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  • Writer's pictureEdgar Vergara

Why Do Cats Like Boxes and Bags?

Do cats love playing all day and sleeping on cardboard boxes? It's hilarious that your cat is happier playing inside a cardboard box than a tin! Scientist explains how cats love boxes to bag! I found that your cats' desire to have enclosed spaces like bags and boxes was a preference that was developed by their behavioral system as it adapts to new surroundings. Read the rest for more explanations.

Curious cat in a bed box

Cats have long been admired for their unique and enigmatic behaviors, often leaving their human companions both fascinated and puzzled. One such peculiar behavior is their undeniable attraction to boxes and bags themselves. Why do cats love boxes and Bags? From paper grocery bags to canvas totes, our feline friends seem to find an irresistible allure in these seemingly ordinary objects. Their playful antics, as they dive into bags or nuzzle inside them, can be both entertaining and endearing. But what exactly is it that draws cats to boxes and bags themselves? As cat owners and enthusiasts, we are naturally curious to understand the reasons behind this behavior and how it reflects the complexity of feline instincts and preferences.

happy cat owner

In this article, we delve into the possible explanations for cats' love for bags, focusing on the roles of instinct as to why cats like bags find comfort, security, curiosity, and sensory stimulation for cat lovers. We explore how cats' natural instincts, developed as both predators and prey in the wild, might influence their fascination with bags as hiding spots and hunting grounds. We also discuss how bags for cats, like boxes, can offer cats a sense of security and comfort, making them appealing retreats for our furry companions, especially those who are naturally shy or anxious.

cat on top of a counter

Additionally, we examine the role of curiosity and smell in this feline fascination, considering how the sensory characteristics of bags of food and toys, such as their sounds, textures, and scents, can captivate cats and provide mental stimulation. Finally, we investigate the ways bags can serve as a playground for cats, stimulating their hunting instincts and offering opportunities for physical exercise and agility training.

By understanding the various factors that contribute to cats' and humans' love for bags, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and complexity of feline behavior. Moreover, this knowledge can help us, as cat owners and caretakers of domestic cats, to provide a more enriching and supportive environment for our beloved feline friends, catering to their instincts, preferences, and needs.

cats in a box house

Instinctual Drive

Cats' attraction to plastic bags can be linked to their wild ancestors. In nature, cats act as both predators and prey, and their instincts have evolved to help them survive these stressful situations. These instincts persist in domesticated; why do cats like bags?

One such instinct is the need for shelter and concealment. Bags, especially those with small openings, mimic the dens or hiding spots cats would seek in the wild to hide and stay hidden from predators or to ambush prey. When a cat enters a box or bag to sleep, it may feel secure, warm, and protected, knowing they are concealed. This drive for secure hiding places is particularly important in multi-cat households, where cats need to establish their territories and feel safe from potential conflicts with other feline companions.

cat in a paper bag

Security and Comfort

Bags offer cats a sense of security and comfort. The enclosed space provides a warm, cozy hideout where cats can sleep and watch their surroundings without being seen. This hideout is particularly appealing to cats who are naturally shy or anxious.

Cats also have a strong preference for more confined spaces or tight spaces and enclosed spaces, as these can help reduce stress levels. Researchers at the University of Utrecht found that cats with access to hiding boxes experienced lower stress levels compared to those without hiding boxes. This suggests that the snug environment of a bag can be a stress reliever for cats. Additionally, bags can provide a sense of control over their environment, as they can easily escape if needed. This sense of control is especially important for cats that have had negative experiences with humans or other animals, as it helps them regain their confidence and feel more at ease.

hidden cat in a blanket


Cats are known for their innate curiosity, and bags can present an alluring enigma to many cats. The rustling sound of a paper bag, the captivating scent of a canvas tote, or the sight of an unexplored plastic bag may all contribute to a cat's desire to investigate further. In many cases, the act of exploring and discovering what's inside the previous contents of the bag can be mentally stimulating, fun, and entertaining for cats.

