Why do cats love boxes so much?
Django loves boxes and, as the many videos posted on YouTube prove, he shares this passion with many other of his peers.
Cats have no qualms about giving up the fashionable toy you just gave them, in favor of the cardboard box in which the toy was delivered to you.
Although multiple studies have looked at feline behaviors in recent years, it remains difficult to truly understand the state of mind of these little four-legged beings, points out Wired.
The mystery around cats continues.
What explains that cats can dedicate such a passion to a vulgar cardboard box? In a video devoted to this fusional relationship, Business Insider explains that these objects offer a source of comfort and security to our little companions.
“Cats are enigmatic animals. They like to hide and they manage to feel safe in a box […] They can also stay in their box and watch everything that happens around them. And if something interesting happens, they can get out of it at full speed,” the video tells us.
Don’t forget that cats are predators.
A box thus provides them with a place to take refuge, while allowing them to monitor their environment and their potential prey.
Do they need it?
That explanation, however, wasn’t enough for Wired‘s Bryan Gardiner. As he points out, the latest scientific advances in feline behavior suggest that cats might need the boxes.
A study from the University of Utrecht measured the stress level of a group of cats in a shelter. When they arrived at the shelter, the researcher offered boxes in which to take refuge to the first group of cats, while a second group did not have access to them.
The study found that cats are allowed to hide in one of these boxes acclimatized to their new environment much faster than those in the second group. They were also less stressed and interacted more with humans.
As Bryan Gardiner points out, this could explain why cats routinely run to hide when faced with a stressful situation. Their hiding place serves as their outlet.
According to Wired reports, cats would also do poorly in terms of problem-solving. Contrary to all expert advice, cats do tend to run away from their problems or ignore them.
And what better than a cardboard box to protect yourself from sources of anxiety?
Not just a matter of stress
But like Django, your pet probably doesn’t live in a stressful, hostile environment.
So what could explain his love for cardboard boxes?
According to the Wired article, cats would find your boxes a source of heat.
To be comfortable, cats need more heat than us. Thus, the cardboard with which the boxes are made (which retains heat) and their limited size help cats to retain their body heat.
A cardboard box thus constitutes, for your favorite companion, a warm, comfortable, and zen space, from which he can face his hectic daily life!