Cats With Cardboard Boxes

It’s no secret cats love cardboard boxes! Our feline friends like to be in, on, around, or sometimes simply next to a cardboard box. They love to scratch it, claw it, bite it, rub it, love it, and sleep on it or in it. Size doesn’t seem to matter: If the box is too small, Kitty will often just squish themselves inside anyway. Box too big? A happy cat will usually just hop inside and run around like a crazy kitty. Or sleep. They totally like to sleep in a cardboard box, too.

If you want to get your cat a present they will love, give them some cardboard. It’s easy shopping for you, because color doesn’t matter and in kitty’s mind, one size fits all.

A tabby cat inside a cardboard box.
A contented tabby cat lounges in a cardboard box.


A cat rests in a shallow box made of cardboard
Even shallow cardboard boxes are loved by cats!

Video Of Cats and Cardboard Boxes

The following short (2:48) video is a YouTube smash with approximately 900,000 views! It features  a montage of cats playing with one of their favorite toys: The simple cardboard box!

So, Your Cat Loves A Cardboard Box. But Why?

Most cat or pet behaviorists theorize cats love a cardboard box (or pretty much any box, paper sack, open purse, backpack, and so on) because they feel safe and secure in a small, confined area that limits their visibility to the outside world. Sort of their own protective kitty cave. A box lets them hide, yet have a window to the world where they can dash out and “hunt” a cat toy (or human toes) if they should happen to go by.

So, small, enclosed spaces give our cats a feeling of security where they can relax, sleep, or play, but still peer out to keep an eye on things in case they feel like darting out for a quick ambush attack. Cardboard boxes, as opposed to say, a plastic storage box, seem to add an extra layer of appeal because the cardboard is fun for felines to sharpen their claws on, or chew on the edges.

A content-looking yellow cat inside a cardboard box
A rather content-looking cat enjoys being inside a cardboard box.

What Is Cardboard?

We all know our cats love cardboard, whether it comes in the form of a box or some other form. But what exactly is cardboard?

One way most of us use the term “cardboard” is to refer to a heavy-duty paper that is more properly known as paperboard. It is similar to paper, but is thicker and more rigid. Paperboard is commonly used for packaging smaller or lighter weight items such as breakfast cereal, soda cans, shoe boxes, and a zillion other things you carry home from the store every day.

Corrugated cardboard, on the other hand, is different. Corrugated cardboard is stiffer and stronger than paperboard, and is made up of three layers: an inside layer, an outside layer, and a layer in between that is corrugated, or bent into a series of “S” shaped peaks and valleys. The corrugated layer gives corrugated cardboard strength, and corrugated cardboard boxes are commonly used for shipping larger or heavier items, or even smaller, lighter items that need the protection a stronger container can provide.

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