Cats & Boxes

Upgrade Your Box to a Parasol Pets®, Umbrella Pet Bed

There’s the obvious predation advantage (the preying of one animal on others)  a box affords: Cats are ambush predators, and boxes provide great hiding places to stalk prey from (and retreat to). But there’s clearly more going on here.

Behavioral biologists and veterinarians have come up with a few other interesting explanations. In fact, when you look at all the evidence, it could be that your cat may not just like boxes, he may NEED them.

There’s a sizable amount of behavioral research on cats. These studies—many of which focused on environmental enrichment—have been taking place for more than 50 years and they make one thing abundantly clear: Your fuzzy companion derives comfort and security from enclosed spaces.

Some type of separate enclosure (within the enclosures they’re already in, for example your house) can have a profound impact on both their behavior and physiology.

Ethologist Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands is one of the latest researchers to study stress levels in shelter cats. Working with domestic cats in a Dutch animal shelter, Vinke provided hiding boxes for a group of newly arrived cats while depriving another group of them entirely. She found a significant difference in stress levels between cats that had the boxes and those that didn’t. In effect, the cats with boxes got used to their new surroundings faster, were far less stressed early on, and were more interested in interacting with humans.

It makes sense when you consider that the first reaction of nearly all cats to a stressful situation is to withdraw and hide. “Hiding is a behavioral strategy of the species to cope with environmental changes and stressors,” Vinke said in an email.

This is as true for cats in the wild as it is for those in your home. Only instead of retreating to tree tops, dens, or caves, yours may find comfort in a shoe box.

So there you have it: Boxes are insulating, stress-relieving, comfort zones—places where cats can hide, relax, sleep, and occasionally launch a sneak attack against the huge, unpredictable apes they live with. Sounds like you need a Parasol Pets® Umbrella BedThe stress relieving pet bed.

*Adapted from an article at: https://www.wired.com/2015/02/whats-up-with-cats-and-boxes/