Why do cats love boxes so much?
As a pet parent or even a cat lover, you must have noticed that cats love boxes excessively. According to researchers and veterinarians, this strange behavior is not just a mere coincidence, but it has a scientific explanation behind it. So, let's delve into the topic and dig deeper into why cats love boxes so much.
1. Instinctual behavior
Cats have an innate instinct to hide themselves while stalking their prey. Their brains are wired to hunt and pounce on their prey from an unseen spot. Therefore, hiding in a cardboard box satisfies their instinct and gives them a sense of security and comfort. Boxes are also a place where they can sleep without worrying about being disturbed.
2. Protection from predators
If you have an outdoor cat, you might have noticed that they tend to hide in bushes, trees, or boxes to protect themselves from predators that might be around. Cats feel safe when they can choose an enclosure that allows them to see their surroundings without being seen. Hiding in an enclosure such as a box can help them feel more comfortable in their environment.
3. A place to play
Cats are playful animals, and they love to play with anything that catches their attention. Boxes are an excellent place for them to play hide and seek, chase, hunt, and pounce. Boxes can be used as a toy or a playground for the cat, which is a safe activity that keeps them entertained and improves mental stimulation.
4. Temperature regulation
Cats are temperature-sensitive animals and are known to have a body temperature of around 100.5°F. Boxes can help regulate their body temperature by providing warmth in the cold weather or by protecting them from the scorching heat during hot weather. The cardboard box gives them an optimal temperature, which makes them feel comfortable and secure.
5. Stress relief
Cats can be highly susceptible to stress, which can result from medical ailments or changes in their environment. Boxes can be a source of stress relief for cats as they can retreat into their safe space when they are feeling overwhelmed. Being in a box and isolating themselves from their surroundings can help them feel more relaxed and in control.
6. Territory marking
Cats are territorial animals, and they like marking their territory with their scent. When they are in a box, they can rub their scent on the box's surface, indicating to other cats that the box is their territory. The smell of the cat's scent can make them feel more secure and at home.
Lastly, boxes provide comfort to cats. The walls of the box form a cozy, warm, and secure environment in which cats can snuggle up and feel safe. Cats love to sleep in tight, cozy spaces, and a box fits this requirement perfectly.
In conclusion, cats love boxes for various reasons, including instinctual behavior, protection from predators, a place to play, temperature regulation, stress relief, territory marking, and comfort. As much as this behavior may seem strange, it is a natural response that helps them feel more secure in their surroundings. It is essential to provide your cat with a safe, welcoming environment that allows them to express their instincts, and a cardboard box can be just that. As a owner/parent of a pet who loves boxes, providing them with one to play in may be just what they need to feel more at ease.