Behavioural biologists crack the mystery: Why do cats love boxes? March 16 2017

Behavioural biologists and veterinarians may have just discovered the answer to the biggest mystery of cats: why do they love cardboard boxes?

Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that if there is a box laying around no matter how big or small, they want to be in it. But why? What is their obsession with boxes? They'll squeeze themselves into the smallest, most uncomfortable position to get in that box!

According to scientific studies collected by the website Wired, there seem to be two main reasons why cats feel the urge to get into every box. 

The first and main reason is that boxes provide a safe shelter from stress. A study done at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, concluded that cats feel calmer in boxes because they feel they are less likely to be seen and pestered if hiding in them. If you think about cats in the wild, they would take refuge from prey by hiding in small spaces. House cats may do this instinctually, or it could be because they do not want to be bothered by humans or other pets in the house. This could also be why cats tend to lay under chairs, beds, closets and inside drawers. It's their safe heaven.

Another reason why cats love boxes is because they like the warmth. Most cardboard boxes provide insulation for cats and keeps the cold draft out. The psychology behind it is similar to why cats like to lay in the sun rather than the shade - it helps to keep them warm, and according to scientists they prefer to feel warm. They'll always manage to find that one patch of sun in the room!

So the next time you want to throw out that ugly box, think what you'll be taking away from your cat. Comfort, stress-relief and warmth. You can live with it for a little while can't you...