Why Do Cats Love Cardboard Boxes?

Kitty enjoying catnip toys

Have you ever given any thought as to why if your cat fits, they sit? The internet is full of pictures of cats rejecting all sorts of luxurious beds for the simple pleasure of an empty shipping box. The idea of cats and boxes together seems so natural that you might never have stopped to ask yourself why this might be! Read on below to learn about some of the reasons why cats love cardboard boxes.

Cats love to relax and feel secure

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Think about your kitty’s favorite places to chill out at home. Do they go for high, out of the way spots? Do they cuddle close to you? Just like people, cats have a need for security.

Boxes give kitties a place to hide. According to a study published in Applied Behavioral Science, shelter cats’ stress can be lowered by providing boxes to new arrivals– you’re lowering your kitty’s stress levels with every discarded box!

Another way to increase a cat’s sense of security and lower their stress is by building a strong bond with your kitty, making them feel more secure just by being around you! Playing with interactive toys or feeding your kitty treats can definitely help deepen trust between you and your kitty, as well as help them engage with their primal instincts.

Cats love to hunt

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Boxes provide not only a safe hiding place for your cat but also the ideal place to hide from their unsuspecting prey! The same instincts that drive them to pursue feather wands and your toes under the blanket make boxes an appealing lurk. Though the most likely prey for your housecat is is probably a stuffed mouse, sock, or perhaps even your toes, your cat has very similar instincts to a big cat. Even lions enjoy playing in cardboard boxes and laying in the sun!

Cats love to keep toasty

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Brrr! You might notice that on a cold winter evening, your cat may get a little cuddlier than usual. And on a summer morning, you might find yourself inching away from the purring furnace that pursues you across the bed. Why do cats seem to enjoy sunbathing so much? Cats are most comfortable between 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit, which is probably quite a bit warmer than your ideal temperature.

The structure of a cardboard box helps to keep the cold out and the warm in. It’s similar to the reason that a down jacket can keep you so warm! Burrowing into a box helps them stay toasty, which is no simple feat when you like it warmer than the average summer day in Orlando. Cardboard’s special qualities also make it great for kitty claws!

Cats love to scratch

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Cardboard is tougher than you think! Despite being a light-weight, it’s remarkably strong. The most common type of cardboard, such as what you’d find in a shipping box, is corrugated. The “wave” of ridged paper filling strengthens the cardboard and makes it rigid. This corrugation also appeals to kitties when they’re looking for a place to sharpen their claws. Since cats’ claws never stop growing, they need to constantly keep filing their nails down, and the wavy filling of cardboard is just the right texture for scratching!

Do you have any stories for us about cats in cardboard boxes? Any further reasons why a cat in your life thinks boxes are the best? We’d love to hear all that and more from you in our comments section, as well as your suggestions for what we should write about next!