You order some fancy cat toys and your cat just wants to play with the shipping box. Sound familiar? Cats can’t get enough of boxes — they love playing in them, sitting in them, and sleeping in them. Even big cats like tigers, lions and leopards go crazy for cardboard boxes. But why?
What’s so great about a box?
- It’s the ultimate hideout. Cats are hiders by nature and enjoy cozy, enclosed spaces. Squishing themselves inside a box makes them feel safe and secure and lets them see without being seen. It can also be their coping mechanism for dealing with stress or anxiety.
- It’s a fitness center. Boxes are full of fun. They let your cat get some exercise and scratch to their heart’s content. (Your couch will thank you.)
- It’s a hunting spot. Cats are hard-wired to hunt. A cardboard box is the ideal place for your cat to lie in wait for their “prey” (whether that’s a laser pointer, feathers on a string, or a stuffed mouse).
- It provides warmth. Cardboard boxes can provide insulation for your cat, whose normal body temperature runs higher than humans.
Before giving your cat a box to play with, be sure to remove any plastic, Styrofoam, or any other packaging, as well as any staples, twist ties, or other fasteners that came on or in the box.