Puzzles have always been a relaxing and enjoyable activity for me. That is until this past year when our family of 5 with one dog became a family of 5 with two dogs and two cats. Now it seems like my odds of completing a puzzle is about 40%. Why might you ask? Because the cats and the dogs are in cahoots with each other. The cat will innocently walk over my puzzle, lay on it, or play with it. Eventually, a piece or two will land on the floor. Small pieces of colorful weirdly shaped cardboard, how could a dog resist? They can’t! In just the last couple of months, I have thrown out 5 puzzles due to one or more pieces missing. Not to mention it is so unsatisfying to finish a puzzle to find a piece missing. So I had to find a way how to keep the cats off puzzles!
So, I went on a mission to figure out how I could still enjoy a puzzle from the very first piece to the satisfying last piece. I searched Amazon for puzzle storage options, but nothing seemed to fit my need.
Possible Ways to Keep Cats Off Puzzles
Puzzle Mat: They don’t really keep the puzzle together well enough, and I didn’t really want to put my puzzle away just make it cat-proof.
Puzzle Candy: I thought this was going to be my best option because it zips up, and/or covers up the puzzle but after reading more about then I was not thrilled with the idea of doing a puzzle on a soft surface.
Puzzle Board: No rolling, no soft surface BUT also no cover. The puzzle boards might be a great way to move a puzzle, but it didn’t fit my need to protect my puzzle from our four-legged family members, not to mention they can be pricey.
Better Way to Keep Cats Off Puzzles
One other downfall to the above products is they usually fit a 1000 piece puzzle. While I often do 1000 piece puzzles I also enjoy doing 2000 and none of these options would fit that size. I decided to take the best of all my options and create my own cat-proof puzzle option.
I purchased this board from Amazon it is 48 x 36 inches which is large enough for most puzzles. This gave me the platform to do my puzzle. However, I needed it to remain covered when I wasn’t using it. I had contemplated poster boards, fabric, and then it dawned on me to recycle the product packaging. I used the cardboard packaging and cut out a rectangle that fit just inside of the aluminum framing of the board. This was on purpose as the top isn’t laying over the whole board making it easy to shift around. It is just within the frame so if it does shift it hits the frame and stays in place.
As you can see in the picture above I also have puzzle sorters I received for my birthday from my kids. My favorite site is this puzzle sorter set. The reason I love this set is it is a tray of 8, they snap together which is great for moving or keeping in place (away from cats), and it comes with a snap-on lid. As you can see in the picture my puzzle is covered and my pieces are safe!