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A cardboard box helps Velvet adjust to shelter life

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Velvet, a resident of NEADY Cats, in the Monster Cheese Wedge

This shy beauty is Velvet.

 

Velvet is a resident of NEADY Cats, a no-kill, cats-only shelter in Sterling, Massachusetts.

 

Recently, shelter volunteer Judy Henry sent me this photo along with the note, “ I think I mentioned that your boxes in a shelter environment provide a peek hole & a comfortable place to any new arrival at the shelter.”

 

What I loved about this note is what Judy so astutely discerned about cats in shelters and the real benefit that a cardboard box provides to them.

 

Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University studied this specific phenomenon with cats newly arrived to a Dutch animal shelter. What she found was that cats given access to boxes were less stressed than cats with no boxes. They got used to the shelter more quickly and were more interested in interacting with people. She concluded that, “Hiding is a behavioral strategy of the species to cope with environmental changes.” In other words, a box taps into a cats natural mechanism for coping with stress. By giving a cat – especially a worried cat in a new environment – access to a box, you are giving her a chance to self-soothe.

 

For more information about the science behind cats in boxes, read this!

 

To purchase a Monster Cheese Wedge, like the one Velvet is relaxing inside click below.

 

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