Why do cats like boxes? – 6 scientific reasons
So, why the hell cats like boxes huh?
- 1 Seriously, Why Do Cats Love Boxes?
- 2 Cats and boxes: a scientific approach
- 3 Infographic: why cats like boxes
- 4 Wrapping it up
Cats are weird. I mean, do not get me wrong, they are great and all but it does not take away the fact that they are probably one of the most eccentric, also known as the spoilt brat, species on the face of the planet. They may look all fragile and cute with their giant sparkly eye and their cloudy silky, fluffy fur as they toddle their way onto your way for some belly scratches, but is good to never forget that these royalties are fierce enough to tone down tigers and lions any day.
One wrong move and they scratch your hand into a bloody state of terror; they do have claws that operate better than Freddy, you know, from the Nightmare on Elm Street. Living with cats is just as weird, from any normal person’s perspective at least, since cat owners have seen it all. There are a few classic things that make cats, well a cat. First, they treat you like they are doing you a favor with their existence. You never get woken up by your alarm clock anymore. Your cat usually jumps on your chest like it’s a birthday balloon air house and walks and squirms around your face, often featuring its bums as close to your eyes so that you wake up seeing it every morning as a start to your day.
Second, cats see you as an incompetent waste of oxygen. Ever noticed how they bring home dead mice and birds for you as presents? Well, that is because he thinks you are incapable of feeding yourself. And if your cat was not hurting your self-esteem anymore, they also think your existence is in vain. So to do humankind a favor, they plan your murder on a daily basis. Yes, they do, I know. The knives from your kitchen drawer have not been displacing itself and disappearing on its own, human. Cats also like to consider us humans as their species inferior. Thus, they keep us as their slaves to look after them, yet again doing us a favor. You must feed your cat every hour, twice.
Even if it means waking you up from sleep at 3 am in the morning. Even if their food bowl is full to the brim, or they can’t seem to ingest any further, you must feed your king.
Also, get ready for spending your life savings and your ancestral inheritance on “trying” to provide for your cat. Your Higness eats nothing but the premium tune flown in from France. They need A class grooming from designer groomers that charge yours by the kidney you saved for iPhone 7. Which reminds me that they do not play with balls and toys, they require a couple of iPads and a phone to keep them entertained on candy crush.
They need premium cats beds made from the tears of your student loans and the finest Italian silk, with plush pillows to rest their hard-working bodies. Cats just do not care. You could be lying dead from epilepsy, and your cat would walk over your body meowing on the unjust you have done unto it by not feeding the 7th time since morning. Regardless of the ungratefulness and shame we receive, we do still very much love our cats.
They are quite the baffling creatures, they outdo, outsmart everything your common sense has ever taught you. I mean they baffle us every day: they land on their feet from free falling from a 7 storey building, they have 9 lives which they spent hating on mankind, they fit into match boxes. But, nothing is more baffling to any cat owner, or anyone for that matter, as to why cats like boxes so much? Yes, boxes.
Those three dimensional, enclosed cardboard boxes. I will probably never understand their obsession with boxes. I mean, my friend flew in an imported cat bed, that cost more than my apartment, for his cat on her birthday. And do you know how the cat expressed her gratitude for the cat bed? By falling asleep on the box it came in. I mean, it is one thing to like them, we as kids did too. Remember how we used to get into boxes and used to pretend they were our private homes or race cars? Well, cats take that to a whole new psychotic level.
Seriously, Why Do Cats Love Boxes?
We tried to find logics behind why do cats love boxes. It was tough! Well, not really!
Boxes, Boxes, and More Boxes
The answer to why cats like boxes is not as simple. Cats are nuts, yes. But it is not just that they like boxes as a play on their curious infatuation. Cats of all age, kittens to grumpy old ones, like to snuggle into one. And it’s not just the domestic cats that only enjoy boxes, cats of all sorts, including the fierce Black Panther and the King of the jungle, leave their feline attitude out before snuggling into boxes.
The feline motto is: If it fits, I must sit. And the crazy part is, cats will fit themselves into pretty much everything: big boxes, small boxes, paper boxes, steel boxes, wood boxes. If it’s a box, it will do. I remember my mammoth of a cat slipping right into a cereal box before my own eyes. It’s almost like the boxes are a vessel for their liquid bodies. And if this stupidity was not enough, they also seem to zone out and move on a state of trance in another universe when they get inside the magical box. Or maybe your constant calling out to them is just not important enough to be bothered about. Who knows?
Cats and boxes: a scientific approach
As I watch my cat sinking into the abyss of the cardboard boxes of my TV, I could not help but think if this was normal. But could it be possible that there is a method to such feline stupidity? Could there actually some very valid facts and reasons behind to this baffling behavior? Well, science says, “Yes!”. Cats are very complex creatures, just second to your ex-girlfriend, and why cats like boxes is a strange phenomenon even to scientists and animal experts still today.
