Cats Like Boxes: Science Asks Why

When cats sit in boxes, science asks why. Over at CUNY and the School of Psychology and Public Health in Australia have set out to do what millions of cat owners would tell then was futile: understand cat cognition. But the researchers promise they’re making progress. Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:

Cats are notorious for crawling into any available small, enclosed space: boxes, laundry baskets, bins. And as many viral videos have shown, cats will even sit on flat square-shaped objects, to the internet’s collective puzzlement. Now, new research has taken the first dive into examining the phenomenon.

Researchers from City University of New York (CUNY) and the School of Psychology and Public Health in Australia set out to study cat cognition, and specifically whether they could perceive square-shaped optical illusions. They found that the box doesn’t need to be 3D to attract a cat: they’ll cozy up in a taped square or an optical illusion of a square, too. The study, called “If I fits I sits: A citizen science investigation into illusory contour susceptibility in domestic cats,” was published on April 30 in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, an Elsevier journal.

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