Get even more of your curious cat questions answered here: “Why do Cats…? The Definitive Guide to All Your Curious Cat Questions”.
Why do Cats like Boxes?
Many of us don’t know that boxes can help them improve their health and well-being.
There are three reasons that explain why cats have a special fondness for boxes:
- Stress therapy
The University of Utrecht research team discovered that unlike humans, cats wouldn’t mind being boxed (literally) all day everyday. Access to boxes and hiding in them, as recorded in their journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science based on findings, makes cats more adaptable to changes (like environmental, for example) that usually bring stress to them. Decrease in stress therefore means less chances of immunodeficiency as stress causes increased cortisol levels resulting to contagious diseases, and this was observed when the researchers rated cats with and without boxes using the Kessler and Turner Cat-Stress Score in as early as the third and fourth day during their 14-day study.
Cardboard boxes are perfect insulators in maintaining your cat’s body heat. A cat’s normal body temperature is higher than us humans, which is between 100.5 to 102.5°F according to TheCatCoach.com owner Marilyn Krieger. Domestic cats are most comfortable with 86 to 97°F a.k.a. 30 to 36°C, the thermoneutral zone, and human homes are normally 72°F or 22°C in temperature based on National Research Council’s 2006 study.
For cats to be more at home with boxes, get them curled up with treats inside plus a towel, or if they have separation anxiety with you, leave any item that has your scent on. Keep a box safe for playtime too by making sure it’s free from tape, handles and staples.
So the next time you think of disposing your boxes, stop and think of leaving it for your cat!