Boxes have always been a magnet for cats. For some strange reason, cats cannot help but obsess over boxes. How interesting that just a simple cardboard box does the trick for any cat. Just try it yourself! Find your friend’s cat, find a box, put the box in front of the cat, and just see what the cat does. Guaranteed that the cat will get curious and go in the box.
It is quite the feline mystery… this love affair between the box and the cat… However small or big the box is, cats will be drawn towards the box like gravity draws objects towards the center of the Earth. It really does not matter! The box can be anything from the irregular shaped box, a tiny box, or anything that even resembles a box! It is true as they say: “If I fits, I sits.”
Here are some interesting reasons why your cat loves that box.
The Perfect Hideout Spot
Cats love peace and quiet. Cats like to enjoy spending their time lazying about and minding their own business. However, there are times when your cat may get stressed out and need some time alone.
Cats hate drama and necessary attention. Cats also suck at conflict resolutions. To deal with environmental stress or fear, cats run. To cats, any box is a haven for them as it provides security, safety, and comfort.
Cats are very territorial creatures and love a routine. Cats aren’t too fond of anything out of the ordinary or drastic changes. Once a cat gets comfortably with a daily regimen and with her surroundings, she becomes confident and proud of being a cat and doing her thing. Almost as if nothing could scare her!
However, the term “scaredy cat” was coined for good reason! At an instinctual level, cats are fearful creatures.
Let’s go through a cat’s mind for a while here. Out in the wild, cats are in the awkward position of being both a predator and prey. Cats must hunt in order to feed themselves while also hiding and protecting themselves from bigger animals and other dangers.
Essentially, a cat wants visibility of her entire surroundings at all times, while remaining as close to indivisible as possible. That’s why a cardboard box is a perfect place for this exact need. That shoebox you find useless is one of the greatest assets to your cat!
While in the box, your cat will have the best line of view. Your cat will be able to peer over the sides and look out in all directions. This means that nothing will be able to creepily sneak up to your cat from any angle. The walls of the cardboard box are high enough to make your cat feel secure and hidden, yet short enough for them to easily jump in and out of.
In addition, boxes also provide an area where your cat could hide her toys. Cats have this strange habit of hiding their toys and other things in various places. Cats will often play and pounce on their toys as if they were hunting the toys itself. Then your cat will carry her toy off into a secluded area, much like a wildcat would take her kill back to the safety of her den.
This is why a box is a perfect spot for a cat. It will offer a place where cats could rest after eating their meals. It’s funny because you will often hear stories of cat owners buying their cats these expensive cat beds. Only for their cat to take more of a liking the box that the cat came in! Being in a box plays a great calming role for your cat. It helps to relieve anxiety, stress, and the pressures of being a cat. It is a great place for them to hide away and spend some alone time to themselves.
Best Coping Mechanism
Sitting in a box is probably one a cat’s favorite ways to cope with a stressful situation. In addition to the box’s role as the perfect hideout spot for cats, boxes also help cats transition and adopt o a new environment, allows them a safe haven from stress-inducing experiences, and a place for them to collect their cat thoughts.
Anytime you move to a new location, or a cat changes locations, or maybe you just adopted a new cat… this causes a great deal of stress and anxiety to any cat. Being introduced to a new environment and place is always a pretty stressful time for a cat. Cats are territorial animals and need to be accustomed to their surrounds. If they are not, they feel frightened and uneasy… almost as if a predator is stalking them. Cats will need to get acclimated to new environments and will need a place to hang out until they become familiar with the new territory. Boxes offer the perfect spot to act as a home base for your cat.
You see, a cat will take her time getting used to her environment. You really can’t rush a cat to feel comfortable in any new place. All cats are different and go at their own pace. Some cats will adjust very quickly in a matter of days, usually kittens as they are young and fearless. Other cats might take weeks or even months! When I adopted my own feral cat, it took her about two months before she even came out of her hiding place during the daytime. You have to give a cat time to get used to her surroundings.
Giving your cat a box will allow her to venture out into new territory at her own pace. As mentioned before, boxes provide a great place for cats to observe their surrounding areas while keeping themselves hidden and safe. Since a cat has exposure to her new surrounding but also feels secure and comfortable, this will effectively assist your cat with adapting to new territory faster than other scenarios. Your cat will be able to poke her head out and watch everything that happens around her!
