A cat in a half open cardboard box staring straight back at the camera.

Why Do Cats Love Boxes and Small Spaces?

The instinct to seek out small, enclosed spaces

Have you ever bought an expensive cat bed or scratching post for your feline friend, only to find them napping in a cardboard box or wedged in a tiny space? If so, you're not alone. Cats have a natural affinity for small spaces, but why is that?

Cats have a long history of living in the wild, seeking out small, enclosed spaces for shelter and protection from predators. Small spaces give cats a sense of security and help them feel safe and hidden from the world. This instinct to seek out small spaces is deeply ingrained in cats and remains even in domesticated cats.

Boxes and other small spaces also allow cats to observe the world around them without being seen. This would have been important in the wild for avoiding predators and sneaking up on prey. In the home, cats can keep an eye on their environment and feel more in control.

The comfort of warmth and coziness

Another reason why cats love small spaces is the comfort they provide. Boxes, bags, and other small areas are often warm, soft, and cozy, which makes them perfect for napping. Cats are creatures of comfort, and they love nothing more than curling up in a warm, snug spot for a nap.

The small space also provides a sense of security, as mentioned earlier. The closeness of the walls helps to contain the cat's own body heat, which keeps them warm and relaxed. This is why cats often snuggle up in small spaces, even on warm days.

The appeal of new and exciting spaces

Cats are naturally curious animals, and they love to explore their environment. Small spaces like boxes allow cats to explore and discover new places. A package may be a new addition to the home, and the cat may be curious about it. Alternatively, the box may have a unique smell or texture, which the cat wants to investigate.

The appeal of new and exciting spaces is also why cats are often drawn to small areas that are not meant for them. A laundry basket, for example, may be an attractive new space for a cat to explore, even though it was not intended for that purpose.


Cats love boxes and small spaces for various reasons, but the most important thing to remember is that its natural behavior for them. By providing your cat with boxes and other small spaces to explore and snuggle up in, you're helping to meet their instinctual needs and providing them with a sense of comfort and security.

Small spaces offer a world of possibilities for your feline friend, whether it's a cardboard box, a laundry basket, or a cozy nook. So the next time you see your cat squeezed into a tight space, remember that they're not being weird – they're just being a cat.

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