Why Do Cats Like Boxes?

Let’s get into the “if I fits, I sits” mentality — why do cats like boxes? And what’s behind this strange, adorable cat behaviour?

If there’s one thing cats and toddlers have in common, it’s their love of boxes. You can buy them a new toy or some jazzy new cat furniture, and their initial reaction is to investigate the box it came in. They make themselves at home, nestling in, getting cosy while ignoring the toy you spent a lot of thought (and money) on. Sound familiar?

While cats absolutely love our luxury cat furniture — from our scratchers to our climbers — we can’t deny that the boxes our items come in hold a massive allure to our cat customers as well. But why is this? Why do cats like boxes so much? What’s the evolutionary drive behind this unusual but adorable cat behaviour?

Cats Are Ambush Predators

The thing we all need to understand about cats and their nature is that they are ambush predators. We know that all domesticated cats think they are still fearsome lions or tigers, and they retain much of the same instincts. These carnivorous animals hunt their prey by lying in wait and luring or trapping their victims, then pouncing — unlike pursuit predators, who use speed and endurance to bring down their prey.

One reason cats might love boxes is that they appeal to this side of their evolution — they’re a prime spot to hide, be safe and wait for their prey. Or, more likely, for a laser pen. Or your ankles.

Cats Love to Investigate

Cats are curious little critters. Anything new that comes into your home will be met with a degree of interest, curiosity and, at times, suspicion.

Boxes are no different. Your furry friend will be checking the box to see what it’s for, which will involve rubbing itself against it, jumping inside, giving it a good sniff and perhaps giving it a scratch. The “new” factor definitely comes into play here.

Boxes Help Cats Adapt to Their Environment

According to a study conducted by the University of Utrecht (that’s right — there have been studies into why cats love boxes), boxes can help cats adapt to their environment. The study was performed on shelter cats. Half were given boxes, and the other half wasn’t. Cats with boxes found it easier to adapt to their environment, easing their anxiety and giving them much-needed space and seclusion. So it’s likely that boxes are just what cats need to separate themselves from the world while giving themselves a vantage point to view activity around them.

Boxes Offer a Sense of Safety and Security for Cats

As hinted above, boxes may offer a source of security and comfort for cats. Cats love enclosed spaces (as long as they get to choose those spaces themselves — you won’t get much appreciation from your cat if you decide to place them in an enclosed space without their permission.) In a box, cats know they’re safe from predators — nobody will be sneaking up on them. They won’t be suffering any intruders, and they won’t have to deal with any unpleasant surprises.

Boxes Offer Warmth

Any cat owner knows that a cat’s favourite thing is to be snuggly and warm, which is perhaps another reason why cats like boxes so much. Cardboard is a great insulator, and their body heat will rapidly warm up an enclosed box.

Two cats on boxes

Boxes Are Satisfying to Scratch

Cats love a good scratch. And cardboard boxes are an interesting, satisfying texture for cats. Cardboard is easily pierced, meaning cats can leave nice visible marks. It’s also quite porous, so it’ll soak up your cat’s scent.

Check out this post on how to stop cats from scratching your furniture.

Check Out Our Cat TeePees

So it’s clear that boxes offer cats a lot of joy and benefits. But you’d be forgiven for not wanting a permanent, drab-looking cardboard box cluttering up your home. Thankfully, we have a solution — a more permanent, stylish fixture that appeals to cats in much the same way a cardboard box does, without being an eyesore.

Our Cat TeePees can be affixed to our High Plate resting platforms. They’re a perfect place for cats to retreat, rest and relax — a little bit of seclusion from the chaos of everyday life, children and other pets. And what’s more, they’ll fit in with your decor and space, so everyone’s a winner.

If you’re looking for a stylish cat climber that will allow your cat to stretch their legs, get some exercise and also find an up-high place to retreat, our climbers are just what you’re looking for. Our climbers are made of 85% recycled material, they’re highly customisable, and we offer 30-day returns — not that your cat would ever let you return it, of course! Browse our selection today.

Our Core Values

Why Catipilla? Every product and idea we have is built around these core values.

Cat health and well-being.
Cats deserve the best. They deserve to be active, to be entertained, to stretch, to climb and to rest. To play out all of their natural instincts where they feel safest – at home. Our range has been designed to cater for these instincts and provide the most enjoyment possible.

High-quality, space-saving additions to your home.
Every unit we design is built to last. We want you to have the confidence that our products will stand the test of time. We also want to ensure that cats feel secure on our units and have the freedom to roam wherever they please.

Sustainable products that last a lifetime.
All of our Catipilla products are made from 85% recycled material and we actively work to reduce our energy footprint by sourcing materials close to home.

Paws For Thought

Our blog is packed full of interesting tidbits and tips on caring for your cat. Whether you’re wondering how to keep your cat stimulated inside or want to learn more about their unique traits, our blog has a wide range of relevant topics to choose from. Click on an article below to get started.

Introducing A Kitten Into Your Home
One of the most exciting times in pet ownership is bringing a kitten into your home for the first time and welcoming a new member into the family. Having spent…
Cat Teeth Clean
Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Clean
Keeping cats’ teeth clean and in pristine condition is often an overlooked aspect of cat ownership. Indeed, eight out of ten cats over the age of three will develop some…
Cats Up High
Cats Love To Be Up High. Why?
What is it about cats and being up high? The vast majority of breeds love to seek height, whether that’s up a tree, on a shelf, on top of the…

Find Us On Instagram