A couple of months ago, I happened to put an empty paper bag on my bed. Within seconds, my little Rhea has ensconced herself in it. She slept in the bag all night, but, unfortunately, the bag only survived a couple of days before it split. I think she might have carried on though…
Last week, during a sort out, I put a shoe box on the bed, and she duly slept in that all night. And has been going back to it ever since. There is a large box (it had a case of wine in it), with only one entrance and exit in the living room, which most of them use interchangeably, especially when there has been a bit of a ruck going on. It’s been there for years now, and I suppose I’ve grown so accustomed to it, I take it for granted.
And then there is Titan’s House. (Titan was my first cat, a rescue, and there is a long story to be told, all in the book that will be published in due course.) I bought him a house and scratching post. He wasn’t interested in the scratching post, but loved the house. Now, it’s only Oceana who is allowed to use it, and then, generally only when she is fed up with the rest of us.
I have known dogs seek out enclosed spaces, but only when they are scared so what is it that makes boxes so enticing to cats? According the American Society for Cruelty to Animals, boxes make them feel safe. They feel that nothing can sneak up on them (which is true in the case of the big box in the living room) and they can’t be seen until the other animal is within their field of vision. A bit like humans in a cave, I suppose.
They are also well insulated – the space inside is free from draughts, and comfortable for cats to sleep. As they sleep for anything between 16 and 20 hours a day, it might as well be cosy.
Another thing is that cats love the texture of cardboard boxes. (I wonder whether I should have left that tissue lining in there for longer than the first night?) They love to have a chew and to bite it (better than my fingers, I suppose) so let’s see how long Rhea’s new box lasts.
© Susan Shirley 2019