Top 10 Ways Cats Use Cardboard Boxes

How do cats love boxes? Let us count the ways.

"I has a hideout." Via Jeff/Flickr

Cats and boxes – boxes and cats. They’re the classic matchup. Kitties are creative with their use of empty cardboard boxes – they’re not just for napping, although that still seems to be the go-to use.

Here are the top 10 ways cats use cardboard boxes.

10. A step to reach something

A cardboard box that’s unopened, upside down, or on its side is the perfect launching pad to a surface where something desirable awaits. You know, like sticks of butter or dirty pans in the sink.

9. Jack-in-the-box

Cats can be tricky. When they’re feeling particularly playful, they sometimes hide in a box and then jump out and swat a nearby human or animal. I’ve been on the receiving end of one of these jack-in-the-box moves, and they’re indeed alarming. Even when I’m expecting them, I pretend they’re alarming. Don’t want kitties to think their use of scare tactics is in vain.

8. Sit on top of it

Many cats enjoy elevating themselves to an appropriately royal level. Standing on top of a cardboard box can certainly do the trick. They also look like Olympic athletes ready to receive their medals. Hey – I feel a photo op coming on!

7. Chew the packing tape

There are some kitties who enjoy gnawing on loose pieces of packing tape. I share my home with two such cats. They become so focused on chewing the sticky stuff that they forget there’s an empty cardboard box just waiting for an occupant. Also, if you see your cat chewing tape, it’s a good idea to put a halt to the situation. The cat will be irritated, but then they’ll notice the empty box and forget all about the tape.

6. Roll around in catnip

Cats getting their jollies with a pile of catnip can turn messy. They tend to spread it everywhere, and leave leftovers all over the place. Containing the nip inside a cardboard box is an awesome way to avoid the mess. Catnip high AND a box? Cats are all like, “Where do I sign up?”

5. Hide

Kitties enjoy finding little hideaways and disappearing for a while. Empty cardboard boxes are the ideal getaway spots. They even like it when we partially close the box lids. Super hide-y.

4. Have a sleep party!

Let’s play “How Many Cats Can We Cram Inside One Cardboard Box?!” They don’t care how small the box is, they’re going to pile in and figure out a way to have an extra-cozy sleep party. And then we grab our cameras.

3. Sit inside

This one makes me laugh. I love happening upon a cat simply sitting inside a box. They’re not doing anything – not sleeping or playing – just staring straight ahead. This is an especially funny sight when the box is huge and the kitty is small.

2. Play with a toy

Boxes are the perfect area for toy-play. They’ve got borders, and a ball can easily bounce around like the ones in pinball machines. When I toss a toy inside an empty cardboard box, my cats lose their minds. And the No. 1 way cats use cardboard boxes is …

1. Napping

The box is the classic location for feline naps. In fact, they sometime seem like they have a magical sleepy-effect on cats. I wish there were such a magical box for me. I guess I haven’t tried. Maybe I should see if an empty refrigerator box cures my insomnia.

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