Why do Cats Like Boxes? [8 Proven Reasons]

Why do cats like boxes – Cats and boxes are a universal pair that goes famously as peanut butter and jelly, horse and carriage, thunder and lightning, and every other great team that exists. Cats love boxes, and the evidence is readily available if you google pictures. They are all adorable and heart-melting. You can even look up “cats in boxes” on Facebook. It allows you to post photos of your cat, where people have already posted several funny pictures.

Cats are attracted to boxes, and they prefer them over any other kind of toy or enclosure. They can play in a box, sit in them and also sleep in them. Even the more giant cat breeds like tigers and lions are crazy for boxes. There must be a reason behind why do cats like boxes.

Understanding the behaviour of cats

People always tend to ask “Why do cats like boxes”. To understand that let us look into the behaviour of cats. Like every other pet out there, cats have a lot to tell you. They are great conversationalists. It will help if you put in the effort to understand their body language. You will soon be able to translate all the meows to words after going through this article. It summarises all the tips and tricks for you to communicate effectively with your feline.

#1 The body language of your cat: its eyes and ears

You can only start to master your pet’s body language after understanding the various sounds it makes. The multiple sounds will act as a predecessor in understanding your cat’s movements and gestures. Just like humans, the face of a cat does not depict all its thoughts. The facial gesture is just a small portion of body language reading. Let’s see how to understand your pet by looking at their ears and eyes.

Ears

  • Bent slightly forward- It shows that he is in a playful mood or is curious about something new. You will notice that their ears are angled forward when you give them a new toy.
  • Straight and upright ears- Cats possess super-powerful hearing. So when their ears perk up, it means something caught their attention, and they are now fully alert.
  • Pinned back or flat ears- you may also find your kitty growling or hissing if its ears are flat. It shows that your cat is either very angry or frightened.

Eyes

  • Dilated pupils- It generally means that your cat is excited if it is playing with a toy. But dilated pupils can also suggest that your cat is scared if combined with defensive or aggressive gestures.
  • Slowly blinking eyes- It is like your cat is sending air kisses to you and adores you to the core.
  • Constricted (slit-like) pupils- your cat is annoyed with you as you cannot meet its standards.

#2 Tell-tail signs

The tail of your cat plays a crucial role in understanding the language of the feline overlords. Dogs only wag their tails when they are excited and happy, but the cat tail language is quite complex, and the list below will give you an idea about the well-guarded secrets.

  • A wagging tail- If you go to pet your cat, and it flicks its tail, it means that it is annoyed with you. It would help if you were beware of the scratches that might be coming your way.
  • Twitching tail- Twitching is a milder version of wagging when the cat only moves the tip of its tail. It indicates a playful mood, and it may soon start chasing its tail.
  • Puffed up tail: A puffy tail may be cute to look at, but it shows that your kitty is terrified. If it also starts hissing, you need to be careful as it may be preparing to attack.
  • A tucked-away tail- Your cat may tuck their tail between its legs around a new family member or in an unfamiliar surrounding. It shows that your cat is anxious about something.
  • Curved tail- It resembles a question mark and indicates the curious mood of your kitty. This is the right time to introduce your cat to a new toy or surroundings.
  • Embracing tail: When a cat wraps its tail around itself, it is happy and satisfied. They also use it to welcome other cats and show affection.

#3 Understanding the (whole) body language

It is not enough to understand the sounds made by your cat or its ear, eyes and movement of the tail. You need to look at their whole body to understand what’s on their mind.

  • Lying on their back- When your cat lies on its back, its belly is exposed. It is a sign of trust as your feline revealed its most vulnerable area to you. But you try to go for a belly rub; you are going to get scratched. But if you are cat starts growling while lying on its back, it may also be a sign of agitation.
  • Arched back: Again, it can have two explanations. When your feline arches their back, you get a chance to pet them and even scratch behind their ear. But in addition to the arched back, they have hair standing up all over their body (just like you see in horror movies), which shows agitation or fright.
  • Rubbing against you: it necessarily does not mean affection in your cat’s vocabulary but the marking of one’s territory. Cats rub their cheeks against things or people because the glands located there release territorial pheromones.
  • Kneading: Also called “making biscuits,” cats only knead on the lap of unique people. It shows their contentment and that their reminiscing about their kittenhood memories.
  • Butt wiggling- although it may look cute, it is a precursor to pouncing and indicates that your cat is ready to stalk its prey.
  • Curled up: cats sleep in this position to minimize heat loss. It shows that it feels calm and safe. If your kitty does not curl up while sleeping, you may want to get it checked out by your vet.
  • Licking you- It is a way of showing great affection to you and including you in their family group. When your cat starts licking your hair, earlobes, skin, it means that they consider you a special “cat.”

