Abigail Tucker, author of "The Lion in the Living Room," explains what's going on when cats hop into boxes: imagination. "Our houses are strange places for apex predators to live 24/7. A lot of cats are just hopelessly bored."
Here's more from Cat Health.
Boxes Decrease Stress
A study was recently done on cats that were entering a Dutch animal shelter. Some of the cats were given cardboard boxes in their cages and some were not. The cats were then evaluated for stress, using the Kessler and Turner Cat Stress Score, a scientific scale for quantifying stress in cats. Stress levels in the cats that were provided with boxes was much lower than in the ones without boxes.