Just like your pet, big cats can't resist the lure of an open cardboard cube.
Has there ever been a house cat who did not find itself ensconced in a cardboard box left upon the floor? Big, boxes, little boxes, tape outlines of boxes, you name it. Cats have all kinds of quirky antics – from playing with water to the magnificent keyboard sprawl, but the love of cardboard seems pretty universal.
So why does Kitty want to hop in a box, root around a bit, and then take a cat nap or peer over the edge looking for invisible mice? It's completely instinctual. In the wild, box-like nooks allow cats to both hide from predators and also sneakily stalk prey. It's about safety and security. As Livescience explains:
While inside a box, cats feel that they cannot be snuck up on from behind or the side – anything that wants to approach them must come directly into their field of vision. In effect, such hiding spaces allow them to watch the world around them without being seen.
(To which I think, I want a box! But I digress.)
So is it any wonder that big cats wouldn't mind a box of their own as well? Such was the discovery by the workers at Big Cat Rescue, an animal sanctuary in Florida. When presented with a box, the felines – tigers, a Siberian lynx, lions, and panthers – go through all the moves. They approach, they sniff, they paw, they nudge ... and then some perform the ultimate cat-and-box trick – they hop inside, curl up, and take a cat nap.
See for yourself in the video below; and next time your kitty snuggles in for a nap in a box, know that they are feeling safe and secure ... living out their big cat dreams.