#4 Speaking the feline language

Cats are very vocal animals and don’t hesitate to voice their opinions by various weird sounds and meows. But it is essential to understand the difference between an irritated and a playful sound to protect yourself from scratches from the claws of your feline. The different types of meows translated in human are:

  • Short, high-pitched meows: it is asking you about your day!
  • Numerous short continuous meows: Your cat tells you that it is happy that you are back and missed you.
  • Soft, pleading meows- shows that your feline is hungry and is acting cute as it wants you to feed it right away.
  • Low, drawn-out meows: it is getting frustrated with you and demands better treatment.

Apart from the meows, felines make a variety of other sounds to communicate with us mere mortals.

  • Trilling- it lies between a meow and a purr and is very adorable. Cats use it as a way to greet you or catch your attention.
  • Chirping- Felines chirp while hunting to attract their prey. It may sound adorable, but your gushing will scare away your kitty’s prey.
  • Yowling- Imagine someone trying to yodel and howl at the same time. Yowling sounds precisely like that irritating sound. Cats in heat yowl as a mating call, but even your spayed and neutered pet can yowl sometimes.
  • Hissing and growling- cats make these sounds when they are frightened or furious. If you are cat has not been injured, then it’s advised to keep your distance from your pet for the time being.
  • Soundless meowing- When they meow without producing any sound, it means that your cat is either dehydrated, hungry, or exhausted. But it may also be a way to get your attention if it is well fed.
  • Purring- It is a smooth sound that tugs at your heartstrings as your kitty expresses their affection towards you. It may be one of the best sounds in the world. But abnormal purring can be a sign of pain, so please get an immediate checkup.

#5 How to communicate effectively with your cat

Through the above points, we have understood our cats through their body language and the sounds they make. But how to get our feline to understand us? Cats are capable of understanding human language as well as dogs, but most of the time, they pretend not to understand us. They are mostly not interested in what we have to say.

It does not mean that you should stop communicating with your pet. Even if your feline pretends not to understand, your soothing voice can calm down your frightened cat. It can also lead you to cuddle with you if the mood suddenly strikes the feline. You can use your firm voice to teach it not to scratch on furniture. But at the end of the day, your cat will do as it pleases.

You can also use a pet camera to treat your cat and talk to it when you are not present in person. The treats and your voice will keep the cat company when it is lonely.

When all these behavorial traits are combined, it can explain the reason behind “why do cats like boxes.”

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Why do Cats like Boxes? [8 Reasons]

Even the most experienced cat owners can’t seem to understand their cat’s mind. There are numerous unanswered questions about a cat’s habits, which baffles us from time to time. But the question- why do cats like boxes can quickly be answered and also makes sense!

#1 Boxes provide safety and security

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It is the top reason for why do cats like boxes. A box is an enclosed space that a cat seeks out when stressed or hiding from something. It is the instinct of a cat to run to a box covered from all five sides. It ensures that nobody can sneak up on your cat while also giving it a clear line of vision. It is a coping mechanism, comfort space and anxiety reliever all rolled into one.

If you take your cat to a new environment, then a hiding box is a go-to to relax your cat. There are specially designed houses with boxed-in looks to provide security to your feline. The items can also be trendy, with multiple levels that your kitten can climb on.

A study conducted on a group of frightened shelter cats also proved that hiding boxes help keep cats’ stress levels down. The group of cats with boxes were comparatively less scared and adapted to the environment faster. So a container is a safe hiding place for a cat and a stress buster.

#2 Boxes are fun to play with

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The most basic idea is that boxes are fun to play around in. It gives your cat enough space to roll around in, jump in and out of it. It also allows them to make sneak attacks on their owner’s feet when they pass by. A cardboard box is even more precious to your cat as compared to a fuzzy woolen ball. The cat’s entire world can fit inside a plain brown paper box and thus answers the question- why do cats like boxes.

Cats are fun loving animal. This is the main reason for ‘why do cats like boxes’

#3 Boxes satisfy the hunting instincts of a cat

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All the predatory instincts of your cat are satisfied by the use of a simple box. It gives them a place to hide in and make surprise attacks on their prey. They like to feel like the more giant family members and stalk and wait for their game, even if they don’t need to hunt for survival.

#4 It gives them a territory of their own

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Cats are territorial animals, and a box is a valuable part of the territory. Cats even consider a square to be their own and sit inside it to mark it as its own. Cats are solitary animals and don’t have conflict resolution skills like dogs. After a fight, they prefer to sit alone in a box and observe the surrounding area for unwanted individuals’. It is the perfect answer for why do cats like boxes.

