Last Updated on June 11, 2022 by Pets Feed
If you want to get your cat’s attention, place a box or bag in the middle of a room or hallway. In a minute, you’ll find a satisfied muzzle sneaking from there. Cats and kittens, like their wild relatives, are hunters. They like to ambush, and the box is the most convenient place where no one sees them. Let’s see why our cats like boxes and bags of different sizes so much.
1. Boxes relieve stress
In the box, the animal can really find peace and regain peace of mind. In 2019, the results of a study conducted in a Dutch animal shelter were published: scientists found that hide-and-seek in a box reduced stress levels. It turned out that the cats, which had cardboard apartments in enclosures, quickly adapted to the new conditions and came into contact with humans more easily. Apparently, even the most independent and indifferent cats hide anxious kittens inside, who sometimes just need to be alone with themselves. So, if the animal is hiding in a box, it is better not to disturb it – such behavior helps the animal to distract itself from problems and cope with stress.
2. Boxes are comfortable and safe
Someone needs 70 square meters of concrete closer to the center, but naturally modest cats make do with little. Gabriella Smith, an animal comparison specialist at Hunter College in New York, says cats are just fine in confined spaces.
In addition, Smith’s experiment has proven that cats love limits so much that they are ready to sit not only in a comfortable box, but also in its 2D imitation. During the pandemic, a researcher suggested online that cat owners mark flat squares of tape, strips of paper, and other improvised means on the floor. As a result, pets willingly climbed inside the fake “boxes”, even though the square was illusory and formed only by drawn corners. The study showed that cats have a spatial imagination. Probably, the desire for limited space is a requirement not only for comfort, but also for safety. In the “house”, although with dummy walls, it is easier to monitor the environment and possible dangers.
3. It’s warmer in the box
Cardboard shelter cravings may be heat-related. The fact is that the comfortable temperature of the surrounding space for cats is 30-38 ° C. It is under this regime that animals do not feel heat or cold.
In ordinary apartments, it can be chilly, so pets’ strain to lie on a working laptop or battery and are ready to sunbathe by the window for hours. This also explains the love for boxes: an enclosed space heats up faster due to the animal’s body temperature – this is how the cat creates a suitable microclimate for itself.
4. Boxes – safe from resentment
One of the main cat lovers among writers and poets is Joseph Brodsky. In his lines, he could easily replace a room with a box, and the cats would agree: stepping out of the box is a mistake. The fact is that everything is difficult with the solution of conflicts for cats: in the event of an argument with a person, the animal will prefer to withdraw with a proudly raised tail.
There is a simple explanation for this: in nature, ordinary cats do not live in packs and walk alone. Looking for compromises and building a serious relationship is new for them. And there’s no better place to slowly digest resentment than a dark, warm box. Social distancing in such a place is easy to maintain, and the cats are fine with it.
5. Boxes go back to basics
Most cat owners have fallen victim to these dangerous nocturnal predators at least once. Such attacks have an interesting feature: Shadowhunters attack silently and with lightning speed – from an ambush. And the box is a great place to wait for prey.
The instinctive desire to climb into a dark, narrow space with only one entrance (but certainly not into a carrier!) is not limited to house cats. Tigers, panthers, lions and leopards are helpless before the magic of the squares. This has been demonstrated by experiments in zoos with big cats. Among the reasons for the love of wildcats for boxes are, among other things, simple curiosity and the desire to escape everyday boredom. In addition, big cats like tigers are territorial animals: they zealously watch over respect for the limits of the world that is subject to them. Perhaps that’s why boxes with well-defined corners delight mustachioed control freaks: it is not difficult to protect such territory.