Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort!

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I don’t know about you, but I do most of my shopping online. I love the convenience of it – especially with Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping. There is just one downside… BOXES! SO MANY BOXES! The cats would disagree, of course. They love boxes. But even they eventually reach their limit.

With Christmas (more boxes) plus the cats’ monthly food/litter supply deliveries (MORE BOXES), we had managed to accumulate quite a box pile. We must have had about 20 piled up in the basement (too bad I didn’t get a photo of that). I had been racking my brain trying to come up with something to use the boxes for rather than completely overwhelm our trash man. Then it hit me… I could make a box fort for the kitties!

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort!

Making a DIY Box Fort is super easy, and you don’t need many supplies at all! In fact, I bet you have the necessary supplies lying around your house already.

Box Fort Materials:

  1. Cardboard boxes – the number and size depends on how big of a box fort you want to make. The one we made used 9 medium sized boxes.
  2. Box Cutter
  3. Scissors
  4. Packing tape or duct tape

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - The Supplies

Steps to Building Your Cat’s Box Fort Dream House:

Step 1: Stockpile boxes.

Step 2: Cut the flaps off the top side of the boxes.

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Cut off box flaps

Step 3: Brainstorm a rough layout of the box fort before cutting any holes.

Step 4: Use the box cutter to cut entry holes into whichever boxes you choose.

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Cutting Entry Holes

Step 5: Line up entry holes to create long tunnels or larger cubbies.

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Line Up Entry Holes

Step 6: Tape boxes together. Be generous with your taping.

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Tape Boxes Together

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Tape Boxes Together

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - First Level Complete

Step 7: Now that the first level of the box fort is complete, you can start building vertically. Just repeat Steps 2-6, and start stacking! Get creative! Just be careful not to build too high, or the fort might not be sturdy enough to support the weight of your cat.

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Box Fort Complete!

Step 8: Have your cats complete the quality control inspection.

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Quality Control Inspection

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Quality Control Inspection

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Quality Control Inspection Step 9 : Enjoy!

Repurpose Those Cardboard Boxes: Make a DIY Box Fort! - Enjoy!

The KCC Gang has been loving their Box Fort. It has been great environmental enrichment for them. A DIY Box Fort is also environmentally friendly, and it saves you the cost of having to buy an expensive cat tree! There’s no reason NOT to make one 🙂 So start saving up those boxes (if you don’t already have a pile left over from Christmas) and have some fun. Your cats will love you for it!

Have you ever made a box fort for your cats before? Did they absolutely love it?!

By Emily


  1. Reply


    This is such an awesome idea!

  2. Reply

    Lone Star Cats

    Looks like a fun fort!

  3. Reply

    Eastside Cats

    Golly, all of my Chewy boxes are full of summer clothes or stuff that is to be donated! But I love your cat fort…wonder where we could set one up around here…?

  4. Reply

    The Swiss Cats

    Wonderful fort ! It looks like a lot of fun ! Purrs

  5. Reply

    Edie Chase

    My cat would love to have a box fort, but we don’t have room right now. When we move I’m going to make one.

  6. Reply

    Lola The Rescued Cat

    So I’ve decided I’m coming for a vacation to your house. Mother says we don’t have room for a fort, but I think she’s just too lazy to make me one.

  7. Reply

    Melissa & Mudpie

    What a fun and creative idea! I know Mudpie would love this. She’s coming right over…

  8. Reply

    Molly O'Hara

    I wish we hadn’t recycled all our holiday chewy boxes! Of course, our puppy would probably destroy the box fort trying to play with his bff kitty, when in reality, the other cats would appreciate it more, hahaha. We did do this once before though, when we didn’t have a dog, needed sturdier boxes that time!

  9. Reply

    da tabbies o trout towne

    guyz…yur fort total lee rocks !!! happee new yeer two ewe two all; heerz ta happee nezz healtheez N grazz oh plentee 🙂 ♥♥

  10. Reply

    Random Felines

    not sure where we would put something like that, but heaven knows there are times we have enough boxes to pull it off

  11. Reply

    The Island Cats

    You have some lucky cats! The mom always throws our boxes out. Phooey.

  12. Reply

    Anita Aurit

    I love the idea of these box forts and since we live more remotely, we do a LOT of online shopping! I’ve seen some that use paper towel rolls for columns and some folks have gone crazy decorating them. I’m sure The Tribe of Five would like a box fort.
    Anita, Purrsonal Assistant and General Lackey to The Tribe of Five

  13. Reply

    Tenacious Little Terrier

    Box fort! All of ours get recycled and I don’t know where we would put one but Mr. N would probably enjoy playing in one.

