A viral Reddit post has brought social media users together to discuss one of life’s mysteries — why do cats like refrigerators?
Law student Grayson Martin brought that question front and center to the r/cats subreddit after she caught her eight-month-old cat Trevor hopping into her fridge.
“Any advice on how to stop my cat from hopping in the fridge every time I open it??” Martin wrote in her Reddit inquiry, on Sunday, April 3. “He does this every time.”
The post racked up more than 35,000 upvotes and over a thousand comments from cat owners who can relate to Martin’s issue. “He’s still enjoying the fridge,” Martin, 23, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday via Reddit’s chat feature.
Commenters who chimed in under Martin’s post suggested she pick Trevor up before she opens the fridge, wait for Trevor to get bored with the space or introduce Trevor to a new hiding spot.
“I decided to take the advice to let him explore the fridge so he becomes uninterested,” Martin said. “But so far, he still very much loves to fridge.”
Trevor is one of two cats Martin owns. Her other cat “isn’t interested in the fridge at all,” though there appears to be a slight exception whenever Trevor climbs into the fridge. In one photo Martin shared with Fox News Digital, you can see Trevor’s hiding has caught the attention of his feline companion. Martin is currently waiting to see if Trevor’s behavior will change over time while she completes her studies at the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas.
Dr. Emily Wilson, a doctor of veterinary Medicine at Fuzzy – The Pet Parent Company, told Fox News Digital that she thinks it’s “quite uncommon” for cats to choose refrigerators as hiding spots since they “tend to gravitate towards warmer environments, such as a dryer.”
Wilson theorized that some cats may feel drawn to fridges if they’re “food motivated” or live in a warm climate and want a place to “cool off.”
“Minimizing open containers of food and keeping food, particularly meats or fish, in airtight containers may help,” Wilson said. “If you have a cat that is food motivated, redirecting them with a treat or food toy in another location in the kitchen other locations in the home whenever you open the fridge may help minimize the draw of the fridge.”
Dr. Ole Alcumbrac, a wildlife veterinarian at White Mountain Animal Hospital and host of Nat Geo Wild’s “The Wild Life of Dr. Ole,” told Fox News Digital that cats are climbers. “Cats love secrecy and vertical environments, so it’s not surprising they have a proclivity for hiding and jumping in and on fridges,” he said. “Obviously, this can be dangerous.”
The two methods Alcumbrac recommends for discouraging cats from climbing into or onto fridges include using “squirt bottles as a deterrent” or using “commercially made electric mats designed for keeping cats off countertops.”
According to Alcumbrac, these battery-operated mats deliver “a mild negative stimulus” whenever cats come into contact with it. Usually, cats will learn to avoid the mat and the general area where the mat is placed.
There’s another method that cat owners can try if they prefer to use contact-free behavior-adjusting techniques to get their cats away from fridges.
“Offer your cat alternatives to the fridge – it might be a safe place to rest, a high place, etc.,” Dr. Tom Edling, chief veterinary officer for American Humane, told Fox News Digital.
“Try different options until you find a haven the cat will go to instead of the fridge,” Edling continued.
“You can use high, cat-friendly shelves built for the cat attached to walls, tubes large enough for the cat to crawl through, or cardboard boxes. Use your imagination and knowledge of the cat to change his or her behavior without resorting to adverse techniques.”