Why Do Cats Love Boxes?

Everyone who is owned by a cat knows what happens when you bring a new box into the house. It is like Kitty Christmas. The first thing they have to do is get inside like a child with a new playhouse. But why are cats so fascinated by a simple empty box? I suppose there are a number of things at “play” here.

I think the main reason is that cats love to play. The reason that they have an instinct for play is probably because it helps them practice for survival. Attacking their housemates, assuming it is not for reasons of dominance or territory, is practice for the hunt. Playing in a box is just an extension of that.

A box offers something a wild cat is looking for: stealth. Nevermind that they are not wild cats, they don’t know that. From inside a box a cat can see but not be seen. It is a great place to lie in wait until their prey is close and then pounce. It also offers a bit of protection from other “wild” household pets that might want to attack them.

Finally, cats are great nappers. Curling up inside a box could feel very cozy for that afternoon nap and offer protection as well.

Our cat Puck in a box

This is great. A box all to myself.

Cats and a box

Okay Puck, We’ve waited long enough.

Cats and a box

Ha, now I have the box.

Cats and a box


Our cat Chris and a box

Don’t even think about it, Frankie.

Our cat Chris and a box

This is just my size.

Our cat Chris and a box

I wonder if there is a trap door in this thing.


Our cat Frankie in a box

That’s weird that Chris just disappeared. Oh well, it’s my box now.

If anyone can shed more light on why cats love boxes, or if you just want to comment, I’d love to hear from you.



25 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Love Boxes?

  1. onespoiledcat

    I think it’s just that nice “enclosed” private feel that a box gives……not sure what the big attraction is but they do LOVE boxes – that’s a particularly nice one too!!


  2. fozziemum

    Great pics..and yes cats like hides..somewhere they can protect their backs and keep a low profile..eating this and scratching it and leaping in and out and dragging it around seems kind of contradictory…but I am NOT going to be the one to tell them πŸ™‚ Hugs Fozziemum

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I don’t understand the eating. Chewing on cardboard makes no sense to me. The scratching might be an attempt to “fluff up their napping area.”

  3. kittiesblue

    Life with Dogs and Cats did a quite similar post today so you can probably gain more insight by visiting them. Mauricio wishes he’d had that box when he was making his car for the Cat Scout’s Soap Box Derby last fall. The “racing stripes” are pawsome. XO, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Another coincidence. The Mad Hooligan Chronicles just commented about their box post too. It is a nice looking box. Too bad I had to use it for shipping today. I’ll have to get them another box (or three).

  4. Cody-Cat Chat (@CatChatCaren)

    you and Life With Dogs and Cats must be on t he same wavelength today! Both of you wrote about boxes! Believe it or not I don’t love boxes at all, just the tape on top of them MOL! Oh…just saw the comment above that said what I said, too bad…leaving mine anyway MOL! Love, Cody

  5. Sparkle

    Boxes just rule! They are fun to play in and fun to nap in. They’re versatile. I’m not surprised there are several box posts today – in fact, I’m surprised there aren’t MORE box posts from kitties!

  6. Brian

    That is a pretty cool box! I think it goes back to ancient Egypt when the royals would be carried around in what was called a litter. So of course the attraction to a “litter” box is natural MOL!


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