Cats and boxes. What could be better?

If you own a cat and place an empty cardboard box in your home, it is almost certain that within a few hours, kitty will be inside. It is pretty much a scientific fact. It’s a phenomenon that almost all cat owners can attest to, but the question remains: Why do cats love boxes so much? The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center have the answer for you as to why cats and boxes are so inseparable.

Cats and Boxes:  The Perfect Match

When you take a look at feline behavior, especially in the wild, it isn’t a stretch to see why cats and boxes are a natural match. Cats tend to be solitary animals that have a reputation for being secretive. They are also predators. When you look at these characteristics, it is easy to see why a box might make an excellent place for a cat to spend his or her time.

Boxes provide:

  • An enclosed space that helps a cat to feel protected from his or her surroundings
  • A sense of security during those long, drawn-out cat naps
  • A hidden space that allows the cat to stalk potential prey
  • A retreat from any environmental stress
  • A small space that allows a cat to curl up and get cozy

Boxes and Environmental Enrichment

Cats and boxes are a great match, and can make a welcome addition to any household that includes members of the feline species. A box or two in your home can serve several purposes for your cat, including a place to play and a safe retreat to help deal with any stress your cat may be experiencing.

Environmental enrichment such as including boxes in your home can be very helpful for pet owners. It has been shown that these types of efforts greatly decrease problems associated with boredom and stress in pets. These can include:

  • Inappropriate elimination problems (litter box issues)
  • Over-grooming behaviors
  • Scratching in undesirable locations
  • Aggression
  • Lowering urinary tract disease

Ideas for enriching your cat’s environment can be found at The Ohio State University’s Indoor Pet Initiative. They have some great ideas to help keep your cat purring in your home. In the meantime, though, consider adding some boxes to your décor. T-shirt boxes are an easy project that can turn an ordinary box and an old shirt into a truly appreciated hangout for your favorite feline.

Being an AAFP Certified Cat Friendly Practice, The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center know how important a happy kitty is to your sanity and his or her health. And hey, if an ordinary box can provide that for your cat, who are we to judge?