If you are a catmom you can relate to this. You have bought a very nice toy for your cat. When the toy is delivered at home, your cat will come enthusiastically to watch when you are unpacking the box. He will love his new toy, you think. Your cat looks at the toy for a moment and then crawls into the box. The box has his attention in the coming hours and he does not touch the toy with a paw.
Why cats love to be in boxes
When your cat is in a box, it feels very safe for him, especially if the box can also be half closed. Sitting in a box reduces stress for your cat. (Yes really, cats can have stress). It instinctively feels very good that your cat knows that someone cannot stalk him from the side or the back. In addition, a cat loves warm spots, in a box it is easier to retain its warmth.
Test with boxes in a cat shelter
In a shelter, a test was done, half of the cats received a box during their stay during the first 2 weeks. The cats without a box during their stay had more difficulty getting used to and reacted more shyly than the cats with a box in which they could lay in when needed. These cats were used to it faster, the stress level was lower.