Also, we all love feeling comfortably warm. There’s something about being enveloped in the warmth that allows us to go off to dreamland. Cats are no different! In fact, there are even many cat product manufacturers that develop cat beds that are able to get warm. Cats love their warmth as well. You will often find cats next to heaters, in sunbeams and other warm areas. Boxes also provide warmth to cats! The cardboard material acts as an insulator and uses the cat’s own body heat to warm her up!
Interesting facts, huh? Let’s continue to delve into learning about the strange cat behaviors that we humans have grown to love! Let’s uncover the mysteries of the cat and boxes.
Just A Little Catnap
Essentially, a cardboard box supplies a cat with one of the best places to sleep out of all the available spots in your household. It is a widely known fact that cats love sleeping. A cat could literally sleep for up to 20 hours in any given day! I know… I’m rather jealous of them too… These little fur balls get to sleep all day while we humans toil away at work!
Just like us, cats love sleeping in places that offer maximum amounts of comfort and coziness. In a cat’s mind, a box fits these criteria magnificently! As mentioned before, you will find many stories about how cat owners bought all these nice cat trees and cat beds for their feline overlord. Only for their cat to sleep in the box more! That’s why a simple box could bring endless amounts of joy to a cat!
I will often find one of my cats, Cornelius, snoozing away in some cardboard boxes. Cornelius absolutely loves being in enclosed spaces that offer him a place to hide. You will often find him under blankets and newspaper. Curling up inside a box is one of his most valuable skills. Cornelius even puts “best box sleeper” in his resume!
Placing a nice pillow and some towels can make a simple box into a luxurious bed for any feline. Your cat will lounge about and stretch the entirety of her muscles as she snoozes away in utter bliss. A nice self-warming cat bed would be a nice investment for any cat household, but just be sure to keep the box it comes in as well! You will find that your cat will enjoy using both!
Fun, Play, and Curiosity
Boxes are also a place for your cat to play! Cats are very playful and curious animals. Having boxes around your house could satiate their lust for adventure and curiosity! A cat could prance and jump in and out of a box for hours! Many cats will often take turns chasing each other and playing together. You will find that your cats will love hiding away in boxes, just to employ a surprise attack on an unaware victim.
Two of my cats play together and love chasing each other around the house. It could get quite chaotic at times! I will often find my little baby chasing big, hunkering Cornelius into hiding! It’s really funny seeing this 6-pound kitten chasing a fully grown male cat around the house! Cornelius will often hide away into a box, only for Little Baby to pounce on him. Then they do a little wrestling in the box!
Boxes give cats the opportunity to simulate hiding, seeking, and pouncing on prey movements. This will allow your cat to feel their natural instincts as they stalk and pounce on their toys and other cat playmates. Boxes are able to make a cat lose line of sight of their target, which gets them even more excited. It activates their hunt mode.
It’s really amazing how cats could be like children. And just like children, cats will find endless enjoyment out of a simple box! Remember that episode of Sponge Bob where Sponge Bob is like, “Imagination!”? Well, cats do just that! The way they play in a box could provide us cat owners with endless amounts of fun as well. I rather enjoy watching cats frolic, prance, and wrestle! It’s really cute!
It’s strange that the most inexpensive items provide the most amount of fun for cats. Whenever I bring in a new box and set it down on the floor, you will find Cornelius or Little Baby almost instantly stroll over the check out the newest addition to their box collection. Each new box I bring is like the newest model, and my cats love trading in their old boxes for the new ones. Out with the old and in with the new!
As much as Cornelius loves boxes, he also loves newspapers! He constantly dashes from one newspaper to the next! I like to pretend that Cornelius sees himself as a wild hunter, stalking his prey, and pouncing on his victims!
It is undeniable that cats love boxes. Cats simply cannot hide their love for boxes! Whether cats need the box as a safe haven from stress and anxiety or as a place to satiate their curiosity and need to play… cats love boxes. There could probably a countless number of reasons why this synergistic relationship between box and cat form. However, much about cats and their unique interest still continues to baffle out greatest scientist’s minds.
Remember, before you throw out any shoe boxes or delivery boxes that you may have received… be sure to let your cat have some fun! Your cat will absolutely enjoy going ham for cardboard boxes. She will hide, she will scratch, she will purr, and she will love it! If you’re going to throw it out anyways, at least your cat could get some use out of it! You might find that the box will be shredded apart and destroyed after some time.
Cardboard boxes are an inexpensive way to enrich your cat’s life! Be sure to give your cat plenty of boxes to play and sleep with! Humans will find a great deal of joy by simply watching their cats frolic in and out of boxes. Give your cat a box and observe how happy your cat gets! As always, I wish you and your feline companions the best! Be safe!