Pet Behavior

Why Do Cats Like Laying in Boxes?


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Our experts say there are sound reasons for the behavior, rooted in feline survival instincts. By understanding the natural reasons why cats love boxes, we can provide more cat furnishings that provoke happiness in our favorite felines – or just more boxes.

Cats love boxes for a few reasons, according to science. In a cardboard box, our cryptic kitties get everything from a stress-reducing hiding spot to a cozy, warm spot for a catnap. Here are four reasons why cats and boxes make the best of friends.

Cats are both predators and prey in the wild, which makes them naturally cautious animals. Boxes provide a sense of security and safety. The enclosed space offers a cozy hideaway where they can monitor their surroundings without feeling vulnerable. In the wild, this behaviour would help them avoid potential threats.

Why Do Cats Like Boxes?

Cats are fierce hunters. But while they’re hunting prey, a predator could be hunting them. This might not be exactly true for your happy housecat, but your cat hasn’t lost touch with their wild instincts to seek out safety.

Cats and Their Individual Preferences

It’s important to note that not all cats share the same affinity for boxes. While some cats practically live in their cardboard sanctuaries, others may simply walk past them without a second glance. Individual temperament, past experiences, and the overall environment play a significant role in determining whether a cat will embrace the box life.

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Cats with boxes is a charming quirk that speaks to their innate behaviors and instincts. These simple cardboard containers offer much more than meets the eye, providing a sense of security, warmth, and an opportunity to channel their inner hunter. While not every cat will be a box enthusiast, for those who are, providing a cozy box can be a source of comfort and joy.

Cats are notorious scratchers… sharpening their claws on your couch, your curtains, the carpet… Boxes make for great scratching. Cats love the way it feels to sink those little claws into that cardboard. A cat’s paws have scent pads, so when they scratch, they leave their own scent on things. So it makes sense that if they have their own little hiding place, they leave their scent on it to mark the territory as their own.

How to Safely Prepare a Box for Your Cat

  • Take the staples out of any boxes that you leave around for your cat. A staple can make for an ugly and painful puncture.
  • Remove rubber bands, twine, and strings. These items can get tangled or lodged in your cat’s intestines, or even loop around their internal organs causing a blockage. It can be life threatening.
  • If there is a cut-out for handles on a box, especially the kind where the cut-out portion of the box remains (and kind of flips back and forth), you may want to cut them out fully so that your cat will not choke himself or cut his skin by sticking his head through it. In fact, it would be best to remove any type of handle or strap.
  • Many cats are attracted to the taste of adhesives. Tape left on a box can be hazardous to them and can cause an intestinal blockage if ingested.
  • Make sure the box is not lined with plastic or containing plastic of any kind that could potentially suffocate your cat.



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