This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari

As an owner of a cat, you will probably be familiar with the following mystery: You want to make your cat happy and order for example a new toy. The package arrives, you unpack the items and of course hope that your darling will immediately explore the new things. But it seems that your darling only have eyes for the packaging? Quick … and your pet sits in the box and looks at you with big happy googly eyes. The contents often only become interesting later. Why do cartons and co. have such a magical effect on cats? 

Why cats love boxes

The love of boxes, moving boxes and co we humans will probably be difficult to understand. However, they offer a number of advantages for our house tigers:

  • Warming: Cats usually like it cozy and warm. Temperatures around 30 degrees are ideal. So in principle much warmer than it is in most apartments. Boxes made of cardboard insulate the heat, which is why they are so tempting. The smaller the box, the faster it gets warm too. 
  • Retreat: When cats feel threatened or unsafe, they prefer to retreat. A cardboard box resembles a cave, where cats find shelter in nature. But they also like to retreat there to sleep.
  • Stress relief: Negative feelings such as fear or insecurity mean stress for the kitten. If stressed cats have the opportunity to go to a place that is safe for them, they can relax more quickly and lower their stress level. 
  • Health benefits: Chronic stress in particular can have a negative effect on the immune system. A weakened immune system is subsequently more susceptible to various pathogens and co. By being able to withdraw into boxes, possible stress is better reduced. Accordingly, boxes can positively influence the health of our beloved cats.
  • Security: To squeeze into a tiny cardboard box has not only the advantage to feel protected and warmed. By touching the little cat’s body from all sides, it feels completely secure. Similar to being in your arms when you cuddle extensively with your little darling. Cute, isn’t it?  
  • Playground: Cardboard boxes are not only great for sleeping. The texture of the cardboard is ideal as a biting and scratching object. So not only the claws are sharpened, also for romping around such a box is fun.
  • Curiosity: Of course, curiosity must not be missing here. Cats are terribly curious creatures that want to explore everything and everyone extensively. In such a dark, small box could wait namely a few great things. In addition, the box usually smells incredibly exciting, which provides for variety. 
  • Dispute resolution: And last but not least on this list, a tip on how you too can take advantage of the love for the box. Especially in a multi-cat household, minor arguments can occur here and there. Here it is helpful if each cat knows a box as its place. If you give the signal “On your marks” all cats jump into their box, are rewarded and the situation calms down. 


Cat + boxes = love. This formula seems to be an unwritten law. Why most cats fall into a kind of love frenzy at the sight of a shoebox is partly a mystery to us humans. However, there’s more to it than just a good hiding place to work out the next practical joke. So, please don’t be so quick to throw away your shoeboxes, because your cat will be delighted with this inexpensive gift.