Why Do Cats Love Boxes So Much?


We’ve all seen it. There is an empty box somewhere and your cat comes into view, intrigued by it. First it may use a paw to touch it, then it might nuzzle its face up against it. Next thing you know, the cat is inside the box and seems to be about as content as can be. Why is this? Wired is bringing us closer to understanding:

For cats in these often stressful situations, a box or some other type of separate enclosure (within the enclosures they’re already in) can have a profound impact on both their behavior and physiology.

Veterinarian Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands is one of the latest researchers to study stress levels in shelter cats. Working with domestic cats in a Dutch animal shelter, Vinke provided hiding boxes for a group of newly arrived cats while depriving another group of them entirely. She found a significant difference in stress levels between cats that had the boxes and those that didn’t. In effect, the cats with boxes got used to their new surroundings faster, were far less stressed early on, and were more interested in interacting with humans

That and they say that cats like to run away from their problems, and the box acts as a sort of ‘safe zone’ for them. No, the rest of the article says that, I didn’t just make it up. So the next time you see your cat go hide in a box, understand, that is about as safe and happy as it can feel, so let it be. Maybe a few of us could use some human size boxes for our own problems. I’ll go try today and let you know if it helps.

[Image and Story Via Wired]

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