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Why do cats love cardboard boxes? We know the answer!

Kot w kartonowym pudełku

Cat guardians know this for sure: The box has only just been unpacked, and already the purr has had time to not only lie down in it, but also to make itself comfortable. It is a well-known fact that cats love cardboard boxes. But why is that? Dutch scientists have discovered this puzzling behavior of our domestic pets.

The internet is full of pictures of cats lying in boxes. Cardboard boxes have a magical power to attract cats. More than one caregiver has to swallow that their kitten, instead of taking care of a newly purchased toy, prefers to lay comfortably in the cardboard box in which it was delivered.

Kot w kartonowym pudełku

Cartons reduce stress in cats

A team led by Claudia Vinke, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, got to the bottom of why cats love cardboard boxes. For the test, the researchers visited an animal shelter and selected 19 cats that had recently been placed there. Ten of them were given a cardboard box for their box. Nine other cats had to do without such special equipment.

After just a few days, it became clear that the cats who received the cardboard box were much more relaxed than the others. They adapted better to their new environment and trusted people more quickly. Their stress levels decreased much faster than it happened in the cats of the comparison group.

The boxes made the cats feel safe and secure – they could hide in the boxes at any time. This made it easier for them to relax and reduce stress. It also improved the animals’ immune systems.

Kot w kartonowym pudełku

Cardboard packaging ensures ideal temperature

An experiment with cats from a Dutch shelter, however, does not explain why, of all things, it is cardboard packaging that is so attractive among domestic cats. After all, a plastic box, for example, would also make an effective shelter…

A special feature of cardboard plays an important role here – it insulates quite well and thus defends against the cold!

Studies have proven that the appropriate room temperature for a desert cat is between 30 and 36 degrees Celsius. Hence, our domestic pets like to rest on the radiator or on a sunny windowsill – where it is warmest.

Similarly, a cardboard box keeps them comfortably warm, especially when placed on a cold floor. It doesn’t matter that the cat can barely fit into some boxes, quite the opposite: The smaller the box, the nicer it is, because a cosy and warm hiding place can quickly be created in a tighter one thanks to the cat’s body temperature.

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Cardboard box makes a great gift for your cat

For your pet’s enjoyment, don’t throw away the used cardboard box right away. Leave the box at least for a while to your kitty. It is a great gift for him.

Your cat can nap in it or observe its surroundings from a safe perspective. The cardboard box protects your cat from potential enemies from all sides – and provides him with ample cover when hunting for prey.

With a little practice, you can also create a cardboard cat house with windows – perfect for hiding, resting and playing. Cardboard sheets made from corrugated cardboard have an additional use – they are perfect for sharpening claws.

Important: For your cat’s safety, check the box beforehand for staples or other dangerous items that could injure your cat! If your cat likes to eat plastic wrap or tape, you should carefully remove it from the box before giving it to your cat.

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