The Science of Maru

Why do cats like Maru love to sleep in boxes? Thanks to Dutch scientists, we may have an answer. By observing differences in cats given access to boxes and those without, researchers discovered that cats in boxes have lower stress and improved immune systems. Boxes were also found to help cats adapt to new environments faster. That’s our Maru, pushing the boundaries of Science.

But big cats love boxes too!

Thanks to Laura H. for the article, Andrew Y. for the Maru video and Murray C. for the big cat video.

65 0

19 thoughts on “The Science of Maru

  1. Lurkingduck April 23, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    I rofled over the big cats doing their “holy crap, it’s alive” routines.

    • Faye April 23, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Same deal as house kitties. Totally funny. I had one kittyboy who was convinced my mother’s pocketbook was alive because it fell over once in front of him. So of course we would use a bent wire hanger to keep the illusion going. Made him jump every time.

  2. Laura April 23, 2016 / 3:50 pm

    Oh yay, the link got included in only the way NTMTOM could include a link, i.e. the best and funniest way! I never, ever get tired of Maru in a box, and in a clear box, seeing his face all smushed is just perfect. But the big kitties? Totally proved the thesis. 🙂 I found it interesting to see the way some climbed in and settled down immediately, some had to rip it up first, some modified it to suit their tastes, and some totally ignored it. Cats!

    • ^oo^ April 23, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      I think cats have a molecular-level memory of being all piled together with their siblings before birth. For Maru, this plastic canister provides a surrogate “womb with a view”.

      • Murray C. April 24, 2016 / 12:58 pm

        I was thinking along similar lines in recalling Temple Grandin’s “hug machine” to help her deal with the overstimulation she felt as a result of her autism.

      • Catwhisperer April 25, 2016 / 1:29 pm

        Womb with a view – LOL!

  3. Ilonka April 23, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    I have a vision of a children’s storybook entitled something like, ‘How to Measure a Cat.’ It’s filled with pictures of Maru in all different sizes and shapes of boxes 😄

    • Laura April 23, 2016 / 6:53 pm

      That is actually a brilliant idea. You’d probably have to draw it, that or work with mugumogu, but I really like it!

  4. Smartypants April 23, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    Maru + science = perfect!

    That first video is so soothing they could use it in a sleep lab. His Girthness is so chill! 😀

    • Smartypants April 23, 2016 / 5:27 pm

      Maru has a calendar? Want! (pic on right side of his blog)

      • Andrew April 23, 2016 / 6:14 pm

        Yup, he had one last year too >:3
        Not sure if they’re still available, but, and had them (both wall, and desk versions)

  5. amyliz April 23, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    Many years ago, when I moved from one apartment to another, I found my kitty (after a several minutes searc) on the sleeve of a jacket I had tossed aside! There were no empty boxes yet but she was resourceful! Of course,within a couple of days, she had become She Who Rules Over The New Domicile!

  6. amyliz April 23, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    In the sleeve, not on! Sigh!

  7. tara April 23, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    oh my gosh – BIG KITTIES! Big kitties being kitties. Where’s the replay…

  8. Clairdelune April 24, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Maru is an extreme example of feline box fetish – yep, it’s a medical diagnosis! Well, if it’s not, it should be! 😀 How on earth can he be comfortable all smushed up like that?? My kitty must be an outlier, she does not care for boxes or large paper bags, but loves large perforated plastic baskets from which she can spy on our activities through the holes. Maybe she was a gumshoe in another life. 😀

    • Faye April 24, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      My kitty who was abused in the past has no use for boxes, bags or baskets. She will not get under a blanket. I think she only feels safe if she has clear sight lines to prevent capture.

      She has very gradually begun to sit on my lap. She will sleep on my hip or against me. I wake up with her lying beside me in my hands. All good as long as she can flee if necessary.

      • Jan April 24, 2016 / 10:16 pm

        My semi-feral was like that too. Didn’t want anything on top of her, wouldn’t get into anything that she couldn’t get back out of easily, and even her hiding places usually had another way out that she could utilize to get away. And she stayed that way her whole life, even after I’d had her for 15 years. And yet she was the sweetest tempered cat and very loving in her own understated way. I miss her terribly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add image after comment (JPG, 50KB or less):