Happy Silly Cat

A Box Full of Joy: The Science and Safety of Cats and Boxes

Why Do Cats Love Boxes? Cats and boxes a match made in heaven.

If you have ever owned a cat, you know how much they enjoy exploring boxes, whether they are big or small. But what is the reason behind this behavior?

In this article, we will explore the science behind why cats love boxes.

Cat Behavior and Curiosity

Cats are curious creatures, always on the lookout for something new and interesting to investigate. Boxes, with their enclosed space, provide a perfect environment for cats to satisfy their inquisitiveness.

Boxes offer an exciting new space for cats to explore and play in, which is highly stimulating and can provide excellent mental stimulation.

Safety and Hiding Place

Another reason why cats love boxes is that they offer a safe and secure hiding place. This behavior is rooted in a cat’s evolutionary past, as they have evolved to be predators and prey alike.

Cats often feel safer when they have a hiding spot to retreat to when they feel threatened or exposed. A box provides a secure and enclosed space where the cat can rest and feel safe.

Box Texture and Insulation

It is no secret that cats love to nap and sleep in cozy spots. The texture and warmth of a box often act as cat magnets, drawing them in and making them feel comfortable.

The insulation provided by the box creates an ideal environment for the cat to regulate its temperature and maintain a comfortable body temperature.

How Cats See Boxes

It is essential to understand how cats perceive boxes to comprehend why they find them so fascinating. Cats have a unique way of viewing their surroundings, and their perception of boxes is no exception.

Predator and Prey Instincts

Cats are predators by nature, and they approach the world with a predatory mindset. Just like how they would view potential prey through the grass or the leaves, cats’ view of a shoebox or any other container is that it could be a perfect place from which they can ambush unsuspecting prey.

This behavior is common, and it is why cats can often be found hiding in a box or taking a keen interest in anything that moves or rustles inside.

Box as a Safe Hiding Place

As we have mentioned before, boxes provide cats with a perfect hiding spot where they can rest, relax, and stay safe. If you have ever tried to persuade a cat to go to see the vet, you may have noticed your furry friend gravitating towards any available boxes, bags, or carrier.

This behavior is due to the box’s association with safety and security, as it can be considered a “home away from home” for the cat.

Association with Carrier

Another reason why cats love boxes is that they associate them with carriers. Pet carriers are necessary for transporting a cat from one place to another and are typically made up of boxes.

When cats see a box, they often associate it with a carrier, which they associate with travel and adventure.


Cats can be mysterious and enigmatic creatures, and their behavior can be both amusing and puzzling at the same time. However, understanding why cats do what they do can provide us with a richer and more rewarding experience of being their owners.

By providing them with safe spaces to explore and rest, such as boxes, we enable cats to live happier and healthier lives. Whether you view a box as a plaything or a piece of furniture, it is a part of a cat’s life that cannot be ignored.

Understanding why our feline friends love boxes will help us appreciate our cats even more and give them the attention and care they deserve.

3) The Allure of Boxes

There is something intriguing to cats about boxes. From the tiniest to the biggest feline, they all appear to have an infatuation with enclosed spaces of all sizes and shapes.

Based on observations, research, and cat behavior history, numerous explanations suggest why cats jump at the opportunity to squeeze their way inside empty containers.

Texture Preferences

Cats are particular when it comes to their personal preferences, particularly when it relates to the texture of items around them. The texture of boxes, particularly cardboard boxes, is favored by most cats.

This is because cardboard has a coarse feeling that’s enjoyable for cats to rub and scratch against.

Insulating Properties

Cats love being warm, dry, and safe. Since boxes are created from materials such as cardboard, metal, or plastic, they retain heat.

This could be why cats love curling up in a box or a cat carrier. By sitting inside an enclosed space, cats can regulate their body temperature, keeping them warm during colder months.

Scratching and Nibbling Behavior

A cat’s scratching and nibbling behavior may also be a factor in their fascination with boxes. Researchers believe that much of what cats do in box environments is motivated by stress relief.

A cat’s behavior such as kneading, scratching, and biting in a box is regarded as “discharge” behavior, which can help alleviate stress and social anxiety.

4) How to Foster Positive Experiences with Boxes

The box is the gift that keeps on giving for cats. However, not all boxes are made equal, and it’s essential to understand how to foster positive experiences with boxes.

Here is an overview of some ways to ensure our felines have the very best experience with their beloved boxes.

Soft Blankets and Toys

Not all cats may enjoy scratching on the rough surface of cardboard boxes, so it’s best to create a softer, more inviting environment. Placing a soft blanket inside the box will give your furry friend a fresh, cozy environment to rest in.

Soft plush toys can also be put in the box to provide your cat with something to snuggle with while they nap.

Calming Pheromones

Feliway is a synthetic form of the pheromone that a cat generates to mark its territory. The scent is calming and soothing to felines.

Spraying Feliway in or around the box will help reduce any stress that your cat might experience and create a relaxed environment that they’ll appreciate.

Location in the Home

The location of the boxes is vital, as cats like to have their own territory. Find a location that gives your cat the privacy and safety they desire while still being in close proximity to the rest of the family.

Putting a box in a family room or bedroom can provide your cat with sense of belonging and reassurance, improving their quality of life. In


Boxes and cats have an unbreakable bond, and this fascination is built on their love for texture, insulation, and relief from anxiety.

By providing a welcoming space and environment for our furry friends, we can foster a positive experience with boxes that will enhance their lives and give them the joy they deserve.

5) Safety Tips

The allure of boxes is undeniable to cats, but it’s crucial to ensure their safety while they bask in their cardboard kingdom. With a few precautions and simple steps, we can ensure that our feline friends can live out their box fantasies without risking injury or harm.

Remove Staples

Boxes are usually held together with staples and adhesive, but the sharp metallic edges of staples can be a potential hazard to cats. To avoid any danger, it’s a good idea to remove any staples before allowing your cat to play or rest in the box.

A quick and easy method is to use a staple remover or pliers to carefully remove each staple one by one.

Avoid Twine or String

Cats have a natural tendency to chew on various items, including strings and twine. If you use string or twine to wrap or tie boxes, ensure that the strings are cut short or removed altogether.

This is essential because cats can easily swallow long strings, and this can lead to severe complications such as choking, intestinal blockages, or surgery.

Sturdy Surface and Positioning

It’s essential to place the box on a sturdy surface that won’t collapse or tip over, potentially harming your cat. Additionally, the box should be placed in a safe and secure location.

Cats are territorial and generally prefer areas that provide safety, comfort, and privacy. Also, boxes shouldn’t be positioned near sharp furniture edges or potentially hazardous areas where a cat might become trapped or accidentally hurt.



Boxes can provide cats with endless entertainment and comfort, but it’s our responsibility to ensure their safety while playing and resting in them. By following these safety tips, you can mitigate any potential hazards or accidents.

Boxes can be a fun and intriguing pastime for cats, and with a little extra care, they can explore their curiosity to their hearts’ content while remaining safe and secure. In conclusion, the love of boxes is a natural and exciting behavior for cats.

Their attraction to boxes is based on their texture preferences, insulating properties, and scratching and nibbling behavior. To foster a positive experience with boxes, provide soft blankets and toys, calming pheromones, and a location that gives your cat privacy and safety while being close to the family.

To ensure the safety of your cat, remove staples, avoid twine or string, and place the box on a sturdy surface in a safe and secure location. By following these safety measures and tips, we can keep our feline friends safe and happy while they indulge in their love of boxes.

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