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Why Do Cats Sit In Boxes?

By August 26, 2020Cats

Why Do Cats Sit In Boxes? Have you ever wondered why cats leave their comfy beds and settle in cardboard boxes?

Cats sitting in card boxes is not a new phenomenon, but what confuses most cat owners is one question, “Why do cats sit in boxes?”

Veterinarians and cat experts admit that cats sometimes behave abnormally and why cats sit in boxes is another mystery to solve. However, veterinarians believe cats like to sit in boxes for the following reasons:

A Protective Shell

If you notice, you would understand that a cat likes anything that matches the following:

  1. Walls
  2. Floor
  3. Ceiling

And by chance, cardboard boxes match all the above aspects. Cats are predators by nature, and a shell provides them with a safe place where they don’t have to worry about their surroundings while hunting and focusing on only one angle of attack.

An Exotic Playground

The cardboard boxes can serve as an interesting playground for your cats where they can peek out and play hide and seek with each other or their owners.

For young cats, these cardboard boxes are a fun place to practice the art of preying, and so if they are springing out and attacking your leg, they are honing their hunting skills.

Cats are generally playful by nature, and they like to sit in cardboard boxes because it is easy and safe to scratch the sides of the boxes than the couch.

Stress Reliever

When we introduce a cat or a kitten to a new home, the stress level likely rises. And this is why many cat owners keep them in cardboard boxes until they become familiar with the new environment.

Veterinarians and cat experts have noticed a drastic change in cats’ behavior once they get in the card boxes because they feel a sense of security in them, and it helps alleviate their stress levels.

A stressed cat is most likely to suffer from several health issues that ultimately lead to behavioral issues such as frequent urinating outside the litter box, depression, and aggression. Therefore, a nice and clean card box would help overcome stress-related problems in cats.

A Perfect Me Time

Like humans need their me time to relax their minds, cats like isolation too. Cardboard boxes help to avoid conflicts in cats, and that’s how they maintain a healthy, safe distance from their problems.

In their happy time, while snuggling and hiding in the boxes, all the anguish and anger melts away leaving your feline a happy furry friend.

Kills Boredom

A bored cat is a dangerous cat.

Cats are demanding. If they don’t have enough entertainment and enrichment, they would crave your attention and can go looking for it in unwanted, destructive ways.

You may notice a cat meowing furiously in its free time or scratching the surface of your mattresses or covers. This leads to aggression and depression.

Boxes can help provide a medium to keep cats entertained. You can put a piece of cloth or a stuffed ball to make this experience more enticing for them.

A Natural Habitat

Cats do not worry about the size of cardboard boxes and play with it on a loop.

But have you ever thought, why do cats sit in boxes even when it is undersized for them?

It might be because the card boxes make the cats feel like their natural habitat. The earthy smell of boxes is more likely to keep them engaged and gives them the feeling of being in the woods with an earthy scent.

Easy Insulation

Did you know? Cats have a comfortable median temperature of mid 80’s to upper 90’s Fahrenheit. Sounds interesting, right?

Cats are the most comfortable in-between temperatures around 86-97 degrees, and our homes are around 72-76 degrees, which is a little too low for your cat’s comfort.

In this scenario, boxes act as a blanket for your cats, and so they love being there.


We all like to revert to our childhood when we reach a certain age. Just like humans reminiscence about the places they grew up in, cats do the same.  Most cats are born in boxes or spend a lot of their kitten time in card boxes. And it is possible that the scent of boxes reminds them of the place they grew up in, so they love spending time there.

How To Safely Prepare A Cardboard Box For Your Cat?

Now that you know cats share a special bond with cardboard boxes, don’t you think as a responsible cat owner you should prepare a box for your cat?

Next time, whenever a package arrives at your home, here are a few safety precautions you should take to keep your furry friend busy and happy:

  1. Check for the staples in the boxes as it can make for ugly and painful punctures.
  2. Remove elastic bands, threads, or ribbons as they can be badly get tangled or lodged in your cat’s intestine if ingested.
  3. Adhesives are poisonous to cats. Remove the leftover tapes as it can cause an intestinal blockage.
  4. Don’t create spaces with no escape routes. Otherwise, your feline would be trapped and scared.


Cats are fluids, and cardboard boxes are the containers!

We all have our safe spots, and so the safe places for cats have confined areas with walls, ceiling, and a floor.

Luckily, a cardboard box has a textural element that your cat really enjoys, and it features all of the vital aspects that fulfill your cat’s needs. Giving your cats a safe spot would help them with their anxiety and depression, so it’s never a bad idea to provide your feline friend with the healthy space it needs, besides a cat bed.

You can DIY a cardboard box playground for your furry friend and stuff it with some fun toys. Just be a little cautious with the minor hazardous things while creating an exotic space for your friend.

Cardboard boxes are plain fun for your cats and provide unlimited hours of entertainment.


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