The humble, yet extremely useful, cardboard box proves that the essence of the cat resides in all cats; wild to domestic. They like to sit inside them. It makes them feel comfortable. That has to be reason for the domestic cats attraction to the cardboard box. Often, small boxes are preferred; boxes that the cat can hardly get into. A smaller box probably provides both support and a sense of security while cardboard is warm and an insulator. The attraction appears to be about that eternal truth: animals, including humans, migrate towards a comfort zone of whatever type.
My thanks to dw for spotting the picture of the wild cat inside the box.
Now the question is what species is the cat? It is a leopard in my opinion. The only other species that it could be is a jaguar. They are very similar but the spots are different.
I have said it before, the domestic cat is still 99% like a wild cat species and it does not matter how large or small the wild cat is. Maru, the Japanese bicolor tabby, is the most famous box-lover. Perhaps the connection between domestic and wild cat is fading because of domestication?
I have to quote Mel and Fiona Sunquist from their excellent book Wild Cats Of The World:
“When you have a cat in your home, you live with the essence of a tiger….[domestic cats] are a whisker away from their wild relatives…”
Boxes prove this…