Here’s Why Cats Always Love to Sit in Boxes, According to Science

Forget fancy cat treats, posts, or toys, there’s one thing that our feline friends love more than anything else. Boxes — cats just can’t resist them.

why do cats sit in boxes
Stephen Woods / Flickr

If you’ve ever got a delivery or moved home, you will have noticed just one simple thing. Your cat is obsessed with boxes. When they see them, they just can’t help themselves. Within the space of a few seconds, they will have jumped right in the box and there’s just no way you can get them out. Have you ever wondered why that is? Maybe you haven’t given it all that much thought in the past, but there’s a genuine reason that cats do this. Their love of cardboard boxes is no accident — it’s entirely innate to them.

So, why do cats love boxes so much?

It’s something that’s troubled many cat lovers for quite some time now. The very moment you bring a box into your home, your cat just cannot resist sitting in it. You may imagine that they are playing pretend like kids do, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, according to a recent study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, there’s a scientific reason that felines are attracted to boxes.

It all has a little something to do with stress. (Because, yes, cats do tend to get rather anxious and stressed out from time to time!) The researchers looked at cats that live in shelters. These creatures tend to be particularly stressed out much of the time since they have to share their environment with other felines.

The results were quite clear — when these cats had boxes to hide inside, their stress levels decreased at a dramatic rate. That suggests that our kitties use boxes a a way to escape the world and de-stress in a private place. Just like us humans need space from time to time, it’s logical that felines would need the same thing.

It’s all about evolution, baby!

Also, when you think about this from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes an awful lot of sense. When felines in the wild feel threatened (or stressed out), the best thing for them to do is find a hiding place. It’s an innate urge; something they just know they have to do. When it comes to domesticated cats, it’s only logical that they would mimic the same behavior. As the saying goes, you can take the cat out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the cat!

Should you get your cat a box?

Well, the short answer is ‘yes’. Creating an environment in which your pet can be comfortable is essential to their happiness and well-being. That’s why you should absolutely make sure that your home is fit for them. You may want to include some cardboard boxes in your cat’s play area, for example. Failing that, there are many other things you could get for your cat.

If you don’t want to litter your home with a load of cardboard boxes, getting some cat furniture that allows them to hide away may be the answer. For example, you could invest in a cat home that offers them some space. There are loads of fantastic accessories you can get for your feline online so why not take a look and see what you can find? You know it makes sense! After all, this little extra could be just what your kitty needs to feel right at home.

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