Cats and Boxes

Jun 2, 2018

Who can resist a new box? But we can share!
Credit docoverachiever (Sheila Sund) [Flickr]

What is it about boxes that cats love so much?  They are good places to hide, snooze, relax - and it doesn't have to be roomy.  Facebook is full of videos of cats scrunching and snuggling down into unbelievably small containers.   If you want to entertain your feline friend, just find a clean empty box.

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Cats now outnumber dogs as pets in American households. One reason is convenience. A cat is generally a low-maintenance pet, Give it a comfy place to curl up, a bowl of food, fresh clean water and a litter box and your furry cat buddy is good even if you’re working late that day.

There are several things you can do for your cat to make its day more interesting when you’re not home. One is to set up a place for it to sit and look out a window. Cats love to snooze by a sunny window and wake up to be entertained by the activity outside.

Another is to set up a good scratching post, one that’s sturdy and durable. Sure a cat likes to sharpen its claws by removing the old outer layer, but its paws have scent glands which mark its territory. It also allows the cat to stretch out its muscles.

And when you’re home? One of the things a cat likes most is play time.

Our first cat, Heidi, loved to play with popsicle sticks. We had one that would play endlessly with a jingle bell and another chased white cotton string tied to the end of a yardstick. Not all cats respond to catnip but about two thirds of them will become almost silly around it. Almost any cat will play with a peacock feather or a red laser pointer light.

But one thing that very few cats can resist is an empty box. If you order something online, toss the carton on the floor and step away. Before you know it, your furry friend will be sniffing, investigating, and curling up inside. The next day, turn it upside down and cut a “mouse hole” on one or more sides and hide a few treats inside. Later you can flip it back right side up and sprinkle some catnip in the bottom, or toss a fuzzy ball inside. One box could keep your cat entertained for a week or more!

June is Adopt a Cat Month, because more cats and kittens are surrendered to animal shelters during this month than at any other time of the year. Consider visiting your local shelter or rescue group to adopt a cat. You’ll save a life - and enjoy a lifetime of companionship with your furry new friend - when you’re speaking of pets.

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