This box-loving aspect of a cat’s personality has long puzzled their human carers, and it’s also caught the attention of scientists. Researchers, who published their findings in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, investigated whether hiding in boxes might reduce stress for cats in animal shelters.
While most species of dog can adapt to shelter environments relatively quickly, cats often experience high levels of stress. Previous studies have shown that cats prefer areas where they have the ability to hide, but until now scientists have not studied whether so-called “hiding enrichment” might benefit a cat’s sense of well-being and specifically if providing boxes for cats to hide in might help to ease those turbulent first few weeks in a new shelter. By Steve Williams, Care2