Cairney, 20, a product of the Tigers' youth system, made his first-team breakthrough in the Premier League two years ago, but was in and out of Nigel Pearson's starting line-up during the last campaign.
Cairney said: "In terms of competitiveness I personally believe that the Championship is one of the hardest leagues out there.
"You have to be at the top of your game every time you play if you want any success. It's a relentless season with the volume of games played, so there's no doubt that the full squad will have a vital part to play over the coming months.
"With the quality within the camp, as well as the team spirit around the place, I feel that we have to be positive in our thinking and challenge at the right end of the table."
Cairney added: "I felt that I did well in the Premier League, but was a bit on-off last season. I'm determined to prove my worth though and I'm desperate to claim a regular place in midfield."