Why Do Cats Like Boxes? – The Surprising Answers


Why Do Cats Like Boxes? - The Surprising AnswersI constantly found my kitty, Phoebe, curled up in my old toy box, empty soda can box, or her favorite, shoe boxes. It always made me want to know…why do cats like boxes? The surprising answers make sense, but I always thought it was an attraction of comfort. However, that’s not the case.

Related: Why Does My Cat Sleep for So Long?

Cats like boxes for several reasons…

Stress Relief

Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands performed a study on shelter cats. One group of felines had access to boxes, while the other group were box-deprived. Her study found a significant difference in stress levels between cats that had the boxes and those that didn’t. The kitties that had their beloved boxes were less stressed, grew accustomed to their surroundings faster and engaged with humans sooner. The boxes allowed them to hide and cope with environmental changes and stressors on their own time.

Size Matters

Ever notice your cat trying to squeeze into a tiny box. In the meme world you’ll find it under the “If it fits, I sit” category. Cats like it hot and their preferred temperatures range from 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. The smaller box forces the cat to curl up in a furry little ball, which preserves body heat. The box, typically cardboard, is a great insulator, too.


Cats are ambush hunters. They like to hide, pounce, and then return with their prey to their safety spot. Boxes make cats feel as though they can’t be snuck up on, which allows them to focus on their prey on take a cat nap. Being that cats sleep an average of 20 hours a day, having a safe, stress-free, and warm spot to curl up in is very important to your furry friend.

Related: 5 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

In all, it’s instinctual for your cat to seek out boxes. The seemingly odd cat behavior gives your kitty a sense of safety to hunt or nap while relieving stress and staying warm. One thing is certain, it’s pretty darn cute!

Where is the weirdest place you’ve found your cat curling up for a nap? Share your crazy kitty stories in the comment section below.

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