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  • Writer's pictureJanee Gordon

Why do cats love boxes? We’ve got some clues…

Updated: May 26, 2023

If you have a cat….we bet you know how much they love boxes.

But we asked the question, why do cats love boxes?

It’s an age old question, but one that has an answer that may surprise you.

According to Live Science, “Seeking out confined spaces is an instinctual behavior for cats. In the wild, these areas allow the animals to both hide from predators and surreptitiously stalk prey.” Hence the reason when you walk by a box with your cat in it, you may just get a little swipe on the foot.

Other theories from WIRED indicate that cats, “…derive(s) comfort and security from enclosed spaces.” Hence the love for a box. After all, they are cozy spots.

And also from WIRED, “To quote from The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behaviour, “Cats do not appear to develop conflict resolution strategies to the extent that more gregarious species do, so they may attempt to circumvent agonistic encounters by avoiding others or decreasing their activity.”

“So rather than work things out, cats are more inclined to simply run away from their problems or avoid them altogether. A box, in this sense, can often represent a safe zone, a place where sources of anxiety, hostility, and unwanted attention simply disappear.”

Or maybe it’s just cold? WIRED also theorizes, “According to a 2006 study by the National Research Council, the thermoneutral zone for a domestic cat is 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the range of temperatures in which cats are “comfortable” and don’t have to generate extra heat to keep warm or expend metabolic energy on cooling. That range also happens to be 20 degrees higher than ours.”

Which may explain why we find our kitties in really odd places sometimes including the tops of our kitchen cabinets, in grocery bags, sitting on top of our computers or printers, all curled up and satisfyingly purring away.

Whatever the reason, stress, avoiding conflict, feeling more secure, or just keeping warm….we’re sure to be constantly entertained by our furry friends.

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