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Why Are Cats so Enticed by Boxes?

Apparently, all cats, no matter their size, wild or domesticated, have a thing for boxes. What is it about boxes and squares that attract cats, including shelter cats, almost like catnip?

why cats so enticed by boxes

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Zoo officials in Providence, RI put out a call on social media for empty boxes for their big cats, since all cats, no matter their size, wild or domesticated, have an affinity for boxes
  • Part of the magic of cardboard boxes and other small spaces is that they help cats stay warm in environments that are typically cooler than they like it
  • Research also shows that newly arrived shelter cats with access to hiding boxes adapt more quickly to their environment than those without boxes, are less stressed and more interactive with humans
  • When it comes to boxes cats, like humans, can be fooled by optical illusions; a small citizen science experiment showed that cats will sit inside 2D shapes that only look like squares with about the same frequency as they’ll sit inside real squares
  • Cats may be attracted to squares (and illusions of squares) as an extension of their love for boxes and other tight spaces

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