APR 14, 2017 8:08 AM PDT

A Scientific Explanation for Why Cats Love Boxes

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

Cats of all sizes lounging in boxes of all sizes is more than just an internet phenomenon; it's a representation of how domesticated felines deal with stress and anxiety when there are no caves or tall trees nearby.

Studies show that a comfy box relieves stress for cats, especially in a new place. Cats are ambush predators, and the feeling of being surrounded by a box provides them the comfort of knowing they are safe and able to defend themselves if need be.

The Kessler & Turner Cat-Stress-Score considers ten factors for observation including respiration, posture, and tail to calculate a stress score between one and seven. One study showed that a group of cats exposed to a new place differed greatly in the time their stress was reduced based on whether or not a box was available for sitting. Cats with boxes in a new place had rapidly reduced stress compared to cats without boxes.
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
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