Cats and boxes – it’s a love story!

Buffy in frying panIt’s a fact that everyone – whether they have a cat or not – knows that cats love boxes. Any box too – big, small, square, circular, covered over, without a lid – it honestly doesn’t matter. So long as your feline friend can climb into it and fit, he or she will be as snug and happy as a bug in a rug.

So why exactly do cats love boxes?

There is no scientific reason why an empty cardboard box has such a strong gravitational pull on cats but, from my own experience in having four kitties with such different personalities, there are four main ‘reasons’ I can determine from my four cats as to what it is that they love about boxes of all kinds.

Cats love boxes because – in my opinion anyway – they offer:

  1. perfect hiding places from which to launch sneak attacks. Being enclosed, boxes give cats – who are all natural predators – the advantage of somewhere to hide and then leap out of to surprise unsuspecting passers-by – usually ankles and feet take the brunt of these leaping attacks.
  2. a feeling of safety and comfort. Your furry friend, being aloof when mean and moody and upset, can simply use boxes to hide away when they are faced with stressful situations. A cat’s first reaction to unknown stimulus is to withdraw and hide, as a way to cope but were big wild cats can head off to a cave or treetop for reflection the common house cat can take refuge and sanctuary in a shoe box or food container.
  3. insulation. More acrobatic kitties can challenge themselves to squeeze their furry bodies into ever smaller and more difficult spaces than, say, a sink or even a frying pan – Buffy’s favourite place to sleep! Curling up in small spaces – especially ones that seem to you too small – mean that your cat is snuggly fit into an enclosed circle – or foetal positon – whereby their own fur’s heat is keeping them toasty warm.
  4. peace and quiet – to just curl up and have a well-earned sleep without any bother from your moggy brothers and sisters, or parents. As our feline friends sleep for 18 – 20 hours of every day, they naturally want to find hiding places of their own that are noise and bother-free to allow for better rested sleep.

And it is not just boxes that cats choose to sleep in – as I said previously, our girl cat Buffy has a preference for our frying pan and regularly shows her panache in actually fitting herself into it and sleeping there for several undisturbed hours! Our kitten, Loki, likes to get into plastic bags to sleep – usually while I am still unpacking them – Caesar enjoys sleeping in suitcases I am packing and Akira has a fondness for my dressing table drawers.

What weird and wonderful enclosed spaces do your feline friends like to squeeze into?

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