The main reason cats like small boxes are that when they are confined in an enclosed space, they feel safe. Cats are natural ambush predators, meaning they like to find confined places where they can hide and hunt their prey while feeling safe and warm.
Our feline friends are naturally attracted to confined, small spaces, including baskets, nooks, boxes, vases, and even your bags. Cats prefer smaller boxes instead of large and spacious ones. They will go into the small boxes, even if they don’t really fit, because it gives them comfort and security, psychologically and physically.
There are a few other reasons why cats like small boxes as well, including for warmth and coziness, as well as curiosity.
Cats require warmth
Cats like to hang out in boxes because they feel comfortable and cozy. Being in a small, enclosed space can significantly reduce your cat’s stress levels, while also helping your cat regulate her body temperature.
A small cardboard box in insulating and can make your cat feel safe and warm. The ideal body temperature cats is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius), so boxes give cats extra warmth is you don’t keep your house that hot.
Cats are just curious
Cats are naturally curious creatures, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that when you buy something new that comes in a box, the cat come to it to investigate. These items also typically smell new and strange for your cats, leaving them to wonder what the new items’ purpose is in their home.
Boxes are safe
Cats feel comfortable and secured in enclosed spaces. That’s why you’ll see them often spending a lot of time in cardboard boxes and other small spaces. Cats use these items as hiding spots where bigger predators can’t sneak up on them from all sides or behind.
If your cat is in a box, any intruders that go within their vicinity will come into their direct field of vision before the intruder spots them. This makes them feel alert, safe, and secured.
Additionally, boxes can mitigate stress and provide your feline friend with a ‘safe zone,’ where she can observe and hide. Cats don’t naturally have built-in resolution strategies, so most of them like to hide from their problems. The safety and privacy of enclosed spaces is another reason why many cats like boxes.
They make great places to sleep
Boxes, in general, are safe and warm spots that double as great sleeping areas. Most cats like to sleep up to 18 hours every day, so having a comfortable place to sleep is crucial. Cardboard boxes provide your feline companion with a safe, warm and luxurious spot to escape to and take a nap.
The benefits of cardboard in particular
Cardboard boxes provide a texture that most cats like. It’s common to find your feline companion scratching, chewing, or tearing at the cardboard. It’s both enjoyable and entertaining for them.
Cardboard boxes are a great alternative to furniture for your cat to scratch, bite, and let out all their pent-up energy. If you leave a box around, they’ll leave their scent on it to mark the box as their territory and continue to come back for rest and fun.
Providing your cat with cardboard may even help ease their anxiety. A small box gives a cat a comfortable space to relax or hide when they get tired, over-stimulated, or just need a rest. A box is a peaceful escape where they can be undisturbed.
Is carboard safe for your cat?
Boxes are generally safe for cats. However, they should be on firm and solid surface where they can’t get kicked or knocked down. You should also make sure to remove any packaging material like staples that your cat could get hurt on when it rubs against the sides of the box.
Why do some cats like small boxes more than others?
Although it ultimately depends on your cat’s preferences, a common reason that some cats are more interested in boxes is due to their fur length. Cats with longer hair and specific breeds typically like to live in environments with lower temperatures, so they may not like a box’s warmth. However, if you have a thin cat or kitten with short hair, you’ll typically find them curled up in a box when they aren’t lounging around your home.
More common questions about cats
Why does my cat not like boxes?
Cats typically like to hide, see without being seen by other ‘intruders’ while stalking their prey, and a box addresses all these needs—however, not all cats like boxes. There are several reasons as to why cats may not like boxes. One common reason is that they may have suffered trauma in a confined spot before. Other cats might just prefer their human’s warmth for comfort.
What material do cats like to sleep on?
The best materials you should pick when shopping for cat beds are all-natural materials because cats have naturally sensitive noses. Go for natural or organic materials like wool, cotton, and unbleached bedding. This will allow your cat to breathe better than synthetic materials as it will have fewer chemical odors.
Additionally, if your feline is a larger breed like a British shorthair or Maine Coon, a bigger bed is ideal.
Why are cats scared of cucumbers?
Cucumbers resemble the shape and overall appearance of a snake, which can trigger a cat’s instinctive fear of the larger predator, causing them to panic. Although it may seem funny to you, don’t try to prank your feline companion with a cucumber or similarly shaped objects, as it may leave long-term adverse effects on their mental health.
Why do cats like to be squished?
Cats are like little babies, but not as fragile. Generally, you don’t have to worry about harming your cat by gently squeezing them. They love being squished using your hands’ pressure or under your arm because this makes them feel more secure, and they like the warmth of your body. Of course, don’t squeeze them too hard that it makes them uncomfortable.
Why do cats rip cardboard?
It’s a cats’ natural instinct to play and rip their prey. So, our feline friends tear up cardboard in the same playful way. They tear cardboard boxes with their nails or teeth as a form of play and relaxation. You may also see them scratch on posts or furniture.