30 June 2016

RESEARCH - Cats Understand Simple Physics

A recent study in Tokyo, Japan that finds cats have the ability to understand simple physics and the principle of cause and effect lends new meaning to the idea that cats always land on their feet.

Experiments run out of Kyoto University suggest that cats may be able to predict the presence of an object through sound. 

Researchers shook boxes in front of cats, some with an accompanying rattling sound and some without; cats stared longer at the boxes that produced sound and also at the boxes that produced an unexpected result once flipped.

"Cats use a causal-logical understanding of noise or sounds to predict the appearance of invisible objects," lead researcher Saho Takagi explained in a news release.

The precursor to this researcher conducted by this team concluded that cats were able to predict the presence of an invisible object based on sound.

This ability of a cat – to be able to infer presence based on sound – is linked to their innate hunting capabilities, likely because they are nocturnal creatures that stake out prey in locations with poor visibility.

Further research includes establishing what it is cats see in their minds when they hear noises and what they interpret about the pending object (size, quantity).

By Lindsay Seewalt
Lindsay is an experienced journalist and mother of three whose heart and home is always open to a four-legged friend. With her Corgi, Angie, as household editor-in-chief, Lindsay gives back to the animal planet through the written word on anything and all ado about pets. She is passionate about topics regarding animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, which she aims to instill in both her readers and children to be compassionate animal lovers who are conscious and considerate that furry friends around the globe deserve a voice.

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