Throughout the history of mankind, we have domesticated many species, from the wild ox to our dangerous predators like wolves which then evolved into cows and dogs respectively. However, one species that adopted us and tolerated our nonsense was wild cats, and thanks to the natural selection they became the domesticated cat of today. While this theory is subject to debate, one thing is certain, cats are adorable. They are these little furballs that contribute tremendously to our society by kneading dough for biscuits, proving healing purrs, and teaching us about personal space. However, these majestic creatures regardless of their size have one thing in common, they love boxes, even if you buy them the most comfortable bed in the world, they’ll still prefer the square box, some prefer rectangles too. But why?
Cats and Boxes
It is no surprise that cats love three things the most in the world, stringy-chewy toys, cardboard boxes, and world domination. Jokes aside, if you’ve ever happened to, which you most likely did, watch cute videos of cats on the internet you must’ve noticed one thing, they are usually sitting in a box despite their owners providing all the amenities to them. While cats are known to be able to sit anywhere they can fit their body in, cardboard boxes seem to be one of the most preferable places for them and to us humans it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
Because every other animal in the world regardless of being wild or domesticated loves laying on comfortable surfaces. Dogs are notorious for it, they love laying on couches and beds so much that they have to be trained not to get on them. So why do our kitties love rough and uncomfortable boxes so much?
Reasons why Cats loves boxes
The reasons behind cats’ love for boxes have to do with their nature and how they were prior to domestication. They are predators at their core and these boxes check all of the boxes for cats.
- Safety: While cats are one of the most efficient killers, they have their own weak spots, if one is to sneak up on them this leaves them completely vulnerable. Boxes provide tall sidewalls around them and this ensures them that they won’t be sneaked upon and if one has to come in close proximity of them, cats will be able to see them easily. Cats are capable of holding on their own but much prefer to avoid conflicts and boxes provide just that.
- Curiosity: Though we humans are known to be one of the most curious species, cats are not far behind. They are notoriously curious and playful and they investigate new things thoroughly in their surroundings just like a researcher and mark their things by rubbing themselves against them. So when you bring something new to the house, chances are it’ll be in a box and they rub themselves on the box prior to seeing the item itself and this makes them think that box is their property, which it is.
- Insulation: Average body temperature of a cat is around 37°c and being a warm-blooded creatures they require insulation from the cold just like us and cardboard is a great insulator. Additionally, if you’ve ever observed a cat sleeping, they sleep curled up and boxes, especially the small ones have just the right space for them to do so and of course, cats sleep a lot. This becomes even crucial when cats are outside, as this could mean the difference between life and death.
- Hideout: Cats, even the bigger ones like leopards are famous for hunting and then bringing their hunt in their hideout and consume it there without any fear of interruption or other predators. As mentioned in the safety point, boxes ensure cats that they are safe and that is why you see cats usually hide their hunt in the box and then you wonder why the house smells like a chronic disease. If you happen to have more than one cat, one of them is bound to land a jab to another from the box as it is a safe spot.
- Amenities: To us humans, it may appear as if cardboard boxes are just plain and uninteresting things but for cats, it’s nothing short of a five-star hotel. Cardboard has just the right texture for cats to chew and scratch their claws onto, and combining it with their playful nature, it is a no-brainer for cats.
Well, now you know why Mittens love the cardboard box more than your $500 custom kitty bed with their face on it. However, you can still do something to enhance their experience by adding padding to the box, this will make it even more welcoming for cats and make it sturdy so that it doesn’t tip over when inevitably your cat rushes into it. Finally, depending on the cat you might have to put it on an elevated surface where they feel secure.