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「科學大哉問:為什麼貓咪都喜歡躲進箱子呢?」- Why Do Cats Love Boxes?


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QQs: Why Do Cats Love Boxes?
快問快答:為什麼貓咪喜歡箱子?

If you have a cat, or have ever spent much time on the Internet, you know that cats like to sit in boxes, or any other small container. Adorable, no?
如果你有養貓,或曾花很多時間在網路上,你就會知道貓咪喜歡坐在箱子裡,或是任何其它小容器中。可愛吧,沒有嗎?

If it fits, they sits. But have you ever wondered why they do this? Well, for one, it helps their anxiety. I know, considering they sleep 12 hours a day, they don't really seem like anxious animals. But cats experience stress like any other mammal. And when they're sitting in a box, cats feel like they're in a protected place where they can observe and hunt without worrying about being attacked. This makes sense since cats are ambush predators, meaning they're always looking to surprise their next target.
如果擠得下,牠們就會坐進去。但你曾想過牠們這麼做的原因嗎?這個嘛,其一,這幫助減緩牠們的焦慮。我知道,考量到牠們一天睡十二個小時,牠們不太像是易焦慮的動物。但貓咪就像任何其他的哺乳類動物一樣會感受到壓力。且當牠們坐在箱子裡時,貓咪覺得牠們處在一個受到保護的地方,在那裡牠們可以觀察與狩獵而不需要擔心被攻擊。這說得通,因為貓咪是伏擊型的掠食者,意思是牠們總在尋找機會襲擊牠們的下一個目標。

To better understand how boxes help cats calm down, one study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science observed a group of cats that had just arrived at a new animal shelter. New environments can be difficult for cats, so stress levels were pretty high. And scientists were able to rank the cat's anxiety by looking at factors like their activity levels, and their ear and tail positions. This system is known as the "Kessler and Turner Cat-Stress-Score."
為了更了解箱子如何幫助貓咪冷靜下來,一篇發表在《應用動物行為科學》期刊的研究,觀察了一群剛抵達一間新動物收容所的貓咪。新環境對貓咪來說會很難熬,所以壓力水準挺高的。且科學家能分級貓咪的焦慮感,藉由觀察一些因素,像是牠們的活動程度,以及牠們耳朵和尾巴的位置。這個系統被稱作「CSS 憂鬱值」。

Now, when some of the cats were given boxes to hide in, their stress levels went way down in only three days, and the effect was observed in nearly all of the animals with boxes. For comparison, the cats who didn't get boxes eventually reached the same low level of stress, but it took them two weeks. So, especially in high-stress situations, it's important for cats to have an enclosed space to retreat to and feel protected. This is also true of large cats, like tigers and jaguars, except instead of hiding in your latest Amazon box, they'll hide in trees, caves, or other concealed spaces.
現在,當給一些貓咪可以躲進去的箱子時,牠們的壓力水準在僅僅三天內便一路直降,而且效果幾乎在所有擁有箱子的動物身上都可觀察到。作為對照,沒有得到箱子的貓咪最終達到一樣低的壓力水準,但這卻要花費牠們兩個星期。所以,特別是在高壓情況下,對貓咪來說有個封閉的空間可以躲避和感受到被保護著,是很重要的。這對大型貓科動物也適用,像是老虎和美洲豹,但與其躲在你最近收到的亞馬遜網拍箱子裡,牠們會躲藏在樹林、洞穴,或其他隱蔽的空間。

But there's another reason cats like boxes so much: Apparently, our houses are too cold. While you might enjoy a comfortable 24 degrees Celsius, cats prefer much warmer temperatures, between a 30 and 36 degrees, according to a study by the National Research Council. By curling up in a cardboard box, cats can trap some of their body heat to make up a few of those degrees. That's also why cats like basking in sunlight or curling up on top of your heating vent. So if you have a kitty at home, and you wanna keep cat stress at bay, just make sure they have a nice cozy box to sits in.
但還有另一個貓咪這麼喜歡箱子的原因:顯然地,我們的屋子太冷了。儘管你可能享受舒適的攝氏二十四度,貓咪偏好更暖和的溫度,介於三十和三十六度之間,根據一篇國家科學研究委員會的研究。藉由蜷縮在一個紙箱內,貓咪可以網羅一些牠們的體熱來補足那溫度。那也是為何貓咪喜歡沐浴在陽光下或是蜷縮在你的暖氣口上。所以如果你家有隻小貓,且你想讓貓咪遠離壓力,只要確保牠們有個溫暖舒適的箱子可以躲進去。

Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow, and a special thank you to all of our patrons on Patreon. If you wanna help us keep making this show possible, you can go to patreon.com/scishow. And for more episodes like this, go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe.
感謝收看這集的 SciShow,並特別感謝 Patreon 上所有支持我們的贊助人。如果你想要幫助我們持續讓這節目進行,你可以去 patreon.com/scishow。想看更多像這樣的單元,前往 youtube.com/scishow 並訂閱。

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