Have you noticed when you bring in a new package with a cardboard box, your cat immediately jumps on the box, starts playing with it, chewing it, or hiding inside?
Well, it turns out, as you probably already know, cats love boxes. Even when you buy your cat a new toy that comes with a box, she’s more likely interested in what the toy came in and not the toy itself.
Why is that? Is there an explanation? And should you rather buy your furry friend a box instead of an actual toy?
Well, it turns out, there are very valid reasons why cats love boxes. Let’s take a look at why. If you are interested we have also tested and reviewed 3 cat card boxes with a scratcher, and you will love the review, I promise!
1. Boxes Are Safe
Our feline friends naturally seek enclosed spaces in the wild to protect themselves against predators. They have the instinct to hide and stay in enclosed spaces, where their backs and sides are protected from an incoming predator.
In a box, they can see anyone and anything who is coming towards them. Predators, other pets, or humans are visible within their peripheral vision, giving them ample time to prepare to attack or defend themselves.
2. Boxes Reduce Stress and Anxiety
In a study that involved shelter cats at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, researchers divided a group of cats into two. One group was given boxes, and the other group was not.
Once the duration of the study was done, researchers discovered that cats who were given boxes recovered faster and were able to adapt to their environment much quicker than cats that were not given boxes.
3. Boxes Are Warm
Cats love warm environments. Most indoor cats stay in spaces where it’s relaxed and comfortable for humans, but cats naturally seek out environments that are warm and cozy. This might be because they are descendants of desert-dwelling cats from ancient Egypt, and therefore, prefer locations that have higher temperatures.
The ideal body temperature for cats is 37 degrees Celsius, and when it’s lower than this, they seek out spots in your home that provide them with better insulation.
Related: Why do cats like soft blankets
4. They Love the Texture of Cardboard
Not only are boxes cozy spaces, but cats love the texture of cardboard. They can easily chew and scratch and dig their claws into the material, providing comfort and relieving their natural tendency to scratch.
This is further enhanced by cardboard cat scratcher houses that you can buy online or at any pet store, where a scratching surface is featured on cardboard boxes.
5. Cats Love to Hide
Studies have revealed that cats do not have innate conflict resolution skills. When they get in a fight with another cat or disagree with their pet owner, rather than trying to solve the problem, cats retreat and hide.
When hiding, the object that gives them pain is out of sight, and they can better cope with the stressful situation.
6. Cats are Naturally Curious
And lastly, cats are naturally curious. If they see something they’ve never seen before, and it seems interesting, they will naturally try to jump on it and explore what it is.
The Dangers of Cardboard Boxes
You might not realize it, but there could be a danger to having cardboard boxes in your home. This is especially true when you’re moving or storing belongings. Since cats love hiding and sleeping in boxes, you might not notice that they’re actually inside, and you unintentionally threw out the box or piled them up in a shed.
There have been many cases where cats are missing for days, only for the cat owner to discover their beloved pet feline has been hiding inside one of their boxes in storage all along. And we don’t even want to talk about cats that are never found.
When you’re packing things in cardboard boxes, moving, or have a lot of boxes at home, make sure you have your eye on your kitty at all times.
Related: Best indoor cages for cats
The Bottom Line
Cats love warm, confined spaces because they’re insulating, relaxing, stress-relieving hiding spots that make cats feel safe.
If you have cardboard boxes lying around, it might be a good idea to give one to your cat. But, if you want a more durable and longer-lasting box, you can buy double-walled cardboard cat scratcher houses to give your kitty a safe place to sleep, lounge, and play in for many hours a day.