#5 It gives them a place to scratch and chew

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Cats like to scratch and sharpen their claws on your house’s various materials like furniture and curtains. But a box makes a great substitute. Cats’ paws have scent pads, so they leave their scent behind when they claw into things. Cardboard is excellent to claw into and also helps your cat to mark its territory using its scent. Cats also like to chew as an imitation of killing and ripping up their prey. So leave them with a box they can tear up to their heart’s content.

#6 Boxes act as sensory deprivation chambers for cats

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Boxes help feral cats to adjust to their surroundings faster. It gives them a hiding place in the strange and loud animal shelter. It reduces their stress and makes their transition easier, becoming one of the most important reason behind “why do cats like boxes.”

#7 Boxes engulf the cat in warmth

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Cats like temperatures between 86-97 degrees. But a general home is 72-76 degrees, which is almost 14 degrees colder than the temperature preferred by your cat. Corrugated boxes are excellent insulators and the perfect place for your pet feline.

#8 It is a cozy place to sleep in

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Your cat does not need an expensive cat bed or a palace. A cardboard box with a cozy blanket thrown in is a palace in your cat’s eyes. It is the most luxurious place you can give your pet while also providing it with a sense of security.

‘Why do cats like boxes’ should be the last question in your mind now.

Boxes also act as nesting spots for the cat and its kittens. They are dawn hunters and love to sleep in. A box is a perfect place to relax for 15-20 hours a day, and thus explains why do cats like boxes.

But cats can also sleep in other enclosed places like a drawer, their owner’s purse, laundry baskets, in short, places that are good to hide in.

Safety measures to adopt while preparing a box for your cat

To ensure your cat’s safety, these are a few steps you can go through with a box before using it as a home for your cat. Well, to answer the question ‘Why do cats like boxes?’, we must be aware of the safety measures as well. 

  • Removes all the staples from the boxes as they puncture the skin of your cat. It can lead to painful injuries.
  • Get rid of rubber bands or strings left behind in the box. If your cat consumes them, they can get stuck in its intestines or cause a blockage in the organs. In short, a little piece of twine can be life-threatening for your pet.
  • Suppose the box has a cut-out for handles, where the cut-out flaps back and forth; you must remove it entirely. Your cat may attempt to stick its head through, which can lead to accidental choking or cuts on the skin. So remove all handles or straps.
  • Cats like to lick adhesives, which is hazardous for their health. Thus remove any left behind tapes to prevent intestinal blockage if ingested.
  • The box should also not contain plastic or other materials that could suffocate your cat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1 Why do cats like high places?

Cats prefer to sleep as well as stay in high places as they are great vantage points. It is their instinct to protect themselves, and the height gives them a view of the surrounding area. It ensures that it can spot the danger approaching.

Q2 Why do cats like to sit on paper?

Paper is an excellent insulating material. Cats sit on papers when the surrounding area is comparatively cooler. Cats that have difficulty sleeping also use newspapers to lie down in search of much-needed warmth. But for some pet cats, it can simply be a way to grab their owner’s attention. They resort to sitting on anything that the owner is using to divert their attention towards itself.

Q3 Why do cats like lasers?

Cats are predatory animals. They like to hunt and be on the move. Thus a fast-moving object like a laser grabs their attention quite quickly. The red light has a similar movement to that of a mouse or critter. It looks like an animal trying to escape its hunter. So this motivates the cat to run around it.

Q4 Why do cats like squares?

A square provides them a feeling of safety and security, but it is largely misplaced. Cats assume the square to be a box without walls and attach the same feelings towards it that they have towards boxes.

Conclusion

A cat and its box are the perfect pair to exist. There are several reasons why do cats like boxes. A cat prefers boxes to cuddle in, hunt its prey, and as well hide when threatened. A box is your feline’s world. But it can also lead to weird circumstances.

“As I was packing my items to move to a new house, I couldn’t find my cat anywhere. All my boxes were packed and loaded into the truck. I assumed that my cat was hiding because it didn’t want to move to a new environment. But when I moved to the driveway, I heard a meowing sound and found my cat cuddled up in a box of towels that wasn’t closed properly. Maybe it had already been there for hours.”

Hence it becomes pretty important to check all kinds of boxes and items before throwing them away. Also, make sure to properly close the doors of electrical appliances at home as it can be pretty difficult for your cat to escape from once trapped inside.

Cats are independent animals but also need companionship, attention, and treats. They prefer you to be around to play with them and hand out treats. They deserve excellent care and love. So you may also want to look for a cat sitter in your absence.

Well, the question ‘Why do cats like boxes’ must have been answered for you now.

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