Have you ever seen cute videos of house cats hiding in boxes? Or maybe you own a cat who is obsessed with cardboard? Having a box at home, your cat’s entire life is probably focused on it. It is possible that they tend to fall asleep in it, hide in it, and, eventually, they will tear it up. One thing is certain: our little friends never seem to get enough. Are you curious why cats like boxes so desperately? There are at least several explanations for this intriguing mystery.

Boxes make a great shelter and place to sleep

Cats value personal safety and don’t like when someone or something invades them. This is why they like spending time in enclosed spaces, where no one can enter. Being in a box is the best way for them to relax and spend time in peace, as it provides a confined personal shelter that makes our furry friends feel safe. A cat sleeping in the box doesn’t have to worry about what is going on around them. Therefore, giving your cat their personal box can be a great option if your buddy can’t find a great place to sleep.

Cardboard box and instinct

Reasons explaining why cats love boxes so much can also be found in their innate instincts. Like all other animals, kitties value safety and security. Their instinct subconsciously tells them what to do in order to feel better. Spending time in confined spaces makes it easier for them to chill out. However, a box can also trigger other behaviors which are characteristic of cats, such as pouncing. If you notice your cat jumping out of the box to attack your feet or some other objects in the room, you may be sure they are driven by their natural animal instinct.

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Boxes help cats calm down

When a cat feels stressed out, they usually look for good hiding spots. There is nothing surprising in finding your little buddy lying on the windowsill or inside the closet. Since an empty box has only one opening, it is also a great place to hide. Giving your cat a box may be helpful if they are in a new environment. If you want to bring a kitten home, adopt a new cat from a shelter, or your family moves to another location, a small box can make them feel more comfortable in a new location.

Kitties need enrichment

No matter if you have a small or big cat, they need constant challenges and mental stimulation. Having a cardboard box at home allows them to spend free time in a creative way. They can, for instance, chew the box or scratch its sides. If your cat is a little devil who likes to rock the boat, a box can help them release energy without the need to get into mischief.

Cats seek warmth

Another reason explaining why cats adore boxes is that they provide insulation. You may be surprised how warm can a box get once it is sized for your little furry friend. Cats hate chilly weather and usually don’t feel comfortable in the cold winter and in the summer when the air conditioning is on. Spending time in a box is a great way for them to retain body heat, making it a perfect hiding place for cats all year round.

Reasons why cats prefer boxes to cat carriers

As we have already explained, many cats like to hide away from the rest of the world in small places. You are probably wondering why boxes are a whole lot more interesting for them than carriers. Here are several reasons:

  • Cats are adventurers. Cats don’t accept boredom. They like discovering new things and testing them. Spending time in a carrier just seems to be a routine behavior for them.
  • They can have bad connotations. If you used the carrier to transport your cat to the vet, you probably know what we mean. Bad associations and memories can make the carrier less interesting.
  • Carriers are bigger. Cats need enclosed spaces to feel comfortable. Regular carriers are usually too big.
  • Boxes can provide warmth. Cats are also very particular about materials. Cardboard seems to meet all of their needs. It warms up quickly, can be scratched, and is light enough to be moved from one place to another.
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Big cats also love boxes

Not only domestic cats are obsessed with boxes. Observations show that, similarly to house cats, wild cats also love hiding and playing with paperboard. What is interesting, felines who are apex predators, e.g., lions and tigers, are much more likely to play with the box compared to lynxes and pumas who would rather shelter inside the box. This somehow explains to what extent cats’ behaviors are driven by innate instincts.

Cats are quirky creatures who love hiding in odd places such as shoes, bowls, and shopping bags. If you have recently bought some items online and received your goods in a cardboard box, there is a great possibility that you will find your kitty inside. This is standard behavior and the way your cat tells you they need more time for themselves. Let them hide, sleep and relax the way they want as this can be really beneficial for their mental health. If you see that your cat lacks great hiding places, consider providing them with a simple cardboard box and observe their reaction.