WHY DO CATS LIKE BOXES SO MUCH?
If you have a cat, you probably have seen them play with boxes. Cat Like Boxes are a common attraction for cats. They can be used as hiding places, sneak attack areas, or beds. You may have wondered, “Why do cats love boxes so much?” Boxes are a safe place for cats to hide, hunt, keep warm and they can be a new addition to your home. It is fascinating to learn more about the mysterious relationship between cats and boxes.
Great hunting hideouts made from boxes
Boxes offer concealment and can be used to allow cats to escape from their prey. Boxes can be used to sneak attack other cats or your unwitting ankles.
Cats feel safe when they have boxes
Cats feel safer in boxes.2 There are four walls around them so it is harder for other creatures to get inside. Cats might feel a sense of security in a box. This could remind them of their kitten days.
Gourkow and Phillips (2016) found that cats who were trained to clicker with shelter cats showed lower stress levels when they were given boxes. A cardboard box can be helpful for bringing your cat home. A box with a greeting card can make your cat feel more at home and less stressed.
They keep cats warm
Cats may be kept warm by using boxes. The normal body temperature of cats can vary from 99.5 to 102.5 degrees F. The insulation they need to retain heat is provided by cardboard.
Cats love insulation, and boxes can provide shelter from the elements. Even though your cat lives indoors, shelter is still an instinctive need.
The Box is New and Mysterious
Your cat might love the novelty of a new box. Cats love to explore new places and will even try to find out if your box fits in their new home.
This “new” factor may also explain why cats love paper and cats love bags. Because it offers a new way to explore, a bag or paper crinkled up can be very appealing.
Large Cats Love Boxes Too
It might surprise you to discover that large cats are just as fond of boxes as your cat.6
Big Cat Rescue7 captured the reactions of their large cats to large cardboard boxes that were placed in their sanctuaries. Big cats behaved exactly like your pet cat at home. The behavior ranged from a leopard sleeping in the box to tigers playing with the box for their sneak attacks or playtime. It is amazing to see that large cats react the same way to boxes as their smaller brothers.
How you can make boxes safer and more inviting
While it’s fine for your cat to love boxes, there are some things you can do that will make the boxes a bit safer. You might check your cat’s fur for tape or staples before giving him a box.
Keep the box on a stable surface so it doesn’t tip. It might be better to place the box on the floor than on top of a cat tree. Keep your cat’s box out of areas where there is high foot traffic.
A soft blanket and one of your cat’s favorite toys can make the box feel more homey. A calming diffuser can be placed nearby to make it more welcoming. The calming diffuser emits an odorless, drug-free vapor that mimics the cat’s pheromones that signal that the area is secure and safe. It’s almost like a cat sending a signal to let her know she can relax.
It is something to be proud of and encouraged in a cat’s love of boxes. A box can be a wonderful “toy” for your cat, whether it is stressed, needing extra warmth or just wanting to play.
Aspen Grove Vet
- Pet MD
- The Dodo
- Big Cat Rescue’s Video