Cats are natural explorers, and their curiosity drives them to seek out novel experiences and environments. When cats spend presented with an empty box, bag, box, or cardboard box, they can't help but want to uncover its secrets. This investigative behavior is an essential part of their mental well-being, as it helps to keep their minds sharp and engaged, warding off boredom and restlessness.

curious cat in a box

Play and Hunting Behaviors

Bags can also act as a perfect plaything for some cats like this, triggering their natural hunting instincts. The enclosed space allows them to practice stalking and pouncing behaviors, as they might do with a toy cat or even a real prey animal.

Playing inside a bag can also help cats practice their agility as they twist and turn to navigate the tight space. This type of play provides the kitty with both physical exercise and mental stimulation, contributing to a cat's overall well-being. Furthermore, bags can serve as an essential enrichment tool to house cats, helping to prevent behavioral issues stemming from boredom or lack of mental stimulation. By offering a kitty a bag as a toy, cat owners can encourage healthy play habits, strengthen the bond between themselves and their feline friend, and support their cat's overall happiness and health.

hunting cat in a box

Sensory Stimulation

Cats possess a highly developed sense of touch, and bags offer various tactile sensations for them to explore. The texture and scent of the bag material, whether it's the crinkling sound of cardboard in a paper bag or the softness of a fabric tote, can provide sensory stimulation for cats. As they investigate the different sensations, cats engage multiple senses, creating a rich and engaging experience for cat owners.

In addition, touch, smell, and scents associated with bags can also be fascinating to cats. For example, both paper bags and plastic bags from grocery stores may carry a variety of interesting smells, from food items to the scents of different environments. These smells can pique a cat's interest and encourage them to investigate paper bags further. Moreover, the rustling sounds produced by bags, particularly paper ones, can be intriguing to cats, as they resemble the sounds of prey rustling in leaves or grass. This auditory stimulation can activate their hunting instincts, making bags even more appealing.

Providing opportunities to pets for sensory stimulation is essential for a cat's mental and emotional well-being. When we make cardboard boxes and offer bags and small spaces for pets and our cats to explore, we're not only satisfying their curiosity but also enhancing their overall quality of life by catering to their natural instincts and preferences.

cat in a bag

As we unravel the various factors that contribute to cats' love for bags, we gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and complexity of feline behavior. Our exploration into the roles of instinct, security, curiosity, play, and sensory stimulation in cat loves has shed light on the reasons why bags hold such a strong allure for our feline friends. By understanding the intricate interplay of these factors in cat loves, we can better cater to the needs and preferences of our cats, providing them with animal shelter and a more stimulating and supportive environment.

Moreover, recognizing the importance of plastic bags as an enrichment tool for cats has practical implications for cat owners and caretakers. By providing plastic bags for our cats to explore and play with, we are not only offering them an outlet for their natural instincts but also promoting their overall well-being. Bags can serve as a source of mental and physical stimulation and fun, helping to keep our cats active, engaged, and content.

Cat in a Box

Furthermore, our understanding of the reasons behind cats' love for bags can lead to better communication and a stronger bond between big cats in the cat's cats love boxes and the cat rubbing with their human companions. By taking the time to observe and engage with our cats as they interact with bags, we can learn more about their individual personalities, preferences, and needs. This increased awareness can help us provide a more tailored and nurturing environment, ensuring that our cats lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

happy cat in a square

In conclusion, the seemingly simple act of a cat diving into a bag reveals the profound complexity of feline behavior and the myriad ways in which instinct, security, curiosity, play, and sensory stimulation intertwine to shape our cats' experiences. As we continue to explore the captivating world of feline behavior, we deepen our understanding of these remarkable creatures and our ability to provide them with the care and enrichment they deserve. As cat owners and enthusiasts, it is our privilege to share our lives with these mysterious, enchanting animals and our responsibility to support their well-being by satisfying their inherent love for bags and all that they represent.

cat in a bag

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