Felines’ predilection for confined spaces and, consequently, for objects that respond to this pattern is well known to those of us who live with them. Cardboard boxes, like backpacks, suitcases or plastic bags, seem irresistible to them, and they meet a series of requirements highly valued by cats.
Being cryptic animals they enjoy hiding and this object is the perfect hiding place to observe without being seen or to isolate themselves when they want to rest or be alone. However, ethologists have identified more reasons that explain the devotion of the kittens for these humble packaging objects. We discovered them.
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Causes that justify cats’ taste for boxes
No matter its size, your best friend will not be able to help but sniff out what it is about and if it is big enough to lie inside it it will make it his favorite refuge. Why do cats act like this?
Shelter from predators
Despite the fact that domestic cats have been with us for more than 4000 years, deep down their mind continues to respond to the same stimuli as the African wild cat: survival and hunting. In this sense, the cardboard box, as a covered object, allows them to hide from predators, thus preserving their integrity .
Cats like high places too because they feel safe. In turn, the cardboard boxes provide them with vision. If any danger approaches, they will be able to see it and react in time. They will be able to hide inside or run out in advance.
Den to hunt
In line with what we have just explained, this object makes it possible to entrench yourself without running any danger. From inside you can safely observe what is happening around you , something that kittens value greatly, since they love to observe what happens in their territory.
So if something interesting comes your way, you can run out of the box and go back to it to examine it carefully. Boxes are the perfect hideaway to stalk their prey, whether it’s a piece of paper that has fallen to the ground, your own leg, or the new toy you’ve bought for them.
Curiosity killed the cat
As the saying goes, if there is something that characterizes cats, it is their desire to explore, sniff, bite and scratch everything that falls in front of their whiskers. The cardboard boxes were not going to be less. In addition, the very material from which they are made is ideal for sharpening your nails.
Therefore, it is understandable that they cannot resist beating copper with them knowing that they will not be injured in the fray . Animal behavior specialists agree that providing these items to kittens is very beneficial for their health. It is a way of enriching their habitat, of stimulating them by preventing depression.
If you live with a cat, you will not be surprised by the fact that they always look for a warm place to rest. It can be next to a window receiving the sun’s rays, on a radiator, on an appliance or inside a box, why not? The priority is to ensure that your body temperature does not drop below 36 ºC .
In the present case, the cardboard acts as an insulator and completely satisfies this need of the animal. The warmth and privacy it provides you are unrivaled making the box the best bed you can find.
Get rid of stress
The newest reason that ethologists have put forward is related to stress release . Through an experiment carried out by professionals from the Utrecht University School of Medicine, it has been found that kittens tolerate changes better or adapt to them in less time if they have a box at their disposal .
For this research, 19 cats were taken as a study sample, all of them recently admitted to a shelter. 10 of them were given a cardboard box and the remaining 9 were not. After 4 days, it was observed that the cats with a box were more receptive and that they had adapted faster and better than those without it.
Apparently, having a box directly reduces the corticosteroids involved in stress in cats. With it they can disconnect and isolate themselves when the accumulation of new information begins to stun them. Therefore, from now on do not hesitate to offer your kitten a cardboard box, it will have a direct positive effect on his health.
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