Skip to main content

Why do cats like boxes?

Cats use boxes for play and security. You see cats sleep in boxes or small spaces. It probably provides a sense of security much like a wildcat finding a nest in dense undergrowth or in a cave or a disused burrow. All of these places provide protection behind and above the cat. The first reason why cats like boxes is for a sense of security when sleeping or resting.

What about play? We see lots of cats playing in boxes. The famous Japanese cat that loves boxes comes to mind. His name is Maru.



In this video Maru dives into an open ended box or tube. This is a modified form of attack of small prey in a burrow.

I don't see anything definitive on this topic in books on cat behavior. It is really a YouTube thing or video thing. A newish area of cat behavior for us to discuss.

There is no doubt that it is fun for some cats to play in boxes. This is an individual cat preference. Not all cats like it. In fact, I think you will find that most cats don't have an urge to play in and with boxes. Maru made it fashionable!

It must stem from a cat's liking to poke and prod into small spaces for prey. For example a cat catching a mouse. Cats in boxes will prod outside the box sometimes or prod into the box. Both are unknown areas or areas that the cat can't see. I think it is therefore related to hunting prey and simply a derivation of that natural wild cat instinct in the human home as a domesticated cat converted to play. A lot or all of cat play is based on hunting instincts. The classic example is chasing a cat tease (a feather at the end of a stick).

Maru is a normal eared Scottish Fold and a tabby and white cat. His coat is classic tabby. Maru has a great human companion.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti