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Put a cat in a room with a simple cardboard box, and entertainment for both people and pets is pretty much guaranteed. This classic combination almost invariably keeps cats happy, and makes cat owners giggle and pull out a recording device. Even the cat that initially ignores the allure of the cardboard box is likely to be drawn back to it time and again - often when he thinks no one is watching.
But what is it about boxes that so attract our funny feline friends? Some believe that it might be the resemblance of the box to hideouts cats would frequent in the wild for protection and rest. Others think that boxes are simply comfortable napping spots (though anyone who has seen Maru get into progressively tinier boxes might dispute that idea). Cats like to rub against the cardboard edges - are they simply scratching an itch, or exploring and scenting a new element in their territory? And they love to roll around and poke at toys in the box, or pounce from the box onto an unsuspecting toy or friend wandering innocently by; boxes make excellent blinds for hunting activity.
Whatever makes boxes so irresistible, it is a boon for the cats and their humans. The cardboard box is an inexpensive, easy-to-access, and recyclable enrichment toy that will keep your cat occupied, entertained, and perhaps out of trouble for a little while... in much the same way that fantastic cat-in-box videos (like the one below) occupy humans.