You have probably spent hundreds of dollars on cat trees and mouse toys for your pet, only for them to ignore these expensive items to sit inside of a cardboard box you were planning on throwing away. When this happens, you probably roll your eyes and ask, “Why do cats like boxes so much anyway?”
Boxes make cats feel safe and secure.
You might find it odd when your cat crawls into boxes, laundry baskets, and bags, but it is an instinctual behavior.
If your cat was living in the wild, they would be seeking out confined spaces so they could hide from predators and stalk their prey. These small spaces make them feel safe and secure.
When they are curled inside of a box, they are able to look at the world around them while staying hidden from the world around them. It makes them feel like they are in a superior, dominant position and cannot be hurt.
This is why you might notice your cat pounce from its hiding spot every once in a while and then scamper back to where they feel the safest. They are acting the same way they would have acted in the wild. They are allowing their instincts to take over.
Boxes keep cats warm.
Other than the feeling of safety that a box brings, it is also a comfortable spot for them to sleep.
Boxes keep them warm. Cats are most comfortable when they are somewhere in between 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the average home stays at a temperature of 72 degrees, the cardboard works as an insulator and keeps their body warmth higher.
Over the last few years, there have even been studies done based on cats in boxes. Researchers gave one group of cats boxes to explore and kept another group of cats away from the boxes. It turned out that the cats inside of boxes were happier and more relaxed.
This is why cats retreat to small spaces like boxes whenever they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It can help reduce their stress levels and keep them calm.
So if your kitten has been having trouble sleeping, make sure you provide them with a box of their very own to explore!
Boxes remind cats of childhood.
Cats are curious creatures. When you first unpack an item and leave a box lying around, unattended, they are going to want to check it out. They are going to want to see what is inside.
Once they realize they can fit themselves in there, curling up inside of such a small space reminds them of the womb.
It might even remind them of when they were newborns, when they were snuggled up next to their mother and their littermates.
Boxes make them feel like they are kittens again. It makes them feel warm and safe, like they are exactly where they belong.
If you decide to give your cat a box to play inside of, just make sure that you empty it of its contents first. You don’t want any packing peanuts, staples, or loose pieces of string in there for them to choke on.
You should also avoid shutting the tops of a box while your cat is inside. Even though they feel most comfortable in small spaces, enclosing them will cause them to panic and will raise their stress levels.
As long as you keep a close eye on your kitten, it’s perfectly fine for them to play in boxes. They could even use it as a replacement bed!