Why Do Cats Love Boxes?
As any cat owner will know your cat loves a good cardboard box, he or she will radiate towards the box as soon as it enters your house. But why do cats love boxes?
My own Persian cat Milo just loves any kind of box, I've bought him many a fancy toy to be disappointed when I find that he would rather squeeze himself into a small cardboard box than sit in a nice new cat bed. I've often wondered what the attraction was to boxes, so I decided to research the topic a bit further.
It turns out that a study was carried out by Utrecht University in the Netherlands to determine whether hiding in a box would reduce the stress of 19 newly arrived shelter cats. They separated the cats into two groups randomly to determine the stress levels of the research animals, behavioural observations were made during a 14 day period with the help of Cat Stress Score.
What they found was the cats that were in a box were significantly less stressed than cats that were without a box. You can find a link to the study here.
What this study tells us is the main reason why cats like to sit in boxes is a result of their natural instinct.
Cats in the wild will hide from predators and they will monitor their prey before they pounce just as a lion or tiger would. Cats feel safe and secure whilst in a box because they feel that they can't be attacked from behind and everything is in their vision.
Naturally, cats run from danger and hide, this is why some people often refer to cats as anti-social animals who prefer solidarity over socialising. Again this is why the box is a favourite of the cat as they can relax on their own and feel safe in doing so.
Why do Cats Love Boxes- Especially Cardboard?
Another reason cats like cardboard boxes is due to the warmth and insulation they provide, a cat's body temperature is 101.5 degrees and most households have an average temperature of 70 degrees so your cat will naturally try to find warmth in your house.
Cardboard boxes provide a great toy for cats to scratch and bite, I often notice when Milo gets into a cardboard box for the first time he will scratch the box or bite bits of the cardboard off. By doing this he's creating a "nest" or his "own" home just as you would paint or wallpaper your new home.
I also notice that cats love to sit on paper, if you've ever been working and had all your papers laid out you will notice more often than not your cat will come and sit right in the middle of all the papers! Again as with boxes, this will be for insulation and for the "feel" of the paper on their fur.
So I hope this post answers the question why do cats love boxes.