Text from Cat: The new box

#TextFromCat I love the new box! It has 3 holes in it and it makes squishy sounds. It's almost like it was made for cats. Me: It was. Cat: I hate it.


A few years ago, I wrote a post that included a not-so-scientific “study” I called Box Proclivity in Cats: Testing the IGNORE (Intention Gratification Negation Of Realization and Expense) Theory. My hypothesis was that the more you paid for an item (toy, box, bed) or the more it was intended for cats, the more likely they would ignore it. For example, my grandkitty Echo, would rather drink water out of a human-designed glass than a cat bowl. Another one: my Athena was once so enamored of hair ties that we referred to them as her “Precious.”  And I can’t tell you how many times my cats enjoyed the box a toy came in more than the toy itself.

From the “‘study:”

It has been hypothesized that a cat’s box attraction — using the familiar Scratch, Claw and Tooth (SCAT) scale — is inversely proportional to the cost. In addition, there may be a similar behavior pattern relating to the intention of the containment unit. In other words, the more a human paid for the box or the more the box was intended to be used for cats, the less likely the cat would use it. This is known as the Intention Gratifcation Negation Of Realization and Expense (IGNORE) Theory. (Willett, 2015)

Unfortunately, the study was flawed in that I didn’t actually pay for the box I used to test my theory, though it was one that a person could buy.

Which brings us to today. I noticed that my cats thought my collapsable laundry basket was the coolest thing to play in and pounce on. (Note: not intended for use by cats.) At first it was amusing, but kitty claws began to wreak havoc with the sides, and then one cat (looking at you, Elsa Clair) got herself tangled in a handle and went careening around the house in terror, so I went looking for a cat-friendly alternative. I found a pop-up cat cube, which looked like it fill the bill, particularly since it wasn’t that expensive, and you could add tunnels and other cubes to create a feline version of a habitrail. (Note: I may get a small commission if you click on the link or purchase one for you cat.)

I bought several. And a tunnel. Instead of introducing them with great fanfare, though, I simply placed them in my living room (which is barely used by humans these days) for my cats to discover—as if they were casually left there, forgotten “boxes.” Elsa Clair, our laundry-basket-loving kitty, wasn’t the first to discover them. But when she did, she decided these cubes were the cat’s meow. Literally. Now all local felines acknowledge her ownership; none would dare enter one in her presence.

Every day, Elsa Clair and I play in and around and with them. Every. Single. Morning. She hides inside one of the cubes, waiting for me to bring out a cat fishing toy, and off we go. 

I have not informed Elsa Clair that these cubes are meant for cats. (Though I imagined the result in the Text from Cat above.)

I think it’s better that way.

What do you think of the IGNORE theory? Do your cats support the hypothesis?

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1 Comment on "Text from Cat: The new box"

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  1. databbiesotrouttowne says:

    two funnee elsa claire 🙂 ♥♥ 🙂 ♥♥

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