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Why Do Cats Love Playing with Boxes?

Has your cat chosen the cardboard box over your expensive cat tree? The reasons cats love playing with boxes make more sense than you think.

By Kelsey LangePublished 5 years ago 5 min read

If you have a cat, you know how much she loves playing with cardboard boxes. A lot of us cat owners, though, might be wondering why. Believe it or not, each of the reasons that she does will help you to relate to your kitty a little more.

From feeling secure to simply liking the smell of the cardboard, they aren't just neglecting the coolest cat condos to hurt you. However, they are still a little weird for wanting to chew on the corners of the boxes you leave laying around the house.

Cats, like most animals, find security in a place to hide. Even though they are comfortable in your home, they will find comfort in a small space like a box. This is because they are secretive animals. So when a box can secure them by protecting them from the back or sides, they find comfort and relaxation. Just like people find security in their own space, like in their bedroom or at a desk, cats require this too.

Also, if you somehow didn't realize it, cats sleep for the majority of the day. Much like humans, they want to feel safe and protected while they sleep. So in a sense, a box can act as a security blanket. Cats love playing with boxes because they feel safe inside of them.

They can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Yes, cats get stress and anxiety just like you and I. And with this, they need a place that will calm them down.

Living in a large home can be overwhelming for a small animal. And finding security inside of a box can release this anxiety. So next time you're curious why cats love playing with boxes, you can attest this to their emotions.

They like the smell.

Kitties like the smell of the outdoors, especially the forest. Have you ever seen your cat rub its face in the grass? This is the same reason they like the smell of cardboard. Since cardboard is made from trees, it mimics the smell of the forest and the outdoors. This smell can help with their stress levels.

They keep them warm and cozy.

Cats also like to feel warm and cozy. Most cats don't like the feeling of fans or air conditioning because it affects their whiskers. Cats prefer a room temperature a bit warmer than humans do, too.

So when they can get away from the cold, and escape in a warm and cozy little home base, they will take the opportunity. Cardboard boxes make for a great insulator. So cats love playing with boxes because they can give them some warmth, away from any wind or fans.

They help them hide from "prey."

Even if you've never seen your cat actively preying for food, they are still preditors by nature. As one of the most commonly played games, cats love to play cat and mouse with just about everything.

Cardboard boxes provide protection from their prey, as well as a place to hide and stay unseen by their pray. Whether this be another kitty walking by, your foot, or one of the must have cat toys, they love to stay posted inside of their box until the time is right.

They can chew on them.

Okay, we can't exactly justify this reason for cats love for boxes as well as the others. But, it is very apparent that cats love to destroy the corners of any cardboard boxes in their vicinity.

Cats love playing with boxes because they can destroy them, frankly. And this makes for a great toy to give to them for free, because you won't have to worry about repurchasing one. Just wait until a new package comes in the mail.

However, you do have to worry about vacuuming up all the excess cardboard shreds that your kitty happily created.

They provide endless hours of fun.

One of the most obvious reasons cats love playing with boxes is that they provide endless hours of fun. Do you remember playing with a huge cardboard box your family got from the new flatscreen TV?

You spend more time drawing all over it, hiding inside of it, and creating it into a spaceship than actually watching the television. This is similar to why cats love boxes. Though they don't have opposable thumbs to draw, they can snuggle up, stick their hands through the holes, and prey on unsuspecting friends.

They might be a bit anti-social.

Just like you need some time alone in your room for a few hours, cats need some time to themselves as well. Being anti-social is common for cats. And allowing them to have some time in the dark of their new found toy is normal. As one of the most common reasons cats love playing with boxes, they might just be sick of you.

"If it fits, I sits."

A principle that has been around for years now; "If it fits, I sits." This phrase has created many compilation videos of adorable cats sliding themselves into very small spaces, such as vases, toys, bowls, and of course, boxes.

Though these videos are adorable to watch, they come with a relevant principle. If your cat can fit inside of a space, they're going to take advantage of it. Curiosity killed the cat, right? Well, if there's a brand new mysterious box that hasn't been sat in before, they're going to take their chances.

So, now that you know why, how can you use boxes to please your feline friend?

So now that you know every possible explanation for why your cats love playing with boxes, put that knowledge to good use! As a proud cat owner, you should take advantage of your cat's love for boxes.

Take it upon yourself to create a spaceship box just like you had as a kid, or any other DIY cat house. You might have more fun than you think. Plus, adding a few extra holes and spaces for your cat to explore will make them even more happy with their security blanket.


About the Creator

Kelsey Lange

Passionate about writing, animals, makeup, movies, friends, family, learning, exercising, and laughing!

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