Inexpensive (often free) and readily available (check your recycling bin), cardboard is a mainstay of enrichment materials. Since a plain box with treats inside would no longer be enriching if given day after day, it is fortunate that cardboard can be endlessly re-imagined.
Vary the scale and complexity of your creations. For example, I can make a small simple house shape out of a milk carton and place treats inside as a foraging tool. I can also make a larger house structure that my cats, ferrets or other pet can enter, explore, nap, play in, and destroy. Leave your creations plain or be detailed in decorating.
There are as many themes and ideas as you can imagine. I’ve listed a few to get you started. There are no instructions for many of the ideas as it is easy to understand how to construct it from the text and pictures.
Castles, houses, barns, etc.
Cars, trains , airplanes, boats, etc
Add a clear take out lid or bowl +/- support ‘legs’ for a spaceship
Set up a street or city block
Cheap and easy easel for animal artists
Make a ‘kissing booth’ or other novelty photo prop
Appliances- Stoves, washers, refrigerators, etc. Could be fun photo props too.
Make swords or daggers using paper towel or wrapping paper tubes.
Mailboxes- both the big blue collection boxes and the home boxes
Aquarium complete with sea creatures. I’d do it differently, but you get the idea. Could make the critters with treats inside.
Horse heads from cereal box. No instructions but shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.
PUT EXTRA MONEY IN YOUR POCKET
Enclosure, cage, nest box, building and enrichment ideas for any species.
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I stay in the dark because too much light will blind you
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