A study at an animal shelter in the Netherlands has shown that boxes can help felines reduce stress levels in situations such as arriving in a new environment.
Cats often sneak into compartments of any size such as baskets, drawers and cardboard boxes. Some even prefer to sleep in these places than in their comfortable beds, and a scientific explanation for this behavior has been published.
In 2014, some researchers from the University of Utrecht decided to test the theory that cats feel happier when they stay in a box because it reduces their stress level, and as a result, they got an answer. affirmative to this theory.
The study was carried out in a Dutch animal shelter, in which 19 cats participated, 10 of which had a box for resting.
Scientists said in their study that stressful experiences can have a greater impact on the well-being of felines and even cause illness due to high cortisol levels.
They were able to identify that there was a difference between cats that were kept in a box and those that were not.
After a few days, cats with a box registered much lower stress levels than those without one, and a few weeks later, both groups registered the same level.
Based on the above, the scientists concluded that for cats, the boxes used as hiding places allow them to effectively manage stressors when exposed to a new environment inside a shelter during the first weeks of their arrival.
They consider that additional studies are needed to determine the effect of the box on cats that already have a home, as well as its long-term effects and its correlation with the frequency of epidemics of infectious diseases.