  14. Reply

    Heather Wallace, Bridle & Bone

    OMG this looks amazing! You are so creative. I have thousands of boxes between Amazon Prime, Chewy, Bulk Apothecary, and more. My garage is really scary right now actually. I try to reuse boxes as much as possible, but this is a fantastic idea. My dogs would demolish it, but my kids would love it! Then they would demolish it.

  15. Reply

    Ellen Pilch

    That is a great idea. I think we have that many Chewy boxes too 🙂

  16. Reply


    We had one of those awhile ago, but we had to move this past spring, so it got disassembled! Purr-haps we’ll have to make another one. 🙂

  17. Reply


    This is such a great way to use the empty boxes! We have boxes here as well constantly. I usually cut windows and put up but usually use only one box. I should start connecting several boxes together ‘cause that looks so much more fun 🙂

  18. Reply

    Chirpy Cats

    Glad we’re not the only cat nerds who would build a box fort. MOL Okay ours was just rough and ready, largely arranged by the cats themselves for a week’s boxing pleasure. Next time I will get creative and get the box cutters and tape out. An awesome tip for indoor cat enrichment!

  19. Reply

    Cathy Armato

    This is such a fun DIY project! I’m sure the kitties will have many hours of fun with it. I can’t believe you had so many boxes – too bad we’re not neighbors, my husband re-uses nearly every box we get when he sells stuff on e-bay. We have been selling off our stuff (clutter!) for the last year so no box is wasted, LOL! We don’t buy all that much online, I love to shop both for myself and the pets. Plastic bags we’ve got tons, boxes not so much LOL! Thanks for sharing.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  20. Reply

    Beth Patterson

    What a fun idea. I can see how cats would really enjoy this fort.

  21. Reply

    Kristin Rosenbach

    This is a great idea to put all those boxes to use! Who doesn’t enjoy a fort!?!?

  22. Reply


    What an awesome box fort! Sadly, our mom and dad just recycle the boxes after they unpack the stuff. Spoilsports!

  23. Reply

    Lori Hilliard

    This is a great way to combine recycling with making your cats happier. Cats are a lot like kids sometimes – they both love to play with boxes.

  24. Reply

    Jana Rade

    This is awesome what you created. Sometimes, when I see such projects, it almost makes me want to have a cat so I could build such things.

  25. Reply


    Oh my goodness, I have THE EXACT same problem. I am an AMAZON PRIME and CHEWY junkie and always have sooo many boxes! This is such a great idea! Since we don’t have any cats I am going to have to track some friends down to share the boxes with them! 🙂

  26. Reply

    Sweet Purrfections

    You are so smart! Have you shared your Chewy fort with I’m sure they’d love it!

    I had so many boxes here during the holidays because of the 12 Days of Catmas. I’m still tearing down boxes.

  27. Reply

    Paroma Chakravarty

    Love this DIY, so fun! Cats are super flexible and I guess this works for them! Might work for agility in small dogs too. Thanks for sharing this fun activity.

  28. Reply

    Amelia Johnson

    This is great! So many cats sit around bored but I can see where your cats now have choices and a way to stretch those muscles as they move from box to box. What a thoughtful idea to have “observation” boxes on top…you thought of everything…cat approved 🙂

  29. Reply

    The Dash Kitten Crew

    OooOOOooooH You guys amaze me. I wonder if I can make one for ours/ Rainy days keeps them indoors and having something like this would be so much fun!!!

  30. Reply

    Clare Reece-Glore

    I love the fort and by putting it in the corner you can go vertical and not take up too much room. I did the very simple version with two large boxes for my 3 yr old grandson and he loved it!

  31. Reply

    Kitties Blue

    Emily, we knew you were going to do this, and it turned out great. We had a bajillion boxes at Christmastime, and we could have had a terrific fort, but we have a space issue. The only spot we really have room for this is in the foyer, and that is already filled with our various toys. Maybe when this summer rolls around we can get our Mom to build one for us on the upper deck. Astrid sends Sampy all her love and 234567890987654321345678909876543234567890987657890987654345678909876543456789876543456765432 kisses. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer

  32. Reply


    Great use of all those boxes. Raven has one box she’s still enjoying from a gift we received at Christmas. It’s a fun size that she can hide in but isn’t so big that it gets in our way. That fort is definitely a space commitment, at least until everyone is bored with it.

  33. Reply

    Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs

    That is so cool! Pipo is not the most ‘boxy’ of kitties, but Angel Minko would have loved it!
    Right now Dalton would rip anything like that to shreds…he just ripped a part of the kitchen linoleum:(

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