Why Do Cats Love Boxes and Bags?

cat in a box

Our cats easily amuse us, especially when it comes to their love for boxes and bags. Some cat lovers go as far as going to their local grocery store to gather an extra box or two. Plastic bags and gift bags are also favorites for cats. Did you ever come home from a day of shopping or a party to find your cat inside of a bag, playing or hiding? It’s quite funny and the cats probably have no idea how much humor they bring to us by slipping into their favorite hiding spot.

So why boxes? Why bags?  Is it safe for our cats to be in boxes and bags? What is the attraction between cats, bags, and boxes?

two cats in a box

Boxes

It is in the nature of our kitties to feel a sense of warmth; Hence the reason you can often find them on top of a computer’s keyboard. Being in a tight enclosed space like a box generates more warmth over a cat just chilling out on the couch or their bed. A cat is very protective when it comes to their safety. Think about a lion or a tiger, the cat’s relative. It is in their nature to constantly be on alert for dangers around them. Even if a domestic cat is in a good home, finding a box brings the cat a sense of extra security. When they are ready for a nap, unless your head or belly is available, their next line of protection is an enclosed space. Cats become so comfortable in their own box, often times they go there to relax, play, and bathe themselves.

Often times when cats have a liter of kittens, the babies remember their home. The place where Momma fed them, cleaned them, and brought them into the world becomes familiar. A box feels like home to many cats. The cat rules the kingdom (and they know it). They lay where they choose to lay (even if it means the top of the refrigerator), but a box means a sense of security for a cat. Some cats may never go near a cardboard box, and just like people, every cat is different.

Plastic bags

A cat sitting in a plastic bag

Have you ever walked in to your kitchen only to find your kitty having a boxing match with a bag? Have you caught your kitty licking a plastic bag? Though this may look amusing and the cat may be enjoying themselves, please bear in mind plastic bags have the potential of causing serious injury if swallowed. There has been speculation there is an ingredient in the plastic bags (that you get at the grocery store) that cats are attracted to. The ingredient is “tallow“, an animal fat used during the manufacturing of some plastic bags. Some cats have such a strong sense of smell, they are attracted to the bag and enjoy the taste. This is not good for your cat, and it is better to buy your baby healthy cat snacks
cat licking plastic bag
Watching our cats finding their comfortable space is fulfilling. As long as our kitties are comfortable and happy, we are content. Sometimes, just like children, we have to restrict things they love (kids with candy). If they only want a plastic bag to lick it, the plastic bags should be taken away. If your cat likes to play in a plastic bag or a gift bag, there should be no issues-as long as you are present. They deserve to have as much fun as they want to, just use caution and be mindful when it comes to plastic bags.
As for boxes; Some cats call them home. Whether you buy your cat a plush bed or allow them to sleep with you, some cats prefer a box. If your cat is a “boxer”, make their bed comfortable. Full grown cats are usually safe in a cardboard box. If you have a kitten, they should not be left unattended in a cardboard box.
Two cats in a cardboard box

 

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