Twitter user Ijnaoba1927 from Japan captured the internet’s attention when they posted a couple of photos of their neighborhood cats resting their heads on parking bumpers. They’re using them just like pillows!
Ijnaoba1927’s photos sparked an epic thread that got more than 1 million likes and over 268k retweets and comments. People then posted their own pics of cats relaxing on parking bumpers and it’s oddly wholesome. Welcome to your daily dose of wholesome cat content—just kick back, scroll down for your Vitamin C(at), and upvote the pics that you enjoyed the most.
To learn more about why some cats might want to place their heads of parking bumpers, Bored Panda reached out to cat behaviorist Ingrid Johnson. According to her, cats do it for comfort. "Just like humans, cats are no strangers to seeking out comfort and they may choose to simply rest their head because it is there and easily accessible.” However, that isn’t the entire story. Scroll down for the rest of our insightful chat with Ingrid.
“I would be willing to bet if something soft and cozy were provided as an option, they would choose that over a parking bumper, but if they are an indoor/outdoor cat or a feral cat they are essentially using this as a pillow!” cat specialist Ingrid explained.
The expert added that cats are also heat seekers, so they love the sun and warmth. “Concrete often heats up and provides a nice warm place to sunbathe.”
Bored Panda wanted to find out more about whether there are some positions that cats find more comfortable to be in or if it’s down to individual preference. “This is absolutely an individual preference but also based on circumstance and their environment at the time,” she said.
“When cats feel really relaxed, comfortable, and safe they will show it in how they have positioned themselves. For example, laying with their belly exposed and all stretched out is a vulnerable position so they do this when they feel safe and trust their surroundings,” cat behavior specialist Ingrid explained.
“A cat that is hunched up with all four paws on the ground ready to jump may be resting, but they are also wary and preparing to run if need be.”
Ingrid added that whether or not a cat resting its head on a parking bumper is resting or alert depends on each individual cat and how threatened or comfortable they feel in that given area at the time.
Our working theory before our talk with Ingrid about the meowstery of why cats put their heads on parking bumpers was that they’re way more comfortable than they look or that everything’s a pillow when you’re a cat.
Parking bumpers have a looot of different names, so you might be familiar with one of these, instead: chock blocks, parking curbs, wheel stops, parking chocks, wheel chocks, and bumper blocks. We dare you to repeat them out loud three times, as quickly as you can. We’re also kinda sure that you can call them ‘wheel parking chock block curbs’ and get away with it. Maybe.
There are plenty of other strange things that cats do with their heads besides using parking lot infrastructure as makeshift Ikea pillows.
For instance, if you’ve ever wondered why your cat bonks, bunts, and rubs its head against yours, then wonder no more! It’s a bonding ritual that spreads the cat’s scent.
Cat behavior expert Pam Johnson-Bennett said: “When cats head bunt, they’re creating a communal scent in a free-roaming universe. Cats recognize each other by scent first and foremost.”