Every cat I have owned has loved to sleep in cardboard boxes of any size. It could be a plain box, a sheet of cardboard, an old cookie box... Why do they do this? Is there some smell they like? Is there a chemical product in cardboard that attracts them?

  • My cats do the same, but with almost any object laying on the floor. A paper towel, dish towel, magazine, piece of paper, etc. I would love to find out why they are so attracted to flat objects laying in the middle of the floor, and insist on sleeping there instead of somewhere else. Maybe it's just something related to their curious and inquisitive nature?
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 17:31
  • No. Cats love laying on any flat surface; a blanket, a piece of paper, box, etc. I have no idea why. And I don't buy the security of a box explanation because of this. Cats also find security in high places and this is a shared trait of big wild cats as well as house cats.
    – Badblabey
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 7:06
  • It being winter (though it doesn't feel like it today), perhaps the floor is cold?
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 16:15
  • 1
    I think cardboard is a good insulator and it feels warm right away. I have a flat piece on my bed just for my cat Fred and he sleeps on it alot. He also tears holes in it.... Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 22:49

1 Answer 1


This has to do with security. A box has 4 sides so they feel safe and protected since they are closed off. It also gives them the element of surprise and if anything happens they can easily escape/attack etc. (src)

  • They like the security of an enclosed space. A box resembles a cave and may make your cat feel secure knowing they are protected and, theoretically, cannot be attacked from behind.

  • Boxes are fun! Lots of cats seem especially playful in and around boxes. Cats enjoy jumping in and out of a box, pouncing, stalking and climbing atop boxes. Cats are little predators, and a box is a great spot from which to pounce on their prey, even if the prey is just a catnip mouse toy.

  • Boxes are cozy. Try putting a soft blanket in the bottom of your cat’s favorite box. The sides help retain the cat’s body heat making a comfy nest. (src)

  • 7
    This makes sense, but doesn't explain cats' love of sitting on flat sheets of cardboard (which I have personally observed in many cats).
    – hairboat
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:17
  • 1
    They don't really like plastic boxes either, this has to do something with the fact that its cardboard.
    – gitsitgo
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 21:08
  • 3
    Ever placed the palm of your hand on cardboard? It feels warm almost immediately. Plastic feels cold. Styrofoam feels too warm, almost hot. Cardboard is the winner! ;) Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 2:57

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