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Animal sundries: Cats love to sit on boxes, even fake ones

KOMPAS.com – It’s no secret, cats like to sit in squares. Whether it’s boxes, baskets, suitcases, suitcases, to drawers.

However a new study is published in Applied Animal Behavior Science find other evidence of a cat’s love for boxes.

The study says that cats also like to sit in 2-dimensional (2D) shapes that mimic the illusion of a square.

These findings could provide more insight into cats’ perceptions of visual illusions.

Read also: What Cats Eat and What Not to Give

Quoting Smithsonian, Wednesday (19/05/2021) the study was conducted after Gabriella Smith, animal cognition researcher at Hunter College in New York had the idea to test the cognitive perception of cats.

Smith then designed a science experiment involving the general public with his pets.

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Cat owners who are willing to carry out experiments are then given instructions to create the illusion of Kanizsa or the arrangement of four circles each sliced ​​into quarters, resembling the shape of a Pac Man.

After the paper shapes were created, the researchers instructed the animal owners to place the shapes on the floor in a variety of settings, ranging from regular squares with edges, perfect kanisza boxes, and deformed kanisza boxes.

To prevent cats from being influenced by their owners, researchers asked owners to avoid interactions and wear sunglasses so that eye contact does not occur.

The cat is then allowed to enter into the room where the fake 2-dimensional boxes already exist.

From a sample of 30 cats, nine cats consistently chose to sit in one of the shapes.

The nine cats chose to sit in the regular box eight times, that is, the perfect kanizsa box seven times, and the disabled kanizsa box only once.

“The main conclusion is that cats are also prone to illusions in a human-like way and are most likely attracted to 2D shapes for their contours, not just the novelty on the floor,” explains Smith.

The study is the first-ever visual illusion study conducted on cats in familiar environments.

The advantage is that cats can behave naturally. In contrast, the environment in the lab is more likely to stress the cat.

Also read: Why Cats Are Afraid of Water and How to Bathe Them

Further, the findings in this study could help researchers understand how cats perceive illusions which can then be compared to other animals.

Even so, researchers have not been able to explain clearly why cats love the box shape so much. More research is needed.

But researchers suspect, the shape of the box provides a sense of security and safety as if they were hiding in a closed room.


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