Why Do Cats Love Boxes?

There are a few reasons why cats adore plain cardboard boxes, but adults over the age of six don’t find them particularly appealing.

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You have to put up with a wide range of extremely cute and very strange cat behaviors if you live with a cat. Cats napping on us: adorable. Weird, cats love laptops. Cats sleeping a lot is cute, strange, and a little baffling. Even while each cat is unique, there are a few things that cats all around the world agree belong in the “likes” category, like eating tuna, sharpening their claws on your favorite chairs, and going into boxes. Why do cats adore boxes so much? We consulted the experts to provide an answer to your most pressing feline query.

Why are cats drawn to boxes?

The reason your cat continues getting into your empty boxes before you can throw them in the recycling bin has been the subject of a few ideas from experts.

1. Boxes provide safety for cats

There are a number of hypotheses as to why cats enjoy boxes. Still, Mark D. Freeman, DVM, clinical assistant professor at the VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine, claims that the security aspect is the most frequently acknowledged one.

Cats want to have a secure hiding place from which they can view the world around them since they are, by nature, cryptic animals, the author claims. Cats are hunters and prey, so having a safe place from which they can keep an eye on both prey and predator dangers is ideal.

The ideal spaces are cardboard boxes and any other compact, small areas. Here’s a reason why cats are frightened of cucumbers, speaking of alleged threats.

2. Boxes maintain cat warmth


According to Daniel Rotman, CEO of the kitty litter business PrettyLitter, cats also adore boxes because they find them to be physically soothing. He claims that “boxes can significantly lower a cat’s stress and help cats regulate their body temperatures.”

Above 85 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal ambient temperature for cats to maintain their body temperature. Toasty! Cats may keep their body heat by using insulation from small, enclosed places like cardboard boxes. Why do certain cats prefer boxes over others? According to Emily Parker, a cat behavior specialist at Catological, a website that rates cat food, litter, and other supplies, cats with long hair, those who have thyroid disorders, and other feline breeds prefer slightly cooler weather, so you might not notice them sitting in boxes as much. However, if you have a kitten, a thin cat, or a cat with short fur, you might discover them curled up in a box when they’re not relaxing in the sunshine or cuddling in your just-washed laundry. Part of the reason cats purr is their need for warmth.

Boxes can ease tension.

Giving your cat a cardboard box could possibly ease any nervousness it may be experiencing. Cats can rest in a box until they are ready to go outside and play again when they are overstimulated, worn out, or simply in need of a break, according to Rotman.

Consider a cardboard box as a sort of tranquil space. Cats frequently experience stress and overwhelm, especially those that have just been adopted. Parker continues, “A box gives them some peace, away from all the hubbub.” Even though your cat could dislike a lot of things, an empty box is not one of them.

Why chew on cardboard do cats?

Cats really appreciate the tactile aspect of cardboard boxes. The cardboard is a huge source of excitement and joy for the cat, according to Dr. Freeman, who notes that you may frequently find them scratching, chewing, and generally destroying it. He reveals a fun fact: The scent glands in cats’ toe pads leave a distinct signature on the box, designating their territory.

Are cats safe in boxes?


As long as they are placed away from heaters and busy areas and set on a stable surface, boxes don’t endanger cats. Just make sure there are no tape or staples in the box that could harm your cat. In particular, because cats have a propensity to rub up against items, inspect any box before letting your cat investigate it, advises Rotman.

While you’re at it, be sure to avoid these risky errors that cat owners frequently commit. Then, learn more about this typical cat behavior, can cats weep?


  1. Applied Animal Behaviour Science clinical assistant professor

2. Mark D. Freeman, DVM, VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine Will a hiding place help shelter cats feel less stressed?
3. Daniel Rotman, PrettyLitter’s CEO
4. Emily Parker, a specialist in feline behavior at Catological

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