Cats have behaviors that sometimes seem very strange to us. For example, you have probably noticed that a cardboard box makes them happy and that they will often prefer this totally uninteresting object to their favorite toys. But for cats love boxes as if it were something fabulous? In this article, I explain the different reasons why cats love boxes.

Why do cats like boxes?

There are many reasons why cats love boxes so much. They are linked to his natural survival instinct, and you will see, correspond to an absolutely implacable animal logic.


Cats love boxes because they feel safe there. Even an apartment cat retains survival reflexes. And among these, protecting themselves from possible dangers is always present in their animal instinct.

A box that does not allow them to pass by the sides without jumping offers them protection against possible predators. Remember that your cat spends a lot of time sleeping, and while much of that sleep is light, they prefer to feel sheltered when sleeping.

It is for this reason that they often sleep high up on their cat tree, to have a view of their environment and be sheltered.

In the wild, they only sleep when they feel completely safe because a predator might appear during this time when they are totally vulnerable. Even if he feels good at home, he retains behaviors to protect him from any potential danger.

If the box is high up, then your cat will have his favorite object for sleeping or resting there, offering absolutely everything he is looking for.

Anti stress

Cats can be stressed for many reasons, such as changes, a new environment, or the presence of predator-like objects , such as cucumbers .

And when under stress, they like to hide, and sometimes for very long periods of time. Cardboard allows them to hide from the outside world and relieve their anxiety. It allows them to regain their calm thanks to the isolation it provides.

If your cat got scared of something, it’s totally normal for him to jump into a box. Especially if he doesn’t have a cat tree or the possibility of sleeping high up.

To avoid conflicts

If your cat detects a conflict in your home, he will prefer to stay away while waiting for a return to calm. There too, the cardboard allows him to isolate himself easily while waiting for the situation to return to normal.

Cats do not like agitation, he will only come back when calm has returned and will isolate himself while waiting for the conflict to be over.

To keep warm

Cats don’t like the cold, and boxes can provide a slightly warmer environment. Cats need a little more heat than humans because their body temperature is higher.

Sleeping in cardboard can give them an opportunity to maintain their body odor more easily because cardboard is a very good thermal insulator and they will feel more comfortable in it during cold periods.

A cold cat will generally sleep in a ball and often near a radiator or in the kitchen, where it is a little warmer.

For the smell

Cats have a very developed sense of smell, allowing them to compensate for their poor eyesight and love the woody smells in which they hunt in the wild. However, the cardboard is made of paper, itself made of tree pulp and will be very pleasant to them.

The boxes can therefore be very attractive to them in terms of smell and they will feel good there for this reason. Any smell reminiscent of nature will be pleasant to them, and the smell of cardboard will immerse him in a cocoon of comfort.

Cats are very sensitive to smells, for example they hate citrus smells and love bleach (which is dangerous for them, however).

They like the texture

Cardboard boxes are great for cats to scratch and play with by biting and scratching. On top of that, cardboard is a softer material than the ground and they will feel good there.

Out of curiosity

Your cat will approach the box gently, smelling it and discovering it. Each novelty will arouse the curiosity of the cat so that he can define its usefulness, its potential danger… It is therefore normal that he is interested in cardboard if he has never seen one of this kind.

Young cats are often very very curious and can spend a lot of time inspecting it to find out, they will bite it, scratch it, smell it, rub it before settling in it.

By hunting instinct

Maybe you’ve seen your cat dive headfirst into a box. And at first glance it seems very strange. Is he preparing for the Olympic Games? In fact, he is simply sharpening his hunting instinct.

Young cats can spend hours jumping around a box like mad, with pupils dilated with excitement and paws ready to leap into the box.

Is it good to let it be?

It’s okay to let your cat be in its box or play with it as long as it doesn’t swallow it. If he really loves his box, you can get him a cat box, specifically designed for our dear and tender felines. There are even small cardboard houses designed for cats.

Why do cats like boxes? The final word

Cats love boxes for instinctive and totally natural reasons, you can let them discover this absolutely magical object in their eyes. There is no contraindication to letting it happen. You can even offer him a cardboard niche if he loves the smell of this object which is totally banal to us.