Why Do Cats Like to Squeeze Into Small Spaces?
6 April, 2018
cat in small space

Anyone who owns a cat knows how they love to jump into laundry baskets, sinks and especially bags and boxes.  While some of these spaces seem comfortable, other spots make cats seem like contortionists trying to squeeze into such small areas.  Why do cats like to squeeze into small closed spaces?

Cats feel secure in small spaces

Cats merely feel more secure in tight spaces. The places cats choose to snuggle provide a measure of security to them, physically and psychologically.  As kittens, they are used to snuggle with their mom and litter mates, feeling the warmth and soothing contact. The close contact with the box’s interior seems to release endorphins – nature’s own morphine-like substances – causing pleasure and reducing stress.

Although cats are domesticated, they still have that prey and protection mentality

Cats live a bit on the paranoid side of life always quick to jump and hide. Although cats have long been domesticated, a lot of what makes a cat a cat still is rooted in the wild. They practice their stalking and hunting skills, often on us when hiding in a bag and box and then jumping.

A cat’s sleek and flexible bodies allow them to fit anywhere so they do it!

The sleek and flexible body of a cat can squeeze into very tight spaces as we learn when our kitties through partially opened doors or other tight spots. The shoulders of a cat can even bend and twist to enable them to fit into such spaces — all adaptations for hunting elusive prey.  And keeping to form, they use their sleek bodies to fit where they want to.

Cats love to stay warm and the smaller area helps them retain their body heat

The smaller area helps cats to retain their body heat. Warmth itself is a comfort and conserved body heat can be an attraction. A small space provides that.  Cats are very tactile animals. From their whiskers to their tails, they are very aware of what’s around them. Feeling the sides of a bed or container lets them know that they are safe and warm all around.

Small spaces make cats feel safe when feeling anxious

Cats are really bad at trying to work things out when it comes to conflict. They might put on a show of aggression, but then they will retreat, hiding from the situation until it just goes away. So you might find your cat snuggled in a shoe box in the top shelf of your closet when things are stressful.  Or even in your grocery bag until they fill the coast is clear.

Even though our cats try to prove they are independent and strong, they love feeling secure and safe and smaller spaces seem to do just that!

Other related articles:

Why Do Cats Like Bags and Boxes?

Why Do Cats Chew Plastic Items?

How Can You Tell If You Are Your Cat’s Favorite?

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