cats love of cupboards
Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash

Cats have long been known for their independent and inquisitive nature. They possess a natural curiosity that drives them to explore every nook and cranny of their surroundings. One particular behavior that often puzzles cat owners is their love for cupboards. Why do cats like to go inside cupboards? In this article, we will delve into the hidden reasons behind this peculiar feline fascination.

The fascination with small spaces

Cats are known to be both predators and prey in the wild, and their survival instincts play a significant role in their behavior. One reason for their love of cupboards is their instinctual desire for small, enclosed spaces. In the wild, small spaces offer cats protection and security from potential predators. This innate need for safety and seclusion is still present in domesticated cats today.

Furthermore, cats are solitary animals by nature, and small spaces provide them with a sense of privacy and a place to retreat to when they need some alone time. Cupboards, with their enclosed and cozy interiors, offer the perfect sanctuary for a cat seeking solace and comfort.

Evolutionary reasons behind cats’ love for cupboards

To truly understand why cats have an affinity for cupboards, it is important to consider their evolutionary history. Cats are descendants of desert-dwelling species, and their love for small spaces can be traced back to their ancestors’ need for protection from extreme temperatures. In the desert, small caves and crevices provided shelter from the scorching heat and offered a cool and safe haven for rest.

This evolutionary adaptation has been passed down through generations, and even though domesticated cats no longer face the same environmental challenges, their instinctual preference for small, enclosed spaces remains. Cupboards, with their dark and secluded interiors, mimic the conditions that cats’ ancestors sought for survival.

Creating a safe and cozy space for your cat

Understanding the reasons behind cats’ love for cupboards can help cat owners provide a safe and cozy space for their feline companions. If your cat frequently seeks out cupboards, consider creating a designated area that satisfies their need for seclusion. This can be done by setting up a cozy cat bed or a small enclosed space, such as a covered cat bed or a special cat tent.

Make sure to place the designated area in a quiet and low-traffic part of your home, allowing your cat to retreat to their safe space undisturbed. Providing them with a comfortable and inviting environment will not only cater to their natural instincts but also contribute to their overall well-being.

Understanding cats’ territorial instincts

Cats are territorial animals, and their love for cupboards can also be attributed to their need to mark their territory. By occupying a small space like a cupboard, cats are signaling to other animals that the area is already claimed. This territorial behavior helps cats establish a sense of control and security in their environment.

As a cat owner, it is important to respect your cat’s need for territory and provide them with ample spaces they can claim as their own. This can be achieved by setting up multiple hiding spots or perches throughout your home, such as cat trees, shelves, or even designated cat-only rooms. By offering a variety of spaces, you can satisfy your cat’s territorial instincts and reduce any potential stress or anxiety.

Providing mental stimulation for cats

In addition to their need for physical comfort, cats also require mental stimulation to keep their curious minds engaged. Cupboards offer an element of mystery and exploration, providing a stimulating environment for cats. The act of exploring and investigating the contents of a cupboard can be mentally stimulating and help alleviate boredom.

To cater to your cat’s mental stimulation needs, consider incorporating interactive toys and puzzles into their daily routine. These toys can mimic the thrill of cupboard exploration and provide a healthy outlet for their curiosity. Additionally, regularly rotating toys and providing new objects for exploration can prevent boredom and keep your cat’s mind sharp.

Tips for encouraging positive cupboard exploration

While it is important to understand and cater to your cat’s love for cupboards, it is equally crucial to encourage positive exploration and discourage any potentially dangerous behaviors. Here are some tips for promoting safe and positive cupboard exploration:

  • Ensure that cupboards are safe and free from any harmful substances or objects that could pose a danger to your cat.
  • Use childproof locks or latches to prevent your cat from accidentally getting trapped inside a cupboard.
  • Place enticing toys or treats inside cupboards to encourage your cat to explore them in a controlled and safe manner.
  • Reward your cat with praise or treats when they engage in positive cupboard exploration, reinforcing the behavior.
  • If your cat displays excessive or obsessive cupboard behavior, consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for guidance.

Common misconceptions about cats and cupboards

There are several misconceptions surrounding cats and their love for cupboards. One common belief is that cats are attracted to cupboards because they are seeking warmth. While cupboards may provide a slightly warmer environment due to their enclosed nature, this is not the sole reason for cats’ fascination. Their love for cupboards is primarily driven by their instinctual need for security and territory.

Another misconception is that cats who frequently hide in cupboards are anti-social or fearful. While it is true that some cats may seek out cupboards when they feel anxious or threatened, this behavior is not indicative of their overall social behavior. Cats are complex creatures, and their affinity for cupboards is just one aspect of their multifaceted personalities.

Cat furniture and accessories that mimic cupboard environments

If your cat has a strong inclination towards cupboards, there are various cat furniture and accessories available that can replicate the cupboard experience. These specialized products provide a safe and comfortable space for your cat to fulfill their desire for small, enclosed areas. Some options include:

  • Cat caves or covered beds: These cozy and enclosed spaces mimic the feeling of being inside a cupboard and offer a sense of security for your cat.
  • Cat tunnels: These long, tunnel-like structures provide a similar sense of exploration and mystery as cupboards, allowing your cat to indulge their curiosity.
  • Cat shelves: Installing shelves at different heights allows your cat to climb and perch, replicating the elevated feeling of being inside a cupboard.

By incorporating these cat furniture and accessories into your home, you can enhance your cat’s living environment and provide them with a variety of spaces to satisfy their cupboard-loving instincts.


Cats’ love for cupboards is a fascinating aspect of their behavior, rooted in their instinctual need for safety, territory, and mental stimulation. Understanding the hidden reasons behind this fascination can help cat owners create a safe and enriching environment for their feline companions. By providing cozy spaces, respecting their territorial instincts, and offering mental stimulation, you can ensure that your cat’s love for cupboards is satisfied in a positive and fulfilling manner.

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Sima Ndlebe

Sima Ndlebe


Sima writes for CatBuzz. He is interested in Cats, Health and Fitness, and Entrepreneurship.

Published: 5 December 2023

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