Why do cats love boxes so much? We have a few ideas, and Simon’s Cat has an adorable video to start your Saturday-Caturday off right.
“If it fits, I sits.” It’s one of my favorite cat-related Internet jokes, generally placed beside a goofy picture of a cat attempting to fit inside a box it is clearly too large for. They always pull it off, though, likely because (in the wise words of Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes) we can actually classify cats as liquids. My favorite one on the Internet is, of course, Maru; a goofy Japanese cat obsessed with fitting into tight places:
And to go with that, this week we have Simon’s Cat taking us on a cat-box adventure:
But why? What’s the point? Cats are creatures that slink gracefully back and forth across the line between serene, intelligent animals and total weirdos. The boxes definitely fall onto the bizarre side of the line as you watch video after video of a cat diving face-first into a fishbowl only to tip the whole thing over with its fluffy rump. For an animal that can walk across thin bars or leap ridiculous heights, the feats of Maru and Simon’s cats above don’t make much sense.
The best part is that science still hasn’t quite figured out why cats like boxes so much. There are plenty of theories, but they never quite manage to canvas exactly what it is specifically about an empty cardboard box of any size that so lures kitties. Some theories posit that since cats are predatory animals, they like to stalk their prey from places where they are protected from other predators, invisible to prey, and able to pounce readily. Makes sense, but that’s not the whole picture.
Another idea is that a box may make your cat feel safe. Cats seek out tight, enclosed spaces when they feel stressed. And being surrounded and protected can help lower their stress level. It’s the same reason why, when your cat is scared, it goes and hides under the couch or a porch. Boxes may operate on a lesser level, providing a stress-relief even when the cat isn’t actively worried about something.
Or maybe boxes are just warm. Who knows? But it’s comforting to know that if you ever order a fancy cat toy from Amazon, your cat is just as likely to go for the new present as it is for the empty box it came in.