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Why Do Cats Like Boxes?

Learn More About Your Cats!


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It is a well-known truth that cats like being inside boxes. Simple cardboard boxes are the most exciting thing in the world, and it doesn’t matter how costly or elaborate the other toys are. It’s a phenomenon that has most cat owners scratching their heads. This is especially after they’ve just bought their feline friend a brand-new bed or toy that’s very nice. Yet, their cat appears to prefer the box that it came in.

In this post, we will investigate why many cats like boxes and explain why they are the ideal place for your cat to sleep and hunt.

So without wasting any time, let’s get right into it!

Why Do Cats Like Boxes and Bags?

Why Do Cats Like Boxes and Bags?
Why Do Cats Like Boxes and Bags?

Each of us has spent a few minutes watching animal movies, so chances are you’ve seen a cat fit into a too-small box. Our own house has this problem. When unpacking groceries, someone “accidentally” left the bag on the floor to delight our house cat. They pretended not to see or hear our cat’s 15-pound body filling the bag and let the cat hide inside the box. Our cat believed she was a ninja, and we were happy she was enjoying herself.

The same rules apply to boxes, luggage, and other containers. Cats’ll go into, on, or under just about anything. The reasons for cats’ attraction to boxes and bags are a mystery to most people. Animal behaviorists and vets know why cats like bags and boxes. They love to be in the empty boxes.

Cats Hide In Boxes

A domestic cat’s ancestors faced greater risk than your (or ours) idle home cat. They chose tight locations to conceal and lessen their vulnerability by reducing their view. This may be a cave, lair, or treetop in the wild. But, in modern times, it may be a shoebox. Once at its hidden perch, cats attack other animals and act as ambush predators. They like to hide when in stressful situations.

Cats Like Confinement

Most pet owners aren’t surprised that cats sleep 20 hours a day. But, like any living thing, they’re most susceptible while resting. To remain protected, cats roll up into fur balls for extended naps.

This tactic has another use. Scientists believe that cats are comfortable between 86 and 97°F. That’s 10 to 15 degrees over the typical American home’s thermostat. Your cats aren’t only playing it safe by resting in the box but also maintaining their body heat because they can’t control the thermostat. Furrowed cardboard is an excellent insulator.

Domestic cats may hide in boxes and sacks. Indoor cats seek refuge from loud sounds, strange people, discomfort, boredom, and misery in a nice, peaceful location. A secure, restricted place lets your pet relax.

Cats Feel Safe in Boxes

Cats like boxes for their protection. Cats seek shelter when stressed or afraid. Naturally, in a box, nothing can creep up on or around her. They see everything coming. Boxes give comfort and anxiety relief to cats. They feel safe sitting in boxes in wide, open spaces.

With the aid of a storage box, a cat may adapt to its new surroundings more easily.

The University of Utrecht studied 19 fresh cat arrivals at a Dutch animal shelter. During acclimatization, one group received “hiding boxes.” Cats that people offered hiding boxes exhibited substantially less stress than those who weren’t. They adapted faster. These scared shelter cats sought safety in a box. They feel safe eating cat food inside the boxes.

Cats Find Boxes Entertaining

Cats like boxes because they’re fun. Their favorite pastime may be rolling about in it and then leaping out to attack their toys or the ground under them. Cats sometimes play with a softball, but a cardboard box is their favorite toy. It’s a brown-paper-wrapped kitten Disneyland! They are notoriously curious creatures.

Cats Find Boxes Fun To Play With

A box allows your cat to conceal and pounce on prey. Cats are Predators. Predators conceal and stalk, ready to attack their victim. Even though house cats no longer have to hunt, they nonetheless enjoy playing as they do.

Cats Love Biting Boxes

Cats scratch couches, drapes, and carpets. Scratching boxes is fun. Cats like sinking their claws into the cardboard. When cats scratch, their scent pads leave an aroma behind. So it seems obvious that if they have a hiding spot, they mark it with their smell.

Chewing cats exist who like gnawing and breaking apart boxes to satisfy their desire to kill and rend their prey. They like enclosed spaces.

Cat Find Boxes Warm

This is fascinating. Cats like 86-97 degrees. Most dwellings are 72-76 degrees. 14-21 degrees below a cat’s thermoneutral temperature. They’re chilly. Really? Corrugated boxes insulate well.

Why Do Cats Like Cardboard Boxes?

Why Do Cats Like Cardboard Boxes?
Why Do Cats Like Cardboard Boxes?

Cats like cardboard boxes because they feel safe and love playing in them.

Cats are endearing in part because they each have distinct personalities. They watch you, look at the walls, and snuggle up in tight areas for hours. The place they like best? A box.

Boxes are safe places where they can hide from the environment and animals that want to hurt them. Cats don’t just hide in cardboard boxes, however. They lurk behind mattresses, closets’ backs, and even under sinks.

Shelter

You imagine your cat as a fluffy ball that you can snuggle and cradle on your lap. But in their minds, they are big cats that roam the savanna and need a place to hide. “Cats simply want to fit into little areas where they feel comfortable and secure,” according to Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s better for them than being out in the open and perhaps being harmed. “Boxes are also warm, like what kittens get from their mothers. If your pet has a special place to sleep, put a blanket or towel in it to make it as cozy as possible.

The spherical grey and the white cat sleeps with its head protruding from the box.

Instinct

Cats, like other creatures, like comfort, are natural hunters who retain their wild instincts even when living in climate-controlled houses with their people. According to Pet Health Network, cats are jumpers and will be hiding in a box to pursue their target, which is generally your feet. You can give your cat a feather toy or something else that looks like their prey.

Stress Relief

Cats like cardboard boxes because they make them feel safe. As a result, organizations like Best Friends Animal Society recommend putting up a box as a safe shelter for newly acquired cats as they adjust to their new surroundings. The stress of moving to a new place is lessened by having a safe place to live with strong walls. They like enclosed spaces.

Scientific facts now back this theory up. According to research, for cats, hiding in boxes aids in stress reduction.

Scientists found stray cats with boxes to sleep in to adapt to their new surroundings more quickly than those who didn’t. “The concealing box seems to be a crucial enrichment for the cat to cope efficiently with the stress in a new shelter setting in the initial weeks following their arrival,” the researchers concluded. Pet owners will be happy to hear that something as simple as a cardboard box can help so much.

A cat sticks its head and front legs out of a hole in the side of a cardboard box.

To Have Fun

Even though there’s no scientific evidence, it’s evident that cats prefer to play in boxes. Inside boxes, cats may sleep, sit, and play. We’re not sure what it is about cardboard that cats like. They can chew or scrape the edges of the sofa without getting in trouble, as they do when they use it as a scratching post.

Why Do Cats Like Small Boxes?

Why Do Cats Like Small Boxes?
Why Do Cats Like Small Boxes?

Cats like small boxes because cardboard acts as an excellent insulator.

Another reason cats like small boxes are because they provide excellent insulation! Not only is cardboard an excellent insulator, but the limited space provided by small boxes encourages your cat to snuggle up and rest, making it a cozy, warm environment.

Do Big Cats Like Boxes?

Boxes are a cat’s best friend; cats love to play, sit, and sleep in them. Even large cats such as tigers, lions, and leopards are obsessed with cardboard boxes. Big cats like boxes because:

  • It is an ultimate hideaway.
  • It’s a health club.
  • It’s a good hunting spot since it’s warm.

Final Words

Finally, we can conclude that cats like boxes because they feel secure inside of them. Cats are calm pets that enjoy tranquility; because of this, cats believe that boxes are the ideal location for them to conceal themselves and spend their lives in peace.

Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo

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