Do you lavish your cat with unending beds and toys only to find that the box the gift came in is worth more than the item itself? In that case, you are not alone! “If it fits, I sits” is a saying that almost all cat owners are acquainted with.
Cats have a remarkable propensity for squeezing themselves into small spaces, including bags, containers, sinks, laundry baskets, and boxes, for relaxing or sleeping. They can’t help but be drawn to the cosy, cramped environment for some reason.
There are a few intriguing theories that investigate the reason cats like to cram themselves into confined spaces and boxes, even though we may not have all the answers.
Why Do Cats Enjoy Cardboard Boxes So Much?
Though cats like boxes for several reasons, safety and security are the main motives. Cats are both prey and predators, and boxes enable them to hunt, hide, and feel safe in an enclosed space.
Why do cats like to sit in boxes? Let’s explore the top 8 reasons cats like to snuggle in cardboard boxes:
1. Boxes Provide Safety And Opportunities For Hiding
Being able to hide is crucial for cats! Even the foremost confident or outgoing feline needs a place in its home to retreat and conceal occasionally. Boxes help kitties feel safe, allows them to assess their surroundings from a secure area, provide them a sense of control over what happens to them, and improve their feelings of confidence.
Moreover, cats aren’t good at conflict resolution, particularly with their own species, so a cardboard box offers a secure space to retreat in response to threatening behavior from other cats.
2. Cardboard Makes A Great Insulator
Turns out cats aren’t only clever but know how to choose the correct product to keep up their body heat. The thermal property of a corrugated cardboard makes it a good insulator since it traps heat. The enclosed space of a cardboard box offers warmth, tranquillity, and solace from the outside world.
3. Wonderfully Cozy Places to Sleep
Cardboard boxes are a favorite sleeping place for many felines since they provide warmth, protection, and comforting pressure. Boxes are a great place for uninterrupted sleep. A recent survey found that elderly cats’ top sleeping preferences are warm sunny spots, by the radiator, next to the fireplace, or on their owner’s bed. Although carton parcels came last on the list, experts recommend providing elderly cats larger boxes with shallow entrances for easy access to account for the geriatric cat’s lack of body flexibility..
4. Boxes Make Great Play Areas
Regardless of the box shape or size, cats are inquisitive creatures who like to play as well as explore novelty items. Cardboard has a distinctive texture that’s ideal for endless fun and scratching.
Most notably, it’s fun for cats to play through cut out entry/exit holes in boxes. Boxes can also be turned upside down to provide variety, great for cats since they are attack predators who prefer to obscure themselves before pouncing on toys, other cats, and humans when they least expect it.
5. Stress Reliever In New Environments
According to a 2014 study, cats supplied with hiding boxes in their new environment compared to those without a concealing box were less stressed and adapted quicker to the new surroundings, which demonstrates the remarkable benefit of the humble carton box.
Moreover, “hide and perch” boxes are particularly gratifying in shelters and vet clinics; a cardboard box placed on its side allows easy accessibility while the perching spot on the top of a box enables cats to get off the ground, feel more secure, and experience less stress.
6. Scent-Related Boxes Promote Sensory Enrichment
Sensory stimulation is extremely valuable and enjoyable for cats. Cats exposed to novel scents are much more exploratory and playful. Homemade sensory boxes filled with objects foraged from outdoors like dried leaves, twigs, feathers, catnip, or silvervine, and scrunched up paper, toys, or treats encourages play as well as provides sensory enrichment.
7. Eating Material
Another quirky reason cats like boxes, certain kitties enjoy shredding boxes into tiny pieces due to the texture of the cardboard. Most common reasons of biting or gnawing on packing boxes are due to boredom, pica, predatory outlet, and teething issues in kittens.
8. Boxes Offer Secluded Nesting Areas
Lastly, queens like nesting in cardboard boxes with wool blankets since cartons are instrumental in preserving heat, providing privacy, and reducing prenatal/postnatal stress, which might negatively influence the health, development, and welfare of her offspring.