A pet owner has been forced to install a child lock on the microwave oven after her cat kept opening it to go inside for naps.

Bentley the cat’s owner told Newsweek that her feline’s fixation on the cooking device all started after she made the mistake of leaving some takeout in there overnight.

Bentley the cat loves the microwave.
Photos of Bentley the cat and the microwave. The feline’s obsession with the cooking device has prompted his owner to take action, with a child lock.

While it might seem to most humans like an unusual place for sleep, to cats, a confined space of this kind is ideal to snooze the day away. “Cats can spend 18 hours a day sleeping. As they are solitary animals, they want a safe hiding place to snooze,” zoologist Luis Villazon explained to BBC Science Focus magazine.

“Cats are happy in room temperatures around 14 C warmer than is comfortable for humans, and if there isn’t a convenient sunbeam to lie in, they will make do with a cozy shoebox.”

Bentley’s owner said: “We had pizza one night, and I put the leftovers in the microwave to keep them away from everyone, but I forgot about them and went to bed.

“I woke up to a bunch of noise and went down to see the microwave open, Bentley on the floor engorged with pizza and the other cats circling around watching.”

According to the pet owner, Bentley is one of five cats living in the house. But while there is strength in numbers, she says Bentley is undoubtedly “the muscle” of the operation, having worked out how to open the microwave door, while the others get to “enjoy the fruits of his labor.

“Ever since then, Bentley knows he could get food from there, so we put a lock on it to keep it from being open all the time,” his owner said.

It’s not just food that makes it an appealing space to the young feline either, with several videos showing the cat napping inside the enclosed space.

With no shoeboxes available, a microwave could well be the next best thing. The presence of leftovers and other food debris means snacks are always on hand for those cats feeling too beat to go looking further afield.

Footage of Bentley’s microwave-led exploits have proven popular on social media, with a series of videos racking up tens of millions of views.

Despite her cat’s attachment to the microwave, Bentley’s owner is keen to stress that the oven is cleaned after each and every one of her pet’s visits. Although cats are instinctively drawn to enclosed spaces, Bentley’s previous experiences may have also influenced his predilection for snuggling up inside.

“Bentley is actually a stray we rescued,” the cat’s owner said. “We worked with a local rescue, Orphan Kitten Rescue of Oregon, to get him fixed and vaccinated.

“The vet said he was about 3 years old (he’s now 4) and was probably a Himalayan/Siamese breed,” she added. “We planned to keep him as an outside cat, but it was clear he wanted in. We only had him inside the house for a little while before we started to notice that he was super food-motivated.”

Bentley’s owner said the cat has always been drawn to food and often goes exploring for it, having picked up the habit from his days as a stray. “He always acts like he’ll never get another meal, so, whenever he smells food, he’s going after it,” she said. “He still tries to open it and any cupboards so we have child locks on a lot.”

Thankfully, Bentley’s days on the streets are behind him, with the cat evidently enjoying life in his new forever home. Even so, his owners will think twice before leaving any pizza around again. Probably best locking it up in a safe.

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