5 min read

5 Easy DIY Cardboard Box Crafts for Cats


Written by Emily Bayne

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 06/19/2022, edited: 08/18/2022


Cats and boxes go together like salt and pepper. If you're like most cat parents, the second you open up a package and remove the contents, your cat views it as an invitation to climb right in. 

Why do cats like boxes? Because a good box offers them a safe hiding spot where they can sleep, observe their surroundings, and even pounce on their housemates if the urge strikes. While your cat would be purr-fectly content with a beat-up shoe box, these 5 simple cardboard box crafts are sure to impress your kitty! Next time you receive a box in the mail, don't throw it out ‚ÄĒ transform it into one of these exciting cat crafts!

Craft materials to avoid

Before we dive in to these cardboard box tutorials for cats, we need to discuss which craft products to avoid when designing things for your pets to use. Here are some materials we advise against using for pet-related crafts:  

  • Hanging strings or rope that may get wrapped around the cat's neck or swallowed
  • Toxic paint or glue, which can make pets sick if they ingest them ‚ÄĒ opt for non-toxic brands instead
  • Embellishments that might pose a choking hazard, like rhinestones

Now that we've covered what not to use, let's explore some ways to turn your cardboard waste into some fun kitty creations! 

orange cat looking through the window of a cardboard box cat house

Cardboard cat house

Give your fur-baby the cardboard house they've always dreamed of with this quick and easy craft ‚ÄĒ chances are you already have everything you need! Make your kitty house as basic or as elaborate as you'd like. Even a quick coat of tempera paint will turn your cat's cardboard house into a cardboard home!


  • Box cutter
  • Large cardboard box
  • Nontoxic markers or paint (optional)
  • Duct tape¬†¬†¬†¬†
  • Ruler or measuring tape¬†
  • Pencil¬†¬†
  • Hot glue gun and nontoxic glue sticks¬†¬†


  1. With your cardboard box positioned how it will lay on the floor, use a pencil to mark where you want your doors and windows.

  2. Use a box cutter to cut around the openings you sketched out, then pop out the excess cardboard using your fingers. Be very careful while using the box cutter!

  3. Next, preheat your hot glue gun, and get to work on the roof! Pull up the two largest flaps on the box and place a line of hot glue on the edge where the flaps meet. You may have to hold the pieces together until the hot glue solidifies, but this shouldn't take more than a minute or two. You could also use craft clamps, but be aware that they could crease the cardboard.       

  4.  Pull up the smaller flaps and gently press them against the roof. Use a pencil or marker to outline the triangular shape of the roof onto the smaller flaps so you know where to cut. Then, use a pair of sturdy scissors or your box cutter to cut the flaps into the sides of your roof. 

  5. Use your hot glue gun to adhere the flaps to the room and hold them in place until the glue hardens.  

  6. Next comes the fun part! Use paint or markers to give your cat house some personality. Keep it simple with a fresh coat of paint on the outside, or get fancy with shudders, flowers, and bushes! Your cat is sure to love their one-of-a-kind hangout!  

Treat puzzle

Wondering how you can make a cat toy out of cardboard? This craft is for you. This reusable cardboard food puzzle is sure to delight your catto and bring them hours of joy! Here's what you'll need.


  • Low-sided cardboard box (like the type that canned goods come in, or a wide box that you can cut down to about 2‚Äď3 inches high on the sides)
  • Box cutter
  • Cardboard toilet paper rolls
  • Scissors¬†¬†¬†
  • Hot glue gun and nontoxic glue sticks
  • Treats¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†


  1. Start with a box with walls that are approximately 3 inches wide. (You can use a larger box, but you will need to cut the walls down to size with a box cutter.)

  2. Preheat your hot glue gun. 

  3. Cut your toilet paper rolls while your craft gun is warming up. You can cut them in half to increase the puzzle difficulty, or cut them in thirds to make it easier to get the treats inside. Feel free to mix up the sizes on your food puzzle to keep things interesting. 

  4. Glue one end of the cardboard rings to the bottom of the box so that the other opening is facing up. This is where you will put your treats once the glue has dried. Do this for as many rings as you want to include, and that's it! Sprinkle some dried catnip on top to get your cat interested, and watch them go wild!

tabby cat crouching in a cardboard box cat tunnel

Cardboard tunnel

Tunnels are a fun way to engage multicat households since they offer a place for cats to play chase, perform sneak attacks, and just hang out with their buds. The best part? This tutorial is the simplest of the bunch!  


  • Long cardboard box
  • Scissors¬†¬†
  • Box cutter¬†¬†
  • Pencil¬†¬†


  1. Cut the end flaps off both sides of the cardboard box using scissors or a box cutter.

  2. Draw some circles for windows and holes along the sides to give your cats a place to peek out, then use your box cutter to cut them out. 

  3. Put some catnip in the tunnel and watch your cats go wild!

DIY scratching post

Scratching posts are a great way to help your cat groom their nails while preventing household destruction at the same time. Instead of shelling out for a store-bought scratching post, recycle old boxes and make your own for a fraction of the price! 


  • 3-5 cardboard boxes (depending on the size)
  • 5+ feet of jute rope (we recommend 5‚Äď8 mm in diameter)
  • Box cutter¬†
  • Scissors
  • Heavy-duty duct tape
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks


  1. Use your box cutter to cut your cardboard box into long strips about 4 inches wide and as long as possible. 

  2. Once you've made your strips, take one strip and roll it up as tight as you can. When you reach the end of the strip, hold the rolled strip taut and use the duct tape to tape the loose end to the rest of the roll.

  3. Take another strip of cardboard, tape it to the rolled piece, and keep wrapping it around until you reach the end, and then you tape that down. Repeat this process until the scratching pad is the right size for your cat (usually about a foot and a half in diameter). 

  4. Finally, use the hot glue gun to glue jute rope to the outside edge of the pad. Work in sections. Wrap the jute around a few inches at a time, then place a glue line down to secure it. Continue this until the sides of the pad are completely covered. 

  5. Give the pad a light dusting a catnip to encourage your cat to use their new cardboard scratching pad!

orange and white cat lying in a cardboard box cat bed

Cozy cat bed

Every cat deserves a luxurious bed to get their beauty sleep in, and this cardboard craft ensures you don't have to shell out big bucks for one! The coolest part is you can design it however you like with the addition of colorful gift wrap!


  • Sturdy, medium-sized cardboard box (bonus points if it has a lid)
  • Double-sided tape¬†¬†
  • Gift wrap (optional)¬†
  • Blankets and soft bedding


  1. Start by cutting your box down to size (if necessary). Ideally, the walls of the box should be about 6‚Äď9 inches tall, but you should also consider the size of your cat when designing your box.¬†¬†¬†

  2. Once your box is the right size, wrap the exterior with gift wrap, like you would wrap a present. If your box has a lid, wrap that with wrapping paper as well.

  3. Place some plushies, soft blankets, and toys in the box to help your cat to get cozy. 

  4. If you plan to use the bed with the lid, make sure to cut an opening in the side of the box to give your cat an entry point. And that's it! 

Thinking of giving one of these cat cardboard craft ideas a go? We'd love to see your creations in the comment section below! Or, tag #wagwalking or @wag on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our feed!

Comments (7)






I have a big Walmart box what can I make out of that that will my cat will like to play in

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