Why Cats Love Boxes

Why Cats Love Boxes

Security - Cats feel safe in boxes. Since they are predators, they will use boxes as cover while stalking prey. In the house that may mean another cat or perhaps the dog. They use their play with cardboard boxes to keep their instincts sharp. 

When in a box they know that other animals can’t approach them from behind, which makes them feel safe. This is how they’d have used caves or dens. Their wild cousins still do. Cats sleep anywhere from 18 to 20 hours a day. Again, a box would keep them feeling safe as they sleep. 


Stress Relief - If your kitty feels safe it stands to reason they will not be stressed. That helps your furry feline stay happy. It should come as no surprise to multi-cat owners that introducing a new cat into the home can cause stress. Boxes can help the resident cats as well as the newcomer. The new cat can hide and assess the new surroundings without being attacked and the resident cats can check out the stranger without feeling they need to be on the fight. 

It’s known that stress can cause health and behavioral issues. A stressed cat can experience many health risks that lead to behavioral issues. These can include urinating outside the litter box, over-grooming, digestive issues, depression, and aggression. What a simple solution. Get a cardboard box. Your cat won’t care what size or shape. 


Avoiding Conflict - Cats tend to retreat rather than confront. They would rather not fight. There can be exceptions. They will defend themselves but would prefer to hide and cool down. If your cat has a box available, he will most likely go there to settle down, letting his anger and stress melt away. 

Insulation - The cardboard helps retain body heat. This will make your sun-loving feline happy. A cat’s average body temperature is between 99-102.5 degrees F. 

The perfect ambient temperature for domestic cats is 86 to 97 degrees F. Most people keep their houses around 70 degrees F., which can be a bit chilly for our kitties. Cardboard boxes help your cat retain their body temperature, which makes them comfortable.  


Stimulating Smells - This theory dates to a time when felines were wild. They lived and hunted outdoors. Most prey came from wooded areas. To put this simply paper is made from tree pulp, cardboard boxes are made from paper, thus the scent of a cardboard box may be as enticing as the forests our cats’ ancestors lived and hunted in. This is thought to be an instinctual memory. 

This is also why your cat may redecorate or tear up their cardboard box, besides marking it to make it theirs. 


Enrichment and Entertainment - You don’t want a bored cat on your hands. It can be unsafe for your home décor. Cat’s love to claw, run, play. A cardboard box can help give your cat a place to, as we say, sharpen their claws on, it becomes base in cat tag whether your cat plays it alone or with other cats in the house, they can play hide and seek. The point is, a box can alleviate boredom and keep your cat entertained. If your cat isn’t kept happy with activities, it can lead to problems such as destructive behaviors, aggression, depression.

Oct 07 2022
by Claire