Vancouver Sun


- Melissa Hank

Cat owners know that if you give a cat a box, you give it a sweet little spot to sit in. Turns out, even the hint of a box is irresistib­le.

In a study examining cats' reactions to illusion, researcher­s asked people to set up three floor patterns for their pets. Kitties could choose from a fully taped square, a Kanizsa square (four shapes resembling Pac-Man set up to look like corners of a square) and a random arrangemen­t of the Kanizsa shapes as a control. Just 30 cats completed the trials, but the data was clear.

“The cats in this study stood or sat in the Kanizsa and square stimuli more often than the Kanizsa control, revealing susceptibi­lity to illusory contours and supporting our hypothesis that cats treat an illusory square as they do a real square,” researcher­s from the City University of New York wrote.

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