Caturday felid trifecta: Ten fascinating science studies on cats, stray kitten crashes live t.v. news, and why cats like boxes,

From Smithsonian Magazine, we have an easy-to-digest list of ten scientific studies of cats with one-paragraph summaries. Here’s one of them:

Studying the many, many factors that contribute to rampant house cat obesity, feline nutritionists have concluded that human denial is a hefty part of the problem. When 60 German owners of clearly Garfield-esque felines were interviewed, there were “striking” differences between how they perceived their cats and how the scientists saw them. “Only a small percentage readily indicated that their cat was overweight,” according to a 2006 Journal of Nutrition paper. “The majority preferred euphemisms like ‘a little bit too big,’ or did not perceive or admit anything extraordinary about the weight of their cat … some even likened their cats to underweight silhouettes.” Fat cat owners were far more in need of a reality check than the masters of paunchy dogs, perhaps because “cats appear less often in public … where other people might comment.”


(“He’s just full-furred.” Photo Credit: ESezer / iStock)

And here’s something you didn’t know (not!):

A 2005 paper, “Caregiver Perceptions of What Indoor Cats Do ‘For Fun’,” set out to answer the eternal question: Just what do cats do all day? The authors tracked all available sources of feline amusement, including playing with sponges, “spinning,” sleeping on toasters, helping to cook and looking at a variety of objects, including alpacas, parking lots, snowflakes, window awnings and the sun. But a popular activity was one that many cat owners will find familiar: “Stares at nothing.”


Here’s a one-minute clip from a Turkish television show, in which a stray kitten crashes a news broadcast. The anchor doesn’t miss a beat though the kitten settles on his laptop, though he does crack a slight smile. The Turks do love their cats!


Here’s more science of cat behavior: an explanation of why cats like to sit in boxes (or, in the case of Maru, in anything, including mixing bowls and wastebaskets.

Speaking of boxes, here are Maru and Hana in their respective boxes. Maru, as always, opts for the smallest box. His head is about three times that of his friend’s!

h/t: Amy, jsp, Michael


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    The box thing is certainly true from all our experience with cats. Also like to have something over them, that is why they will sit under a chair. Also up high of course. Some of the places for more higher temperatures would be in front of the refrigerator where the warm air blows out, in the clothes dryer, that lump you see in the bed and on top of the stove.

    Something about plastic bags laid in the box seems to be a favorite.

  2. tubby
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Maru may have a bigger looking head due to secondary sex characteristics. Orson has a big head and heavy neck due to delayed fixing. Or it may be his breed.

  3. Jenny Haniver
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    In a previous post about Maru I sought an explanation for his penchant for cramming himself into containers that one would think are way too small for him (which is why he’s so funny), so I’m very glad to have this explanation. Maru must have very high stress levels and needs close confinement.

  4. Billy Bl.
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    My ADHD cat likes boxes if there is something in them or a hole to stick a paw through, but my PTSD cat (from traumatic adventures up tall trees and poles) does like to just sit in boxes. I never get rid of cardboard boxes, so they have plenty to choose from, and I always get a kick out of looking over and seeing the head of the PTSD cat over the top of a box. Not doing anything, just sitting. I do hope it calms her.

  5. rickflick
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    A friend who is very much on the heavy side told me his vet insisted that his d*g was overweight. He prescribed a smaller feeding dish. My friend, however, admitted to me, “But my d*g is ALWAYS hungry.” Which I took to mean “I’m always hungry, so we always snack together.”

  6. Diane G.
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Maru & Hana–proving again that “cats are not social.” 🙄

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