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Why do cats love cardboard boxes?

Our feline friends are quirky creatures and you have probably seen your cat play with or in a cardboard box.  There are a number of reasons why your cat loves a cardboard box, some of which we will explore below.
Safety - a cardboard box can become a safe zone.  If a cat is new to a home it may feel anxious and afraid and it is instinctive for it to find an area where it can feel safe and comforted and where nothing can sneak up on it.  A place from where it can observe and not be seen and help to reduce any stress it may be feeling.  It may be a good idea to have a box handy for this reason when introducing your cat to its new environment.  The four walls around them help to make it feel safe and secure and get used to the normal noises that occur in a household.  You could place the box close to the litter box so the cat doesn’t have to venture too far, until it gets used to its new home.  The box should not be too big as they need to feel cosy and the sides of the box touching them will provide this feeling of security.  Also make sure there are no staples or exposed pieces which could hurt the cat.
Helps to keep your cat warm – a cardboard box can provide insulation that helps your cat retain its body heat; this insulation is something cats crave, especially in the colder months.  An outdoor cat may use them to shelter from the weather.  Help make the box more inviting by adding padding like a soft blanket and maybe a few of their toys
A hide out for hunting – Cats love to hide and this is a behaviour passed on by their ancestors.  When hunting a cat will try and conceal itself as much as possible and a cardboard box provides a perfect hunting hide for them whilst they wait for their prey.  If you have two cats in your house you may have noticed this behaviour when one cat will hide in the box waiting for their prey to wander by which may be your ankle or the unsuspecting second cat.
Exploring – a cardboard box is new and mysterious and will catch your cat’s attention.  Cats are curious by nature and will explore every nook and cranny in your home so a cardboard box will be irresistible to most cats and they get excited when they can play with and climb inside a box
There are so many reasons why cats think boxes are irresistible and they can be fun because of their simplicity.  Your cat will jump into it, smack it with their paws, claw it, or push it over.  So, before you go out and invest in a number of expensive toys rather gift them a cardboard box.  Besides providing a safe and cosy spot it can provide hours of entertainment not only for your cat but for you as well.  
If you have any pictures of your cat in a box please share them with us on Instagram or Facebook.
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