What is it with cats and cardboard boxes?

Have you ever bought something that came in a cardboard box, left the box on the floor for 30 seconds, and then turned around to find it is now your cat’s new favourite thing? What is it with cats and boxes? We had a shot at working it out.

It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, cats don’t seem to discriminate when it comes to a good cardboard box. I wouldn’t be so silly as to suggest that I have cats figured out (who could possibly understand what goes on in a cats mind?). But I have come up with some suggestions.

  1. It is instinctive. Cats are king of the jungle and they like to stalk their prey. A secure hiding spot is attractive and a cardboard box gives them a vantage point from which to watch the world around them (and have the occasional swat at an ankle that passes by).
  2. It makes them feel safe. Inside a cardboard box they can only be approached from one side, so there is no possible surprise attack from behind.
  3. It is a great spot for a snuggly sleep. Considering cats sleep something like 18 hours a day, I’ll trust that they know what they’re doing and a cardboard box is the best spot they have found (for when they lose that sunny spot on the end of the bed).
  4. It is cool and dark. It is the perfect hang out spot to try to beat that summer heat that is closing in on us.
  5. Boxes are tonnes of fun. You only have to watch your cat with a box (or find the million YouTube videos that are out there) to see just how awesome a cardboard box is. They can jump around, pounce on things, climb on it, or even chew on it. Sounds a bit like the sort of fun we had with boxes as kids, so I kind of totally get it.
  6. Boxes are as cheap as a cat toy/bed/hangout spot can possibly get, and they’re in seemingly endless supply. There are boxes everywhere, and they are all different kinds. Who wouldn’t love something that offers so much variety?
  7. While cats probably aren’t fussed, they are also the most environmentally friendly cat toy/bed/hangout spot that you can get your hands on. Fully recyclable? Surely you get brownie points somewhere for that.