If you're a cat owner, you've probably caught your furry friend nestled in your indoor planter box or outdoor garden planter at some point. While this behavior may seem odd, there are several logical reasons why cats love curling up in planters and flower pots. In this blog post, we'll explore the top theories behind this quirky cat habit.
Planters are the Perfect Cat-Sized Bed
One of the simplest explanations is that planter boxes provide a cozy, cat-sized space for napping. The confined walls surrounding the soil create a little nook that feels like a snug bed or nest for a cat. It likely reminds them of confined spaces in nature that provide shelter. The compact size allows them to tuck in their paws and settle right in for a snooze. Plus, the raised height gets them up off the floor away from foot traffic. For safety and privacy when sleeping, planters hit all the right buttons forcats.
The Soil Traps Their Body Heat
Cats love warmth, so the soil inside planters provides the perfect heated spot. The soil absorbs heat and traps it within the enclosed box, creating a comfortably warm environment. The bottom and sides of the planter surround the soil, insulating it from cool breezes. By sinking into the earthy material, your cat can soak up the radiating warmth it gives off, especially heated by the sun's rays in outdoor planters. These cozy, heated conditions make planter boxes ideal catnap spots.
They Like Using Natural Materials
The soil, plants, and wood of an indoor planter box or outdoor garden planter provide natural materials that cats' instincts are drawn to. The earthy soil allows them to burrow and nestle. Leafy greens invite them to hide and explore. And wood constructs a primal shelter. Cats may be domesticated, but hints of their wild ancestors still influence their urges and preferences. Sleeping in planters allows them to satisfy these innate inclinations.
Planters Soothe Security Needs
For cats, planter boxes offer a sense of safety and security while resting. The closed-in sides block their view and hide them from potential threats. This barricade from the outside world helps shy or anxious cats feel protected. The compact space also allows them to easily monitor all sides of the planter in case they need to escape. Curling up within the soil allows cats to sleep soundly with peace of mind that no harm will come to them.
They Need a cool-down period
After a lively play session full of pouncing, climbing, and racing around, a planter full of soil provides the perfect place for a cat to cool down and catch their breath. The soil's cooler temperature coupled with the shade allows an overheated cat to regulate their temperature again. The enclosure provides privacy from household chaos. And the soil grants them a cooling, earthy bed. Planters offer active cats the ideal rest and regulation spot after burning energy.
Planters Have Intriguing Scents
A cat's sense of smell is 14 times stronger than humans. So all the intriguing aromas wafting up from the soil, fertilizer, flowers, and foliage make planters scent heaven. Cats use their sense of smell to interpret environmental cues and satisfy their curiosity about unfamiliar smells. By diving into planters, cats can most fully immerse themselves within the planter's unique aroma blend. Sleeping right within the source of these fascinating scents likely gives cats information about their surroundings and fulfills sensory needs.
They Provide Soft, Malleable Surfaces
Digging and kneading are instinctual behaviors for cats stretching or settling into sleep. The loose, soft soil within planters allows cats to easily dig, scratch, and knead to their heart's content. They can scrunch and fluff the soil until it perfectly molds around their body. Cats that knead before sleeping find the pliable surface of soil much more satisfying than firm floors. The give of the dirt lets them happily carry out their natural kneading and scratching rituals.
Cats Love Being Up High
Thanks to prey-drive instincts, cats love sitting in high perches to survey their domains. Elevated planter boxes or pots on shelves put snoozing cats up above the busy household action. The height allows them to peek over the planter's sides to watch the movements of their human housemates. But they can duck back into their hideaway to avoid being disturbed. When up high, cats can choose whether to interact or just observe the world safely from their throne.
Planters Keep Them Clean
Self-grooming is a top priority for fastidious felines. But inevitably their paws get dirty from using litter boxes or wandering around the home. Hopping into the soil allows cats to conveniently clean off their paws - similar to covering their waste in nature. The loose dirt helps scrub off debris picked up around the house. Plus, burying their paws lets them dig and sharpen their claws simultaneously! After a few minutes of raking around in the soil, cats emerge with clean paws.
They Crave Foliage to Eat
For some plant-loving cats, a lush indoor or garden planter offers an all-you-can-eat salad bar! Cats that chew on houseplants get a fresh feast when you add cat grass, catnip, greens, or other cat-safe plants. While munching, they often end up taking a snooze within the greenery. The soothing act of grazing leaves cats content, full, and ready for an after-dinner nap. Just be sure any houseplants are non-toxic to cats before putting them within paw's reach!
Now that you understand why your cat adores snuggling up in planters, you can make this behavior even more enjoyable. Consider dedicating a few planters as designated "kitty planters" in your home. Ensure these planters contain non-toxic plants like cat grass and catmint. Watch your feline friend delight in digging, lounging, and napping in their newfound favorite spot.