Why Do Cats Love Boxes So Much?

Pet owners know that no self-respecting cat will pass by a brand-new cardboard box without touching and sniffing it, examining its contents, and trying to get in. Where did this love of boxes come from?

Any new thing should be investigated, studied, adjusted to itself – this is the cat’s principle! A curious pet will be able to cool down to an interesting object only when a new box appears in the house or when only fragments remain from the old one.

It is better to choose a “house” according to the size of the cat itself: it should not be too spacious, otherwise there will not be a sense of confidence and security, and too tight, otherwise it simply will not fit there.

Causes why cats like boxes

Memory of a box from childhood

As a rule, a suitable box is found for a pregnant cat, in which it gives birth or raises its young. In it, the mother cat licks her babies, feeds them, and protects them from dangers. Perhaps that’s why grown-up kittens are so eager to regain a sense of security and unity with their mother that they climb into boxes.


From a young age, kittens sharpen their claws on the box, learn to climb it and climb over it, overcome obstacles, and gnaw it. They may also like the taste of cardboard or the rustle it makes when playing with the box.

A reminder of freedom

The box retains the aroma and natural warmth of the wood. Cats, even domestic ones – are still animals that are used to living in the wild. The proverb about a cat that walks by itself, arose for a reason: these mustachioed creatures are self-willed, wayward and freedom-loving, so they behave like kings, even living in an apartment. The cardboard box and the specific cellulose smell remind them of forests, nature, space, freedom and independence.


In your large apartment, it is not so easy to find a secluded place that will belong only to your pet and no one else. A cardboard box can handle this role, especially if you put a blanket and your cat’s favorite toys in it.

A place to relax

Cats are wild animals, they are used to being constantly in suspense, always ready to break off abruptly and run away somewhere. The box in this case, help them to relax. Close walls surrounding from all sides give a sense of security and safety, so the pet can rest and sleep in peace. The box is a kind of burrow in its natural habitat, the cat’s own shelter.

Place for an ambush

Predators by nature, cats love to play games and show their hunting instincts. But since not all houses have “game” (mice, birds, fish), you have to play with toys or owners. The pet hides in a box, lurks there and freezes, preparing to jump exactly at the moment when the “prey”passes by.

So, your cat, most likely, will climb into all the boxes that appear in the house, jump on top of them, sniff and turn them over, sharpen their claws on them, gnaw holes in them. This is normal and quite natural behavior.

Therefore, you do not have to worry, but watch with interest the funny actions of your pet and bring him more and more boxes of different shapes and sizes in a timely manner. By the way, by connecting several pieces of which, making holes in them and adding your favorite cat toys, you can create a whole game complex for him.