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Why Do Cats Like Boxes?

Have you ever noticed how fast a cat is attracted to an empty cardboard box? It’s one of the best “love at first sight” stories ever. Almost all cats like boxes. You can even find videos of big cats, like tigers, loving on a giant cardboard box. So, why do they love these boxes so much? What about them make our cats have an almost irresistible attraction to them?

We found a great article from PetMD with some great insights from Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat behavior consultant and owner of TheCatCoach.com.

Krieger points out that, “All animals have different coping mechanisms. This is a cat’s way of dealing with stress. If she’s feeling overwhelmed or in trouble, she can retreat to a safe, enclosed space where she can observe, but can’t be seen.”

Why Do Cats Like Boxes?

They make them feel safe

Cats love enclosed spaces that make them feel secure. One of their coping mechanisms when, they are stressed, is to find a safe spot where they can feel tucked away from any danger. Boxes are perfect for this.

Actually, Applied Animal Behavior Science held a study and they found that boxes actually do help to reduce a cat’s level of stress. They determined this by taking a group of new shelter cats and randomly assigned boxes to half of them. The cats that received boxes actually adapted to the new environment more quickly than the cats that did not receive boxes.

 It keeps them warm

Felines love to snuggle and to be warm. While we don’t exactly think of a box as a warm place to spend the night our cats love them. The insulation helps them retain their body temperature. They can curl up in their enclosure feeling nice and safe while keeping toasty.

How to set up the perfect box for your cat

The first thing you want to do is to remove all staples, tape, string or handles form the boxes. Our curious kitties can easily try to play with and eat these items. And you don’t have to be fancy and cut them out a door or anything like that. In fact, they like it sitting on its side with the opening toward a wall. Place the box a few feet away from the wall so they don’t feel too closed it but are still tucked away. You can make it more inviting by adding a blanket or a t-shirt that smells like you and put some treats inside. The only problem is you may find your cat spending more time in the box and less time with you!

Does your cat love spending time in boxes or your cats like boxes so much? We’d love to see some pictures of your cat enjoying a box! Feel free to share them with us on our Facebook along with any cute stories you have. And don’t forget to give us a call for any of your cat sitting needs.

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