Why do cats like boxes

As all cat owners know cats are pretty much obsessed with boxes. Any kind of boxes, whether folding carton boxes, rigid boxes, or corrugated boxes, in all sizes big and small, oddly shaped boxes, moving boxes, shoe boxes, Pringles tubes, and so on, all cats seem to follow the principle “If it fits, I sits”. So we all wonder why, why do cats like boxes so much?

why do cats like boxes

We often bought an expensive cat bed for our furbaby to choose to sleep in the box the bed came in. You just have to place a simple cardboard box on the floor and your cat will be in it in just a few seconds (unless she is munching on some yummy food of course).

Because today, all cat pawrents celebrate International Box Day (every year on June 19th) we thought it would be cool to find out what’s the deal with cats and boxes.

For more cat related days to celebrate with your furbaby check out our Official Cat Days Calendar!

Why do cats love boxes?

Cats have many reasons to love boxes, but they mainly love spending their time in boxes because boxes make cats feel safe and reduce their stress levels while providing great hiding spots and keeping the cats warm when inside.

Maru never hesitates to get into any kind of box!

Boxes are a cat’s safe zone

why do cats like boxes

Cats feel secure in enclosed spaces. And although in the wilderness cats chose to hide in trees, dens, and caves, where they felt secure watching everything from above and being sheltered from other predators,  living in a human home they will choose to retreat and hide in any enclosed space they feel secure like a wardrobe, under the bed, in the bath or sink or in a box!

Boxes help cats deal with stressful situations

cat in big box

Moving house can be a very stressful situation for a cat, as is bringing a new cat home or living in a shelter. A cat’s normal reaction to dealing with stressful situations is to go and hide.  

A study conducted in 2014 by Claudia Vinke, an ecologist at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, helped determine how beneficial boxes in reducing a shelter cat’s stress levels helping the cats adapt faster to their new surroundings and also make the cats be more open to interacting with humans after. In other words, boxes make cats feel more “at home” when adapting to a new environment. 

cat plays in box
Piece of advice
If your cat is dealing with stress provide her with plenty of hiding boxes around your house where she can choose to retreat and slowly adapt to whatever she needs to deal with and decide to come out when she is ready.
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Boxes are great insulators 

Cardboard boxes are great insulators that help preserve a cat’s body heat and keep them warm. 

cat in box

Compared to humans, cats have a higher body temperature ranging between 100.5°F and 102.5°F (38.1°C and 39.2°C) and the ideal room temperature for a house cat is 86°F to 90°F (30°C to 32.2°C) without your cat having to generate any extra heat to keep warm, but the normal temperature for humans in a house is around 72°F (22.2°C), so the safe space of a cardboard box offers the comfort your cat needs to maintain her thermoneutral temperature by curling up inside it and just falling asleep.

Boxes are fun hiding spots for cats

cat in box

We all need to get away from some unwanted attention and hiding in boxes is the best way to stay away from it all. From inside a box, your cat can spy on all your moves and plan a sneak attack whenever you pass by it. Plus the texture of the boxes makes it easy for your cat to just stick their teeth in and shred them to pieces. 

Ways of celebrating International Box Day

This day is purrfect to spend more time with your cat and think out of the box for a change.

Today it’s time to gift your cat with yet another cardboard box and watch her revel in delight.

Spend time with your cat in a big box, take pictures and upload them on social media with International Box Day hashtags.

If you have time, you can even go to your local supermarket, ask for some free empty cardboard boxes, and then come home and build a fort or a castle for your floof. 

In the final thoughts, from a cat’s perspective, boxes have it all, the comfort and safety, the purrfect warmth, a pawsome hideout that reduces stress and gives them some needed personal space, and all these are more than enough reasons to celebrate boxes all around the world today.

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