Cats and people have lived together for many years. However, many of their behaviors may still be curious to their caregivers. In fact, certain behaviors baffle their owners. One of the most peculiar and widely recognized behaviors of felines is their natural inclination to get into boxes. Whether it’s a cardboard box, a paper bag or any closed container, cats seem to have an innate attraction to these confined spaces. Although it may seem strange at first glance, this behavior has scientific and psychological explanations.
The tendency of cats to seek shelter in boxes goes back to their wild instincts. In the wild, felines are predators that require safe environments to stalk and hunt prey. The boxes provide cats with a protected place from which they can observe their surroundings without being seen, replicating the safe environment they find in their natural burrows.
Due to their predatory nature, cats have a preference for hiding in tight quarters to silently stalk unsuspecting prey. This strategy gives them the feeling of having an advantage over their prey, decreasing their anxiety levels and generating in them a sense of comfort. Despite their adorable appearance inside the boxes, they are simply following their deep-seated instinct.
Boxing retains heat
In addition to providing a safe hiding place, the boxes play an important role in the cats’ thermoregulation. Felines are animals that enjoy warm temperatures, and crates provide a confined space that effectively retains body heat. By huddling inside a box, cats retain their body heat, which is comforting to them and allows them to stay comfortable during resting hours.
The behavior of crawling into boxes is also related to the cats’ need to maintain control over their environment. Felines are territorial animals and prefer to dominate their space. A box provides them with a delimited space that they can explore and control as they please, which gives them security and peace of mind by having a safe place of their own within their territory.
In addition to the instinctive aspects, getting into boxes can have a positive psychological impact on cats. These animals are known for their curious and exploratory nature. A new box in the house represents an unfamiliar object that awakens their innate interest in investigating their environment. The smell of fresh cardboard, the texture of the material and the opportunity to hide and lurk arouse cats’ natural curiosity, providing mental stimulation and entertainment.
Combination of factors
In short, cats have a natural affinity for getting into boxes due to a combination of instinctive, physical and psychological factors. The boxes offer them security, thermal comfort, territorial control and mental stimulation, satisfying different needs inherent to their feline nature. Although it may be disconcerting to owners, providing crates or other similar spaces can be beneficial to the well-being and happiness of these enigmatic feline companions.
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