Cardboard Boxes and Your Animals
Cardboard boxes are a simple and common item around the house that is used for many things including storing, shipping, moving, and much more. It’s not unusual that you end up with 1, or maybe even 10 laying around the house from your trip to the grocery store or from online shopping.
Before you start breaking them down and putting them in the recycling, you can find useful ways to reuse them around the house. For pet owners, there is only one rightful place for those unused boxes and your animals will make sure to let you know!
Whether you have cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, or birds, a cardboard box makes for hours of entertainment for your pet!
Cats and Cardboard Boxes
Why Do Cats Love Boxes?
Cats, as we all know, have the biggest personalities. From knocking things off counters and attacking your feet, to following you around the house and rubbing themselves all over you to show their affection. Although every cat has its own unique personality, you can almost always count on them to fall in love with a simple cardboard box.
There are a few reasons that cats absolutely adore cardboard boxes:
- Cave Like Enclosure – Despite being domesticated and comfortable in your home, cats have natural instincts. They are both predators and prey in the wild so they feel the need to observe their surroundings in a safe, secure place. Cardboard boxes provide all-around cave-like protection for your feline friends so they only have to “watch” the entrance.
- Safe Zone – Cats simply love confined spaces. It’s not uncommon to find them in small hidden areas such as behind and under furniture, in closets, drawers, and other dark, inconspicuous places. Cardboard boxes provide cats with comfort and security and allow them to hide from unwanted attention and relax.
- Insulated – Cats tend to feel more comfortable at a much higher temperature than us humans. While we tend to feel comfortable with our homes somewhere between 18-22℃, cats tend to feel more comfortable around 30-36℃, on average. This of course depends on multiple factors including breed, hair length, and more. Cardboard boxes are an excellent insulator, cats can stay nice and warm which is another huge draw for them.
- Scratching Post – Some cats love to scratch and while there are many different types of scratching contraptions on the market for your cat, a cardboard box will often take the cake. It’s the perfect texture for scratching (many of those expensive scratching toys are actually made from cardboard anyways), and your cat is sure to love it!
The moral of the story, you can spend $50.00 on a cat bed, and your feline friend will still pick the cardboard box. So, you might as well put them to use! You can cut holes, build tunnels or even build a whole kitty castle. Your cat will love it and you!
Dogs and Cardboard Boxes
Why Do Dogs Love to Chew Cardboard Boxes?
Dogs of all sizes, from Chihuahua’s to Great Danes, and dogs of all ages, from puppies to adults, tend to love chewing. There are several reasons why dogs chew such as teething pain, cleaning their teeth, and strengthening their jaw. However, not all chewing can signify a healthy behavior as some chewing can be a result of boredom, anxiety, and other issues. It is important to pay attention to your dogs chewing and address/contain this action to the appropriate toys to promote good habits for your pet.
Luckily, cardboard boxes can be a fun and engaging “toy” for your dog! If your dog has ever gotten ahold of a cardboard box or toilet paper roll and just went to town, you’ll know what we mean. Destroying, chewing, and shredding the box until there’s nothing left but a mess for you to clean up. Regardless of the mess, it provides your dog with healthy mental stimulation and often a sense of accomplishment if they’ve done what they set out to do. Don’t forget to remove all tape, string, staples, and other potential dangers from the box prior to giving it to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cardboard Boxes?
Cardboard boxes can be an excellent way to get your dog engaged and entertained, however, it’s important to note that it is not recommended that your dog eat the cardboard. Although it is not toxic to your pet, it is indigestible. A small amount of cardboard consumed by your dog during play is unlikely to cause a problem and not concerning. However, if your dog has consumed a large amount of cardboard, you should seek advice from a veterinary professional as it can cause obstruction issues in your pet’s digestive system.
In order to prevent your dog from eating cardboard, you should always monitor them while they play with the material. If your dog has a continued tendency to eat cardboard, consider another option for mentally stimulating them.
Rabbits and Cardboard Boxes
Why Do Bunnies Love Cardboard?
Bunnies are becoming more and more popular as household pets. They are each unique in their own way and full to the brim with personality and energy. Rabbits love to be mentally stimulated and they have their own special category of toys that are very different from a traditional cat or dog toy. If you don’t provide your rabbit with enough toys and chewable materials, they may resort to destructive chewing of your household items. Ironically, one of the most recommended toys for bunnies is the cardboard box and other cardboard/paper materials like toilet paper rolls, cardboard tubes, brown kraft paper bags, and more. They love chewing, tossing, digging, and pushing around their toys. Cardboard provides an all-in-one solution!
- Fill your cardboard rolls with hay and other fun snacks to pique their interest.
- Rip up small bits of cardboard and paper into another cardboard box to create a digging box. Put a few treats or pellets in the box to get them to dig and forage for food. (don’t forget to cut a little hole so they can get in and out of the box)
- Build cardboard tunnels and castles for your bunnies to hide out and play in.
- Don’t forget to remove all tape, staples, strings, and other potentially dangerous materials from the cardboard box prior to giving it to your bunny.
Can Bunnies Eat Cardboard?
Bunnies’ teeth never stop growing, so it is vital that your bunny has a constant supply of fresh hay and other safe to chew materials that can help keep them from overgrowing. Cardboard is perfectly okay for your bunny to chew on, shred and tear apart. A small amount of ingestion is also inevitable and not a concern when it comes to rabbits, however, it is important to closely monitor how much cardboard your bunny may be consuming. Rabbits have delicate digestive systems and too much cardboard can cause obstructions and other issues.
Keep an eye on your rabbits when playing with their cardboard toys until you can determine what kinds of habits your bunny may have. If they consume their cardboard while playing, try limiting their time or the amount of cardboard you give them to prevent any digestion issues.
Animals Love Our Boxes and We Love Your Animals!
At The Packaging Company, we know how important your pets are to your family. We are not only happy to hear that our natural cardboard boxes provide safe spaces and hours of fun for your pets, but we are thrilled to see them being reused before they are sent to compost or recycling. We love when customers repurpose our materials, so much so we wrote a whole other blog about it, check out how to repurpose your moving supplies today!