As many cat lovers have noticed, cats have a strange liking for boxes. Oftentimes they seem to shun the person who loves them so dearly to sit in a cardboard box. This begs the question, why do cats love boxes? Not one answer applies to every cat, but let us explore several reasons behind why our furry feline friends are so in love with boxes.
Theory #1: Security
In the wild, cats spend most of their days hiding and stalking. Unfortunately our cozy human houses are not very satisfying places for hiding or stalking. This is where those wonderful boxes come into play. Boxes provide a comfortable, secluded shelter for a cat. Some studies show that cats with access to tight spaces feel more relaxed and social. Imagine boxes like a spa for cats. They get to relax, unwind, and have some time to themselves. By providing your cat with a simple cardboard box, you open the door to a world of rejuvenation for your kitty.
Theory #2: Conflict Resolution
Let’s face it, cats are not great problem solvers. Have you ever upset your cat and they just sulked off to hide? That is because they are lousy at conflict resolution. Other animals tend to stick around and “resolve” the conflict. Cats, on the other hand, don’t. Hiding from their problems in a cardboard box seems the best solution in their minds. A stressed cat will likely be found stuffed in a cardboard box. Now, understand that cats do not have to be stressed to enjoy a good box. Sometimes they simply want to play in one.
Theory #3: Body Temperature
Cats maintain an average body temperature between 86-97 degrees Fahrenheit. Now think about the average temperature of your home. Most people keep their thermostat at approximately 72 degrees. That’s 14 degrees below the minimum comfort level for a cat! Squishing into small places like boxes, under beds, and in the bathroom sink help cats preserve body heat. Does it make sense now why your cat may lay in the sun on a seemly hot day? Cats are naturally warm creatures and sometimes we keep our homes just a bit too cold for their comfort.
Do you feel like you understand your cat a little better now? Cats love boxes for their seclusion, stress relief, and warmth. Next time you’re feeling shunned by your cat, just know they still love you, but sometimes they just need to spend a little alone time in a cardboard box.
Does your cat spend an unusual amount of time in tight spaces like boxes? Which theory do you think applies to your cat?
For more great pictures of cats in boxes, see below: