smaller ones that are big enough to hold your cat may work just as well)
Packing tape


Step 1
Tape one side of each cardboard box closed. Then tape the other side’s open flaps to each other, so one side of each box is shut and the other is taped open, creating a larger surface area inside.

doors.jpg

Step two: door examples


Step 2

Cut two 5- 10″ openings into each box. The openings can be circular or square and go on any side of the box — even the top!

For a fun doorway that’s also a peephole, try cutting three sides of a square door, but leaving the fourth side attached to the box. (Tip: Place one hole at ground level on each box and then create another at chest level or above so your cat can look out.) It should go without saying that this should be done very carefully.

Step 3
enrichment photos 019b.JPG

Steps three and four

Lay box 1 on its long side so its open side is perpendicular to the ground. Lay box 2 on its short side so its open side is perpendicular to the ground, but so the box stands taller than the first.

Step 4
Tape the two open sides together so the bottom and one side of each box are taped directly to the other matching side. Reinforce the bond by crisscrossing the tape at the top corner where the two open sides meet (see the spot circled in red in the photo). This will leave one side of the playhouse completely closed while creating peepholes on the top and to one side.

Step 5
Toss in some catnip and your cat’s favorite toy, then leave the playhouse for your cat to discover.

No matter what you do, don’t push your cat inside — let him inspect the playhouse and get comfortable with it first. I’d bet that, before you know it, your cats will go as crazy for their new playhouse as my own do.


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