Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog
The Cutest Gift: Why Cats Love Boxes
The old adage “Think outside the box” does not apply to cats. Anyone who has shared a living space with a feline knows how much cats love boxes. The sight of an oversized cat stuffed into a tiny cardboard box may make the average human feel claustrophobic, but for the cat it’s perfectly heavenly, and here’s why…
Hiding and Hunting
Wild cats can be observed hiding in the grass, brush, or in rocky outcroppings while stalking prey or resting. Your housecat is not as far removed from his or her larger cousins as you may think! That old Zappos box you left lying on the living room rug may be just the thing Fluffy needs to get in touch with her predatory roots.
Animal behaviorists have found that when newly arrived shelter cats have access to boxes, their stress levels are lower and their adjustment periods shorter in comparison to those without. Although a cat is no safer inside a box than outside it, the walls surrounding him or her provide a sense of security and a feeling of protection from harm.
Warm and Cozy
Cats prefer a warmer environment than humans, between 86-97 degrees Fahrenheit, as compared to our preference of around 72 degrees. Being enclosed inside a box helps our feline friends to retain more body heat and makes for the perfect sleeping spot.
Exercising Their Instincts
Cats scratch as a way to sharpen their claws and mark territory via scent glands near the paws. The pliability of cardboard makes it an excellent place for strengthening and sharpening the claws. Some cats also enjoy chewing on the edges of a cardboard box or rubbing up against the corners as other ways to mark territory.
Cats Love Boxes
Boredom and lack of mental stimulation can cause significant stress for pet cats and lead to undesirable behaviors, such as house soiling/litter box issues, scratching on furniture, aggression, and over-grooming. Keeping a couple of cardboard boxes around the house for your cat can provide nearly endless fun and free entertainment, for both kitty and you!