Cats and boxes

Why do cats love boxes?


Most cats enjoy boxes. Big, small, deep, narrow, wide, any box will do. But why?

There may be many reasons, but science agrees on this: cats derive comfort and a sense of security from enclosed spaces.

Perfect spot for a sneak attack
 

Cats are predators who like to ambush their prey, and enclosed space such as a box make great hiding places to attack from - and retreat to for an undisturbed nap. Your kitty likes to feel invisible. In reality, a large part of the cat might be sticking out, but that doesn't matter as long as he or she feels invisible, safe, and sneaky. 

A box can help relieve stress 
 

A recent journal article in Applied Animal Behaviour Science states that giving cats a place to hide during times of stress can help decrease stress levels - and increase the cats' chance of adapting.

Testing was performed by researchers from the University of Utrecht in a Dutch animal shelter that rated cats’ abilities to cope with their environment. Cats who had hiding places were able to recover faster and adapt to their environment more quickly. They were also more prone to interact with humans than cats without boxes.

Cats naturally seek out hiding places in any environment, as it gives them a place where they can feel safe and protected, and they can evaluate their new world. Seeking out a box or other enclosed space can also be a means of avoiding confrontation. The box is a safe zone where everything negative just disappears.

Warm and comfortable
 

Besides relieving stress, cardboard boxes are great insulators. Cats enjoy temperatures between 86 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit - definitely warmer than most humans like to keep their homes. Curling up in an enclosed space helps the cat preserve energy

 

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