7 min

Why Do Cats Love Boxes More Than Humans?

Cats love boxes, perhaps more than they love humans. Boxes provide hiding places for cats to feel safe and warm. Here are 10 reasons cats love boxes more than you.

Christine Schoenwald

Updated November 10, 2022 • Published February 10, 2020

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Why Do Cats Love Boxes More Than Humans?

At our house, we can’t compete with the magic of the simple cardboard box. Every box is amazing and incredible for our cats. We even have a cat-mandated box-protocol put into place: When a box is delivered, we immediately must place it on the dining room table so that it can be thoroughly inspected. This inspection entails lots of sniffing, a modicum of clawing, and some on top-of-box-sitting.

The next step requires some skill on our part — we must open the box, taking out any harmful packing materials, while one or more of our cats simultaneously tries to get into the box. It’s a test of wills as we battle for domination. Not one of our cats has the patience to wait for even one second to get into the box.

Once the box is opened and quality-tested, it’s moved around to various locations, customized, and then after about a week, put in the recycling bin, but only after all the cats have signed off on it.

Cats love their boxes so much that it’s obvious that if they had to choose between their human and a box; they’d choose the box every time. That's why we put together the 10 reasons why cats love boxes more than humans.

Cats Think Inside The Box

Time inside a box is never wasted. It may appear as if your cat is sitting in the box not doing anything, but looks can be deceiving. Boxes are a great place for a cat to tackle the big questions of life such as,” Should I have dry food, wet food, or both for second breakfast?” Life isn’t a box of chocolates — it’s just a box.

The Box Is Warmer Than Anywhere Else

Cats feel cold more acutely than you might think; so, they seek warmth where they can find it. Boxes are a surprisingly good source of heat and cardboard is a fantastic insulator. I’m not saying to ditch your parka for a cardboard box, but don’t underestimate its ability to keep your kitty warm.

Boxes Have A Chill Vibe

If your cat jumps five feet in the air when the doorbell rings or a stranger comes into the house, they probably have some anxiety. A box allows your cat to take a time-out and relax without having to worry about getting interrupted or attacked.

Cats Can Manage Their Stress In A Box

For a cat, the enclosed space of a box makes them feel safe and secure. They can de-stress, de-compress, and take some breaths between cleaning. There are no deadly cucumbers (cat’s #1 enemy) in a box, and by hiding in a box, a cat believes that they’re invisible to vacuum monsters.

Cats Adore A Good Place To Hide

In a recent study, researchers found that cats who were provided a hiding box were able to adapt faster than those cats who weren’t. This probably goes along with the warm of the box and how comforting it is for a cat to have a box of their own, even when they’re sharing it.

Cats Love The Ego Boost Of Fitting Where They're Sitting

Boxes are one-size-fits-all even when they’re not. Squeezing into a box that nobody thought you could fit in feels like a win and proves that you’ve still got it. It doesn’t matter if a cat’s body is spilling over the sides of the box — they’ve earned squatter’s rights. Box seats, indeed!

Every Day Is Boxing Day

When you’re a cat, getting a new box in the house is a celebration. If your owner has lots of things delivered, you might get to play with three or four boxes at a time! Who wouldn’t enjoy a playground of boxes that will stimulate the hunt?

Boxes Also Have Treats Inside

We buy expensive cat toys for our cats all the time — they have a whole toy box, but still, they’ll choose a box to play in over a catnip ball or squeaky toy every time. However, if you want to take your cat’s fun to the next level, put a toy inside the box. It’s a simple hack but it takes the level of fun to a 10.

Boxes Are The Best Camouflage

Boxes allow your cat to stalk and hunt while remaining safe. You may think it would be hard not to notice a box in the middle of your living room, but boxes are good camouflage when your cat is hunting for big game.

They Can Groom In Their Own Private Box

Boxes can help your cat look their very best. A cat can take a bath in a box, trim their nails by scratching on the inside of the box (popular activity around my house), or whiten their teeth by chewing on the cardboard. A box is like having their own personal spa-day without having to go anywhere in the car.

Cats have big box love and no matter how much we humans try; we just can’t compete with the simple cardboard box.

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