The magic of cardboard box. Why do cats fancy it so much?

The fact that a cat goes on his own path is well known to every cat owner. Similar is the case with cats’ love towards… cardboard! Today we shall try to solve the mystery and answer the question – why do cats love hanging out within the boxes so much? Is that because of love towards small spaces? Or maybe it reminds them of the time when they were side by side to their mother? Or maybe… the reason behind is completely different?

Tight and dark corners – that’s what cats like best

While observing our favorite’s behavior it is impossible not to notice that they fancy dark, tight corners, getting into wardrobes and obviously boxes in which they can hang out for hours. Many of them consider a day without cardboard a lost day and therefore they earnestly seek cardboards in which they could sit, even for just a little while, and longingly observe the box that is just getting thrown away.

Facts and myths about cardboard love

Thinking about whether the cats’ love towards the cardboard is a coincidence or rather a real, frequent occurrence made the scientists decide to investigate the case. Researchers from Utrecht University gave themselves two weeks to observe cats from a nearby shelter – some of which were given a possibility to hide within the boxes, the others got it taken away. What turned out – cats that had full comfort within the shelter cages but were not given boxes were distrustful and did not want to establish relationships with people. Cats that had boxes within their cages acted differently – they were significantly less stressed and more friendly towards people. So as it can be seen – something is up with that!

When the primal instincts take over

To answer the question from the title we have to reach to the past history, maybe even prehistory. It turns out that this love towards tight recesses and spaces did not come out of nowhere. Cats feel safe within the boxes because they do not have to fear a surprise attack from behind that were common back when they lived in the wild. Places covered from three sides make for bunker for them from which they can safely observe the surroundings.

Furthermore, a cardboard box is a perfect observation spot. Finding prey and attacking it is way easier from a cover. How many times did it happen to you that your beloved furry friend jumped out of the box and attacked your legs? Do you think that this is just a play? It turns out, it is not. Instincts took over and your legs became a potential danger in your cat’s eyes.

Looking for an explanation for cats’ love towards cardboard it is worth noticing the fact that our favorites tolerate different temperatures than humans. It turns out that their neutral thermal zone varies between 30 and 38 degrees Celsius. The majority of households keep the temperature at approximately 22 degrees Celsius and thus to avoid the necessity of additional warming cats search for tight spaces which they would find cozy and warm. A box, even the smallest one in which they can barely fit often makes for the best solution, and for the more demanding furry pets we have something meeting their expectations – cardboard house MIA, that shall not be thrown away quickly!

And how is it at your place, fabCats? Does every courier visit grant your cat euphory, or maybe close contacts with cardboard end up with contemptuous indifference towards it? 😸

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