Why Do Cats Love Boxes?

Cats love boxes: big boxes, small boxes, even items that resemble boxes, such as drawers, sinks and laundry baskets. But what is it about boxes that sends our feline friends into a frenzy?

Cats are instinctively drawn to boxes because they offer security. The confined space provides protection from predators, and it’s a great place to stalk prey while remaining virtually unseen.

Climbing onto, jumping into and hiding in boxes is simply part of a cat’s natural behavior, so providing an empty box or two is an inexpensive way to enrich your pet’s environment.

Leave a box in a safe place for your cat to play. You can drop in a couple of favorite toys or cut a few holes in the side so he can peek through or stick out a paw to swat at toys — or people.

Boxes also offer safe, cozy places for felines to nap. Cats sleep 18 to 20 hours a day, so it makes sense they’d seek out places where they’d be safe from attack.

Place a blanket in a box that’s about the right size for your cat and it will likely become one of his favorite places to nap. The confined space provides a sense of safety, and the sides of the box help maintain the animal’s body heat.

But while all cats instinctively appreciate a good box, no feline seems to enjoy cardboard quite as much as Maru, the Internet-famous cat with more than 400,000 YouTube subscribers.

In a 2010 interview with cat blog LoveMeow, Maru (as told to the blogger behind the website) said, “I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to stop going into a box when I see one. When I nap, I like a small box because it is snug and fits me just right. However, when I play, I prefer a huge one.”

Next page: More of Maru’s “Box” Office Hits

Watch Maru interact with some of his favorite boxes in the videos below:

Maru’s big box.

Maru’s box experiment.

Big cats love boxes too.


Photo: sunjaec/flickr

More From MNN


article written by Laura Moss


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Nimue P.

Love that Maru :)

Mary Cromley
.3 years ago

Maru's video was really cute, but the next video of the different species of big cats playing with and in boxes was fantastic. Hope everyone is watching that one too.

Val M.
Val M3 years ago


Rebecca D.
Rebecca D3 years ago


Jerry Hallead
Past Member 3 years ago

Great videos! My cat Ben loves boxes and is addicted to catnip. He likes to jump into open drawers on a chest of drawers, especially if I am putting away warm clothes from the dryer. Ben and all cats, including the Big cats, never cease to amaze me and make me laugh, with their antics. And, of course, their purring is very soothing and relaxing. It not only releases their endorphins, but ours too, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy Johnson
Kathy Johnson3 years ago


Jane R.
Jane R4 years ago

These videos are adorable! Made me laugh so hard. I could watch them everyday.

Ashley heffner
Lady S4 years ago


Rachida El Kaddioui

Boxes are a irristable for cat and they prefer rather a carton box then an expensive fluffy cat basket, my brothers cats loved to hide under his lazy chaire, but since they became slightly overweight the don't fit under anymore.