Have you ever seen a video of a cat choosing the packaging of a new cat tree over the actual product? I am sure you have.
On the internet, there are numerous videos of cats loving boxes more than anything.
It seems like these boxes are more than just boxes to our sweethearts: They are beautiful, cozy and exciting castles made of cardboard.
In this blog post, I am going to answer this question and reveal the 5 reasons why cats are so obsessed with boxes.
1. Boxes Protect Your Cat
Before domestication (), cats were predators in the wild with danger lingering behind every corner. It was a dangerous world and felines constantly had to fight for their lives.
I know it’s hard to imagine, but the instincts of these old days are still deeply ingrained into every cat’s DNA, no matter how small, cute and fluffy it is.
This is where the boxes come in!
Once they are familiar and comfortable with the object, cats hop in the box, able to observe their surroundings from a safe, protected space. This protection against possible enemies makes your cat feel protected and gives them a sense of security.
And who doesn’t like that?
2. Boxes Are Nice And Warm
Why do you like blankets? Sure, they are soft and look nice, but that’s obviously not the real reason. Blankets keep us warm. They help isolate the air between our bodies and the blanket itself, heating said air up in the process.
What does that have to do with cats and boxes?
Everything, because the principle of boxes and cats’ bodies is the same. Science tell us that cardboard is a great insulator and cats are smart enough to figure it out on their own.
Basically, the first time they explore a box and stay in one for a while they realize: ‘Wait… this is nice and warm in here’. Therefore, kitties love to not only hop in but also stay in boxes for quite some time.
As it turns out, cardboard is the perfect material for cats not only because of the insulation. More on that in a minute.
3. Boxes Are Fascinating
To be honest, there is not one single exciting thing about boxes from the perspective of an adult human being. I mean after all, they are just boxes.
But cats are different.
Cats are incredibly curious by nature and like to explore everything in their environment. Now, since boxes are mostly used for packaging, they appear and disappear from time to time.
You are coming home from work. When walking into your living room, you see a huge 7 feet tall rectangle that wasn’t there when you left for work standing right in front of your couch. What would your reaction be? Would you walk past it like it’s nothing?
Since cats are extremely territorial, they notice every little change in their homes. Especially if it’s a new object that’s taller than them! Paired with their natural sense of curiosity, a box becomes something extremely fascinating that needs to be explored.
4. Boxes Have Amazing Texture
I already told you about the great insulation feature of cardboard, but that’s not the only amazing thing about cardboard. At least not to cats, that is.
We all know that cats love to use their claws and scratch things. Some of us got to experience this first hand by finding pieces of furniture or walls completely obliterated by our cuties. However, since boxes have little to no value to us, what do we care if our cats bite, scratch and destroy a box that we were going to throw away anyway?
That’s right, we don’t.
Cardboard has the perfect texture for cats to stick their claws in and take a bite here and there. Simply put: Cats like boxes because they can play with them and we like boxes because we don’t care about them getting destroyed during playtime. Win-win!
After the 4 answers I already covered, there is one more reason why boxes are so loved by cats that is actually very sweet.
5. Boxes Make Them Remember Their Kittenhood
I am sure you have seen cats trying to fit into boxes that are just way to small for them. It is super cute to watch and again, the Internet delivers with thousands of videos on this. But why do cats like the tight space so much?
It is simple.
In their kittenhood, meaning the time of their first year after birth, kittens tend to spend a long time close to their mothers. Especially true for the first few weeks, kittens are not separated from their mother even one minute.
Instead, they spend almost every second by her side, getting hugs, cuddles and kisses during the day. What a wonderful life, don’t you think?
Cats, just like humans, don’t forget this highly comfortable and emotionally warm and secure time in their lives. Being gently pressed against the body from multiple sides reminds them of this time and triggers the same warm feelings they felt back in the day.
So not only do they seek protection from predators, science also tells us that they seek emotional safety and that boxes help reduces stress.
How cute is that?!
I love the thought of my cat snuggling up in a box because she wants to feel warm and secure like she did when she was a kitten. It shows that cats are emotional beings capable of feeling love the same way as we humans do.
I hope you have a better understanding of cats’ behavior regarding the package of your new IKEA piece now. They simply seek safety, emotional security and a big junk of fun!
In a nutshell, a box is a great place that stimulates a cat’s health and well-being!
Kitties are the most wonderful pets one could imagine, and I love them dearly. My job is about cats, I love to wear cute cat stud earrings or shirts and snuggle my cat whenever possible. I think it is amazing to see and explore how they think and why they behave the way the do.