If it fits, I sits – the secret behind cats’ love of sitting in small spaces

We guess all of you, fabCats, have at least once in your lifetime seen a photo of a cat squeezed into a box, a sink, a slipper or any other item that was definitely not meant to be a cat bed. All that’s going through our minds in those moments is: “HOW?!”. Well, that’s the cats’ nature – going by the rule of “If it fits, I sits”, our furry friends happily try out the spatial possibilities of everything they see around them. But what makes them want to squeeze where their fluffy butts barely fit? We’ve asked our cat experts, cats from the #myKotty team, for their opinion and, with a grain of salt, we’ll tell you what they said. Come on in! 

The cat box theory – why do cats love cardboard boxes? 

Let us start with a question about the most common victim of the cats’ sitting habits – cardboard boxes. It’s hard not to see that they have been the best cat trap for years – simply put a box in the middle of the room and after a short while, you should have a cat inside, happily celebrating their find. Expert Teddy, please tell us – why do cats love cardboard boxes that much? 

Teddy, the expert philosopher at #myKotty:

“You see, hoomans – cats’ relationship with cardboard boxes can’t be simply explained in one word. It’s too complicated! But I can guarantee you, we have many reasons to sit around in boxes:

  • It’s the purrfect hideout when we’re hunting. Both the small and the big, cardboard boxes are the best spot for observing and lurking when you’re hunting. And yes, we know that in some of them, we can barely fit and everyone can see us. Admit it, though – when we’re sitting around in a small box, you’re never expecting us to jump out to attack your ankles! Surprise guaranteed – for us, playing like that is so much fun. 
  • Boxes give us a sense of security. There are some studies which show that we – cats, feel less stressed when we are in boxes. And there’s something to that, for sure! Just think about it, hooman – when you’re closely surrounded by 4 walls of cozy, warm cardboard, wouldn’t you immediately feel better? And on top of that, boxes give us the ability to observe our surroundings on our own terms, without the fear of someone approaching us, uninvited. 
  • Cardboard is warm. Even at home, by the radiator and the couch, sometimes we just feel like hiding in a box and using its natural heating abilities. Seriously though, hooman – you should try it – it’s really warm and cozy. 
  • Every box is a surprise. And we, cats, love surprises! New boxes smell fresh, they smell of the product that was inside and they smell of cardboard! They’re something new and foreign – we must investigate what’s inside them. And what if they’re a bit small sometimes and soooooometimes we happen to fall asleep inside them – who cares 🙂 

And here’s the whole philosophy of it. Of course, if you’d like to know more about the feline love for cardboard, you can find all sorts of fun tidbits on our blog: 

Now, I think that Kitku Yoda will tell you more about squeezing into tight spaces – he’s our chief master of cat yoga and honestly, we still don’t know where his spine is!” 

The tighter, the better – the philosophy behind “If it fits, I sits”  

Okay, Teddy’s explanation of the feline love for cardboard makes sense – who hasn’t at least once dreamt about a tight, cozy and safe space for a nap, be the first to throw a paper ball. But what draws cats to the smallest, tightest spaces – not just the boxes, if they actually have some bigger and more comfy spots available? It’s so often that a cat can’t fit their butt and all their fluffy selves into the object, but they still sit around proudly, showing off (almost contrarily), that they are indeed very comfy. Kitku Yoda, could you explain that to us? 

Kitku Yoda, team #myKotty’s master of gymnastics and cat yoga:

“As Teddy explained, we like sitting around in spaces where we feel safe. When the 4 walls of the box or other objects are close to us, it’s much more cozy than laying around just like that, in the middle of the floor. But there’s one more, very important aspect of the “If it fits, I sits” philosophy – we, the cats, are simply masters of gymnastics and cat yoga and we love to practice it anywhere we can. Our flexible spines let us get into different poses and the ability to stretch out every day is our secret to staying in shape for years and years. And since we don’t know such thing as boredom in the cat world, discovering new spaces where we can try out our yoga skills gives it all an extra touch of flavour. To answer your question “Why do we get into tight spaces” simply, I say honestly: because we can! 🙂  

I know, hooman, that you like facts, so let me present you with some extra info to clear up any confusion: 

  • when we roll ourselves up into a ball, we instinctively protect our bellies from an unexpected attack – it’s our soft spot and we only show it to the chosen ones. In a tight space, it’s much easier to hide anything that’s most valuable to us. 
  • we don’t have rigid collar bones. The places we shouldn’t, in theory, fit into, turn out to be the purrfect hiding spots. And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get in or out of them, but we regret nothing. 
  • we need training. Our bodies are flexible, but the secret to our extreme dexterity is constant movement. You can assume we just sleep all day, but our seemingly uncomfortable poses are the thing that lets us stay in shape – we’re the yoga masters even as senior citizens!
  • tights spaces let us hide from anything. You know – when I’m not in the mood for staying in touch with the world, I will go where the world can’t find me. Us cats, we sometimes love staying in touch with just the most intelligent beings on this planet – ourselves. In a tight spot, we are sure that nobody can squeeze in to join us.” koty, czasem po prostu lubimy pobyć z najinteligentniejszymi istotami na tej planecie, czyli sami ze sobą – w ciasnym miejscu mamy pewność, że nikt nie zdoła się do nas wcisnąć.” 

Where can you practice the “If it fits, I sits” mantra? 

Time for the highlight of the show! After all, it’s not important why cats sit in tight spaces, but rather where they choose to sit when they decide to get into a really small space. There are many options and besides the obvious ones that were made with cats in mind (like the inside of our LUI scratcher, cat beds on top of the cat tree, cardboard houses, like the MIA cat house, or other cocoons and cat sleeping bags), our feline friends love everything that’s new and not necessarily meant for cats to use. Some of the best options are: 

  • paper shopping bags. Nothing rustles quite as good as a piece of paper. 
  • any delivery boxes. Isn’t that the point of you shopping online, hooman? To let your cat have some fun with cardboard boxes? 
  • empty product packaging – viva the pizza box and milk-multipack cardboard tunnel,
  • baskets and buckets. There’s nothing better than a nap on fresh laundry, right? 
  • bowls – for the bathroom, but the kitchen as well. You don’t need a fruit bowl when you can have a cat bowl! 
  • drawers – open one and your cat will definitely use the opportunity to get in (unnoticed, of course), 
  • the sink – bathrooms are like a secret, always closed room, to which cats have little access to. It’s no surprise that once the door opens, they need to check every nook and corner to find the best sleeping spot!  
  • suitcases. When you’re getting ready for a trip, don’t forget your cat 🙂 

And where do your cats, fabCats, practice yoga most often, celebrating the “If it fits, I sits” philosophy? Be sure to let us know in the comments and if you have photos that commemorate your cats’ strange poses, show them off to us on our social media 🙂

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