Because cats love boxes.

cat houseCats are notoriously picky customers. If that toy or treat or belly rub isn’t up to par, they simply aren’t going to be satisfied. (And they’re not afraid to let you know it.) They’re basically the Goldilocks of the animal kingdom. So when it comes to crafting a DIY cat house for your feline friend, you have to be careful. It can’t be too big or too small, too ornate or too plain. From floor to ceiling and furniture to decor, everything has to be just right for Fluffy. Luckily, it’s easier than you’d think to construct a simple cat house and outfit it with everything your four-legged friend will love.

For starters, you’ll need a shipping box, cat-sized or larger. Obviously, purple boxes work best, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Next, grab a pencil, sharpie, roll of tape, and a pair of scissors or exacto knife. You’ll want to begin by laying a solid foundation: Tape one end of the box closed, with flaps secured. Got it? Good. Now it’s on to the roof! Cut off the remaining box flaps and arrange them to form a nice angled gable, securing them with tape. If you’re working with a deep box, you may opt for an open-air “skylight” effect — in which case you can just discard the excess material.

Next, it’s time to add doors and windows. Outline the dimensions of your desired entrances in pencil and cut them out — carefully, please! Then, using a sharpie (or other art materials if you’re feeling ambitious), cover that box in all the trappings of a real house: brickwork, siding, trim molding, planters, shrubbery, etc. Let your imagination/HGTV obsession run wild! Once you’re finished with the exterior, it’s time to furnish your pet’s cool new pad. Here are five of the most important housewarming essentials for your cat’s home.

Cat bed

The Loveliest Little Cat Lounger

A house really isn’t a home without some place to sit. And your cat will love loafing about in a Soft Spot 19” cat lounger. This plush bed will make the whole place feel complete and it’s machine washable, too, which makes housecleaning super easy.

Cat treats

The Perfect Treats For Houseguests

Whether your cat’s entertaining guests or just feeling peckish, she’ll definitely want to have snacks on hand. And Blue Kitty Cravings Tuna cat treats make for the perfect finger food — or ap-paw-tizers — for a housewarming party.

Healthy Living Cat Food

The Easiest Way To Feed A Crowd

Perhaps your furry friend is preparing for a dinner party in his new pad. Or he just wants to try something new for supper. Either way, Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Cat food should definitely be on the menu. The all-natural chicken and brown rice recipe will fill him up on the good stuff without any artificial flavors, preservatives, or poultry by-products.

Cat toy

Entertainment For Any Occasion

Want to make your cat’s house a really happening place? Toss a KONG Tropics Fish Cat Toy into the mix. The durable wool fabric and premium catnip stuffing make this toy totally irresistible — and able to withstand hours of pouncing and play.

Cat litter

Keep It Clean

Is the purpose of your cat box to disguise the litter situation? Then you’re definitely going to want to keep some Arm and Hammer Easy Clean-Up Kitty Litter on hand. Special Clump & Seal technology seals in odors and makes cleanup simple. So you can spend less time scooping litter and more time playing with your cat.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how you go about making your cardboard cat house. Whether it’s a sprawling multi-story box palace or a simple studio catpartment in the corner of your laundry room, your handiwork is sure to make your furry friend very happy — especially if you’ve stocked it with the right treats, toys, and other essentials. Because let’s be real: A cute cat house is nice, but it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.

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