Those of you who follow Noggins & Binkles on Instagram and Facebook (sign up by clicking the links if you don't!) will know that on most Friday nights, Noggins & Binkles' humans host a Friday night box pawty....if you literally want to see thousands of cats in boxes head over to Instagram and search #fridaynightboxpawty! It's the hottest ticket in town and every new box we get (and there are plenty) provides hours of entertainment.
Binkles having a Friday night box pawty in his orange vegan cork leather breakaway cat collar
You see the great thing about a box if you are a cat is its versatility. The Swiss army knife of cat toys if you will. Not only can a box be scratched and chewed but it also provides the perfect hiding place for cats during play and a large box provides a vantage point from which to pounce on unsuspecting passers-by.
Noggins in what must have been one of our biggest boxes!
To really understand why cats love boxes so much, we need to remember that today's domestic cats have some formidable hunters as ancestors. Whilst Noggins & Binkles and most other domestic cats no longer need to rely on their predatory instincts to get through each day, that does not mean that somewhere, deep inside each and every kitty, there isn't a little lion or tiger trying to get out! So if you present your furry friend with a box, chances are he or she will be instantly transformed into a little hunter and jump right on it ready to pounce on any one who wanders past. Cats think that boxes provide safety from passing predators because, in their kitty minds, they are hidden from view when they are in a box and predators can only approach in their line of sight. Of course the reality is that in most cases they aren't hidden at all but we would not want to spoil their pawty by telling them that, now would we?
Binkles 'hiding' in his cardboard box! It may have tall sides, but we can see you!
Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA for short, says that cats like boxes because they are cryptic animals which like to hide. In the Noggins & Binkles household, this hiding is not confined to boxes. In fact, Noggins & Binkles will climb into pretty much anything if they will fit inside it. When Mr Noggins was a kitten, he used to climb into saucepans and vases, even if they looked impossibly small. Unfortunately he is too big to do that now but he likes nothing better than to jump in a suitcase if his humans leave one out when they get back from a trip.
Noggins when he was a kitten in a vase which he can no longer fit in!
Let's also not forget that cats sleep a lot. In fact most cats sleep for between 18 and 20 hours a day and we all know that cats like to find a cosy little spot to curl up in and sleep. As with many cats, Noggins & Binkles will often forgo the comfort of their luxurious cat beds to curl up in a cardboard box or on a copy of the newspaper. In fact, Mr Binkles can often be found just lying on the floor, enjoying the warmth of the underfloor heating. You see cats are not really all that fussy when it comes to sleeping despite their humans best efforts to spoil them with a beautiful warm cat bed and any chance to sleep in a cardboard box will be snapped up.
Binkles sleeping in a cardboard box in his red polka dot breakaway cat collar.
At the end of the day, cats like to feel safe and secure regardless of what they are doing. Why else are timid people sometimes described as scaredy cats? Mr Binkles runs off at the slightest noise that he isn't familiar with and if there is a box nearby to jump into, you can be pretty sure to find him in it; either that or under the duvet pretending that he isn't there. So for all of their hunting instincts, our kitties just like the security that a box brings. Oh and the opportunity to shred it to pieces for the humans to pick up later! After all, we all know who is in charge really.