© APA / AFP / PETRAS MALUKAS
Cats love to sit in boxes. This was shown years ago through the #CatSquare social media campaign, in which cat owners glued a square on the floor that their pets could sit in. The researcher tried to find out if it was just a coincidence or a system Gabriella Smith Discover.
She was able to win 30 pet owners on her try. They put 3 different shapes on the floor. The first was a simple two-dimensional square. The second is the so-called Canisa delusion. Four Pac-Man-like figures have been put in place. They form the corners of the square that the human brain collects on its own. The third shape was similar to the Canisa illusion, but it did not create an optical illusion.
Then the cats were allowed into the room. The animal owners recorded a video of the animals’ behavior. 9 cats interacted with the experimental setup. During the 6-day experiment, the animals sat 8 times in the box, 7 times in the Canisa illusion and once in the third figure.
Study cats in familiar surroundings
Since the study was only conducted on a small number of animals, Smith does not allow himself to make a final judgment. However, everything indicates that cats can perceive an optical illusion. In addition, it is very likely that animals are attracted by the features of the two-dimensional creatures.
Another big step forward is realizing that cats are well-suited to citizen science projects, according to the study published in the specialist journal. Applied animal behavior science Back. This will allow cats to be examined in their familiar surroundings rather than in a laboratory.
A false sense of security
Why cats are attracted to squares remains a mystery. a a study It is from 1993 that cats felt less stress when in a box. After the #CatSquare flooded the internet with pictures of cats in boxes, animal behavior professor Nicholas Dodman wrote in Conversation, Shape can give animals a false sense of security.