Why Do Cats Like Boxes?

Have you ever ordered something online and opened the box, only to turn back around and notice your furry friend is deep into the box and playing around?

It’s a very common thing to see with cats, especially at times when boxes are more available like the holidays!

Why Do Cats Like Boxes

Sometimes, you might have bought your cat a present that came in a box, but they’re more interested in the box. But why? What is it about the box that interests your cat so much?

This article will look at why cats are so fascinated with a simple cardboard box, and we’ll give you some other handy cat information in this area you might need to know.

So, get a box ready for your feline – let’s get comfortable and read on!

So, What’s The Deal With Cats And Boxes?

It’s no secret to anyone with a cat that kitties love a box. There’s literally no play item or other toy that can compare to it for them!

There are various reasons why cats love boxes, and they’re all a little different. We’re going to look at all of them in a little more detail. 

Safety In Boxes 

You might have noticed that cats like to be in areas that are enclosed and away from open areas. This is likely a response to their habitat in the wild where they would need to hide away from other predators and from their potential prey. 

Cats like to see everything around them and despise the opportunity for others to sneak up on them, so they like to have “tunnel vision” when it comes to their areas. Boxes are ideal for this because they’re typically small, but large enough to keep them in it.

Boxes also give them a psychological feeling of relief because they now feel much more safe, so they reduce their stress levels. The box acts like their hideaway and a hiding box is perfect for them to just get away from everyone and everything. 

Helps To Deal With Change 

Cats, like humans, are not typically fond of change. Studies have shown that cats can use boxes to gauge their new surroundings and get used to a new environment. Put this together with the fact the box acts as their stress reliever – you’ve got real help for your kitty.

So, if you’ve just moved house, and you’re emptying boxes, you’ll likely find your cat in one of the empties! 

It’s also worth pointing out here that shelter cats come from environments that usually have boxes for them to sleep in. They might have been found in a box, and they need to go from one style of life to the next, but they’ll do it on their terms.

If a box helps them do that, who are we to say no?

It’s Cold!

Cats like to have a normal body temperature and one way to warm up is in a box! Boxes are fantastic at insulation, and they can be alone and away from everything else. If you’re in colder months, you can leave a cardboard box around for your cat and put some blankets inside.

Why Do Cats Like Boxes

This will help your cat enormously in the winter and their stress level should decrease, meaning you’ll have a happy cat that might be more inclined to play and cuddle!

Curiosity And The Cat 

We all know the adage of curiosity and the cat, and this is for good reason. Cats are highly inquisitive and very curious beings. 

Boxes are something sitting there ready to be explored, and cats simply can’t help themselves exploring the enclosed space that is there ready for them! 

Your cat wants to explore the space, the smell and the reason for the box being there and will do this with you in mind. They just want to ensure yours and their safety! 

They’re Tired!

If you were to name some common traits of the house cat, you’d certainly pick sleep as one of them. Cats can sleep nearly 18 hours a day if they wish and a cardboard box makes an absolutely perfect sleeping place.

If you’ve got the perfect box for them, complete with blankets and maybe a toy – they will be de-stressed, comfortable, warm, safe and completely content with where they are. 

Of course, eventually the box will have to be replaced – and the cat will not be happy! But that is when you get them a new one to explore again. 

It Feels Nice 

The box feels nice for a cat to touch. They can scratch and bite at the cardboard and nobody will mind. This, alongside the box being warm, is enough for a cat to stay in their new box home for days – likely until they’ve bitten through it, and you’d need to throw it out!

Does Every Cat Like A Box?

There’s nothing conclusive to say there are cats that don’t like boxes, so currently speaking you can argue that yes – every cat likes a box! 

In fact, this doesn’t stop at small household cats – zoos and other conservation areas have tried this with big cats like lions and tigers and have found that even these big cats love a box!

No matter the size of the cat, they all share characteristics and genetics – so it’s perhaps unsurprising that they love a box, whether that’s a lion or a little domestic kitten. 

Interestingly, dogs enjoy boxes too – but likely for other reasons. They like to tear them apart and use them as dens. 


So, we’ve learned that cats like boxes because they are comfortable, bring them a sense of safety, they’re warm, they’re cozy, they lower their stress levels, and they’re perfect for play. 

Therefore, if you have a cat, and you’re planning to buy something in the near future – be sure to leave the box for the kitty!

Courtney Trent
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