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Why Your Cat Loves Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes are a beneficial addition to your cat’s environment. Sure, they’re fun to jump in and out of, but they also serve multiple valuable social and emotional functions.

Environmental enrichment is important for a cat’s mental, emotional and physical well-being, and something as simple as the addition of cardboard boxes can be an inexpensive and effective component. Cat trees, cat shelving, and catios are great, but something as basic as a cardboard box can’t be beat when it comes to fundamental feline fun.

Here are some of the ways cardboard boxes can enrich your cat’s life.

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Fun

Let’s start with the most obvious. Boxes are just plain fun. Because cats are ambush predators, a box is a convenient place to hide while waiting for prey to wander by. For an indoor cat, provide a box during playtime for extra concealment.

A cardboard box creates an enticing sound when you move an interactive toy inside, on top or along the sides. The sound alone can be enough to alert a nearby cat that it’s playtime. Drop a toy inside a box and within a nanosecond someone will be happily hopping inside.

quote from dr. haug

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If you have a long box, open up both ends, place it on its side and it can serve as a fun cat tunnel. Very small boxes can be made into puzzle toys. Cut holes in the box that are a little larger than your cat’s paws, seal up the end flaps and toss a toy or some treats in there for your kitty to retrieve.

Stress Relief

The ability to be invisible by having a convenient hiding place is a valuable coping mechanism when it comes to stress.

If your cat is unsure or nervous, the ability to disappear into a box can enable him to quietly observe the current conditions of the environment. If boxes are conveniently located, it can allow a cat to stay in the room while hiding instead of running off to a remote area of the home.