Though we have not been able to find exactly what triggers them to territorialize an Amazon shipping box, there are several theories and studies that give us some idea as to why cats like boxes so bloody much! The first thing you have to know is that it is not just boxes that they have a gravitational pull towards. It is anything box-like. Anything enclosed, compact and isolated is exactly what cats usually look for, and thus, you can often find them curling up in weird places like the bathroom sink, the flower pot, and under the bed or furniture. And nothing fits the description more closely than, you guessed it, a box. Here are a few reasons why they seem to do it:
Reason 1: Evolutionary instinct
You may already know that your cat, Mr. McMuffin as you call him, is from a family of one of the most powerful predators that roamed the earth once, like the saber tooth and Tibetan lion. Cats, as harmless as they look, are in fact incredible predators that are born with natural hunting instincts. The dead mouse he brings to you is evident to this statement. They have excellent ambushing and stealth skills. Naturally, they like to look for objects that aid in their hideout from its prey so that it can attack it from behind. This instinct, toned down over the millions of years, has still left its remnants in the feline mind which is why cats like boxes as its chosen place to practice its ancestral habit.
Reason 2: The Luxury of Warmth
Ever noticed how your neighbor’s cat is sunbathing on the hot pavement stones while you are baking in an air conditioned room on a hot summer’s day? Well, welcome to the cat world. A cat’s body demands a lot more heat and warmth than what we give them in our homes. And he will look for ways to meet that need by what is at his disposal. You know that already by how he uses your computer to warm its belly.
Well, the reason why cats like boxes so much is because a box is so much for the ideal to serve this purpose and he knows it. Corrugated cardboard boxes are a great insulator of heat. And the confined space of the box is excellent to hold in and preserve the cat’s body temperature as it curls up nice and cozy into a ball. This heat is essential for the natural physical and mental operations of any cat. It sustains their metabolism, health and overall health.
Reason 3: Stress Relief
You would like to know that your beloved Mr.McMuffin suffers from stress and anxiety even after 16 hours of sleep and 10 meals a day. Yes, they lead a tough life, it is very upsetting. While you clean up your cat’s imported toys, it may like to relief itself from the tremendous stress his rather melancholy and hard life has brought to him. And he seeks for peace by resting in his trusted box. The enclosed compartment has an empowering effect on felines. It gives them a sense of togetherness and instills strength and control, the same way you would hide out in your favorite spot on the beach on a stressful day at work to lift up the mood.
Reason 4: Safety and Security
Another reason as to why cats like boxes so much may be because how safe and secure it makes them feel. Yes, it sounds a little absurd to think that a box would make a cat feel safe, but it is not actually that different from us humans in this way. Remember how you used to curl under a blanket on windy nights? You cinched closed every corner of the blanket shut, almost thinking as if the monster cannot hurt you if you have your blankets on.
Well, the same rule applies for cats as well. Feline instinct is to look for a place to hide the moment it senses danger and threat. And cats often choose to do this inside boxes. This is because of the way boxes are made. The enclosed body with closed top acts as a blanket to them from danger. The compactness of the box helps them feel cradled and defended from the threat outside.
Reason 5: Anti-Socialism
We all know how cats are not human kind’s biggest fans. They just seem to tolerate us for our slavery to them. They are planning on world domination and human eradication as we read. Cats need some time away from humans just as much as the next person. Sometimes all the conversations and cuddling with your cats can be overwhelming for him. He enjoys solitude and alone-time just as much as anyone.
It helps them calm their impulses, give them more time to plan your murder and sleep a few more hours away from your hand which seems to gravitate towards him every time he tries to relax. And it is not just his slaves he is trying to move away from; it is also his fellow kind: cats! Yes, cats like to hide out from other cats as well. This is to avoid confrontation and instinctual competition for food and mates. This is why you may find many stray cats inhabiting inside boxes near an isolated dumpster away from any living disturbances. Now, this is an excellent reason to why cats like, and should like boxes so much.
Reason 6: Home Sweet Home
One other reason to why cats like boxes could be because they are evolutionarily instilled to have lived in enclosed spaces, like caves and dens. Large cats like tigers and lions still do. This goes to show that you can take the cat out of the wild, but you cannot take the wild out of the cat!
Infographic: why cats like boxes
Wrapping it up
We will probably never really find out as to why cats like boxes so much. We can only guess and admire their stupidity. But one thing is for a fact here, that their obsession with boxes is much so much more than just a game and curiosity. Maybe, just maybe, one day we will finally get to know why Mr.McMuffin snuggles into the boxes you intended to throw away.