Medical supply boxes make purrfect kingdoms

What cat doesn’t like to hide in an empty box? Kittens and cats abandoned or surrendered to busy shelters especially like these small sanctuaries.

Salem Hospital volunteer (and animal lover) Nancy S. noticed the medical supplies she stocked on nursing units arrived in boxes just the right size for cat houses — including punch-out holes for doors.

“I thought, now that’s a perfect hiding spot for a cat, and I bet children would decorate it,” said Nancy, a retired kindergarten teacher. “When I showed a box to the Willamette Humane Society, they said bring as many as you can!"

Coincidentally, the kitties’ favorite boxes hold a product the hospital goes through a lot of — bathing cloths used when patients can’t shower, so there’s no shortage of boxes.

Nancy, who also volunteers at the shelter as a lead dog-walker, has been taking dozens of boxes to WHS for over a year, where Camp Paw Paw kids decorate and place them in cat suites during the summer. Cats love them.

But they’re more than just boxes. “They’re tools that help shy and fearful kitties calm down and settle in when they first arrive,” she said. “That makes them more social, which gets them adopted sooner.”

As you can see by the destruction in the above photo, they’re also effective anti-boredom devices.

Before, boxes were thrown in hospital recycling, but now they have a second life before being recycled for good, Nancy added. “A win-win for the hospital, the shelter, creative kids, the environment — and happier cats.”