So you bought your cat a completely new Scratch/Playground/Bed Tower. You got home, opened the box, took the pieces of the new tower out of it, and assembled it. When you turned, you saw your cat looking at you from inside that box; a little disappointed, you asked yourself, “why does my cat like that box more than what I just bought for her?”
There are a bunch of reasons, but our cats’ love for boxes is relatively simple. The main reason is that cats are ambush predators, so they like places where they can hide, hunt, and feel safe. And, well, boxes fill this description, don’t they?
How are boxes safe? Why the smaller, the better? In this article, you will find everything that you need to know about boxes and cats. We will even tell you a few weird things cats do that make us wonder, “are they even from planet earth?”“. Keep reading if you feel as curious as to your furry friend.
Are Boxes Suitable For Cats?
Boxes are safe; they give our cats security and comfort. Our furred friends like enclosed spaces, and that is why they use boxes as hiding spaces.
Boxes will prevent intruders from sneaking up on your cat. This means your cat should not experience any surprises since they will have to go straight to their field of vision.
As boxes are a safe zone that can reduce your cat’s stress levels, they use it to watch everything without being seen; this is why boxes are perfect for cats.
Cats are pretty bad at conflict resolution, so they will prefer to run and hide from their problems; this might be another reason why cats like boxes so much.
Another reason cats love boxes is the cardboard. Cats like to feel cozy, so warm places are their favorite. The cardboard acts as an excellent insulator, making your cat keep a comfortable temperature of around 98°F where they can snuggle and relax.
Cardboard also gives cats a perfect texture to scratch and bite; that is why you see your cat having a good time with a new box and why you end up seeing it full of holes and scratches.
All of these reasons make boxes a great place to sleep. Considering that cats sleep up to 18 hours per day, a perfect spot is crucial for them. The fact that boxes are a hiding place, warm and relaxing, makes them comfortable enough for our fluffy friends to spend hours resting.
Cats can adapt more quickly when they have a box. A study about hiding boxes to provide stress reduction for shelter cats showed the following:
Shelter cats that got boxes recovered and adapted faster than those who did not get one.
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We can also mention that cats are extremely curious. When you buy something new, you always see your cat walking and sneaking around, looking at that box.
When cats see something new that smells different, they like to investigate, get familiar with the smell, discover the purpose of the latest addition to the house, and probably rub themselves on it.
Why The Smaller, The Better When It Comes To Cats And Boxes?
If you have lived with cats for a long time, you have noticed that they like to snuggle into tiny, little spaces.
A principle (taken out from a series of memes) says, “If I fits, I sits.” Cats love incredibly tiny and weird, uncomfortable places. This love comes from their need for warmth.
A cat needs to be between 86°F and 97°F, which happens to be 20 degrees higher than the human temperature. No wonder you see your cat taking sunbaths. A tiny box can keep them warm enough, so they don’t need to be generating more heat or expend energy cooling down.
But how can they get into those weird, tiny places like a flower vase? Cats can squeeze themselves into these places thanks to their flexible collarbone, spine, and shoulders, so if they can get their head and neck, their bodies will follow.
They also use the whiskers to determine how broad a place is. Cats can fit an area as wide as their whiskers; this is thanks to a set of nerve endings and blood supply cats have inside the whiskers that helps them to measure space and distance.
And, let me tell you this, they get into these small places just because they can and out of curiosity.
Cats Love To Sit On Boxes.
Back in 2017, a trend began in social media under the hashtag #CatSquare, where people would make a representation of a box by making a square on the floor. Most cats will sit inside the square, except those who think outside the box (saw what I did there?).
Cats’ love for boxes, even the fake ones, is because cats like nests. From the beginning of a cat’s life, when the mother made a nest to protect her kittens from outsiders, they have been surrounded by safety walls. So, even if it is not an actual box, it represents one, so they feel some security by sitting inside these fake boxes.
Other Strange Places Where Our Cats Love To Sleep.
Cats love safe hiding places, high places, dark and warm lairs, where they feel stress-free. Here are some of those weird places cats like to hide from the family they live with, to catch a nice nap:
- Inside the closet. Preferable on clean clothing and if it is knit even better. Closets are quiet and dark places, and the clothes make them even comfier for our furry friend. It should not be strange if we end up with an outfit full of our cats’ fur.
- Inside bags. For some reason, cats love the sound of the bags when they get inside. Also, the fact that nobody or nothing can see them from outside is a plus.
- Computers. Cats look for warmth, and that is why you often see them snuggling around your laptop when it is turned on or a laptop that has been recently turned off. If you thought it was because your cat was seeking your attention, you were wrong; your cat was looking for the best napping spot.
- The sink. Cats are liquid; they fit in almost any place and even can take the shape of it. Maybe that is why they get into the sink, or maybe it is too hot for them, and they need to get to their comfortable temperature; you know sinks are on the colder side. In reality, we are just guessing. Nobody knows the exact reason why you might find your cat inside the sink.
- Your bed. We get it, our beds are comfortable, and our cats think the same way. Any guesses on why our beds are so appealing to them? Well, yes. Cats love high, far from the ground, soft and warm places, and a bed fits that description perfectly.
- Drawers. Just like closets, drawers are full of clean clothes, so it is comfortable and cozy. Still, it is a little bit tighter than the closet, and if it is not dark or hidden enough, there is a high chance your cat will scratch into the deepest end of the drawer. So do not be surprised when the next time you open a drawer you’ve left ajar, and you see your purr-pal jumping out of it.
- Bookshelf. If you live in a one-story house, and the ceiling gets hot from the sun, more likely you can find your little fluffy friend high up on a bookshelf, as they like high places and even more if they are cozy.
- Under a blanket. Who does not like cozy, soft blankets? Cats are not the exception to this. Cats feel warm and safe under a blanket because no one can see them.
- Their bed. Yes! Their bed is a weird place, as they will prefer anything else before sleeping in their bed. But if you trained your cat (congrats if you made it) to sleep in her bed, she will probably like to nuzzle in from time to time. Make sure you buy your cat something either off the ground or something similar to a box.
We cannot deny it; when looking for the best spot to catch a good sleep or nap, we are no different from our furry friends. We like comfortable, cozy, warm, quiet, safe, dark places, just like them. I get it, most of us will not end up inside a bag or in the sink, but safety and comfort are a big deal for us.
Enclosed places can give us a sensation of safety and coziness like no other thing; ok, well, this might be because I am a relatively small person. Sorry if you’re one of my big pals out there. But our cats will agree with this; they believe that the tighter the place, the safer they will feel.
Cats are creatures of habit, so it does not matter if we talk about an actual nest, a box, or a random drawer you left open. Cats love safe and cozy places, so that they might proclaim a place like that one as their own.
We might think a super expensive bed could be a great idea for cats, but being honest, cats will do whatever they want, and if that means using a box instead of a bed, that is what they will do. So, next time you adopt a cat, we encourage you to get your new friend a box; she will adapt faster, as she might feel more secure and happy inside the hiding place.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.