Cats like boxes because they are cryptic animals. Cats like to hide. And as the collage about demonstrates cats can use their anatomy to deter predators. “Cryptic” comes from “Crypsis” which is the the use of anatomy and behavior to hide from potential predators or “the ability of an organism to avoid observation or detection by other organisms”1.
The picture says it all really. Some people might argue that the feline tabby coat evolved as a means to protect the cat as (a) it is excellent camouflage and (b) it looks like a snake curled up when the cat is resting. The cat in the collage above it an ocelot, a small wild cat species.
The cat also learned to hiss to sound like a snake. Two separate forms of protection both of which are connected to the snake.
The African wildcat – the domestic cat’s wild ancestor – is a snake catcher. I wonder whether over the millenia the wildcat learned to copy the snake as he knew the snake well.
There are gazillions of cat-in-boxes videos and pictures on the internet. All of them demonstrate the cryptic nature of feline behavior.
You can see Maru’s tail wagging after he gets into the tiny box that is too small. I’d say this is a classic sign of uncertainty about what to do next. Maru wants to be in a box as he is obsessed by boxes but can’t achieve it. Tail wagging is a sign the cat’s mind is in balance just as a tail helps a cat to physically balance.
Every home should have a place for their cat to hide.
Source: 1. Wikipedia