Things got tense in my kitchen a couple of days ago when a tabby and a Maine Coon realized they had conflicting plans for the same cardboard box. Cats need their boxes. As the Big Cat Rescue video above from a little while back shows, it’s the same with larger cats. Much larger cats: think lions, tigers, lynxes, bobcats, and leopards.
Of course, the chewing part is fun, but what is it about boxes anyway? There are a few theories.
One is that cats relieve stress by using boxes as sanctuaries. A study of feline stress levels found cats with boxes were much less freaked-out than kitties without them.
Another possibility is that inhabiting one’s own space suits the feline’s tendency toward antisocial behavior. They aren’t fans of resolving conflict so much as just getting away.
Then there was a 2006 National Research Council study that found that since the ideal temperature for a cat is 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit, they might just be trying to get warm. Duh, silly humans.
In any case, the evidence is clear in the video above, as the lions, tigers, and their big-cat brethren saunter off with their boxes, content as can be.