Research shows that cats prefer to sit in 'virtual squares' as well as in real boxes

Cats have a habit of riding and entering boxes, but new research shows that they prefer to sit on virtual squares that don't actually exist, as well as on real boxes. I will.

If I fits I sits: A citizen science investigation into illusory contour susceptibility in domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) --ScienceDirect

Groundbreaking Cat Science Shows They Love to Sit in Illusory Boxes, Too

If you've ever owned a cat, you know that cats prefer to go inside or sit on the box. It was known to some that this did not have to be a real box, but something like a 'square written on the floor'.

Gabriella Smith, a cognitive ethologist who promotes a program on animal behavior and protection at the City University of New York Hunter College in the United States, conducted a full-scale study of this cat's habits using citizen science.

Smith and his research team recruited cat owners to participate in the experiment, and while drawing squares on the floor with tape and arranging figures that draw virtual squares called 'Kanizsa squares', about the cat's vision I investigated.

A Kanizsa square is a figure in which a white square appears to overlap four black circles, and humans can clearly recognize each side of a virtual square by looking at such a figure.

The study filmed the cat's reaction in a reasonably controlled environment so that the owner did not affect the cat. More than 500 cats participated in the survey, but only 30 cats were finally processed as 'appropriate data'.

The actual survey is as follows. A Kanizsa square (right) and another shape (left) are printed on the blue mat to see which one the cat sits on. In the following movie, a cat is beautifully shot on a Kanizsa square.

Smith et al.'S research team said, 'Cats who participated in this research often sit on the Kanizsa square, and it has become clear that they are performing' emotional complementation 'to correctly recognize the outline of the virtual square. That is, we support the hypothesis that cats treat real and virtual squares the same way. '

Of course, it seems that not all cats sat on the Kanizsa square.

There have been studies on the emotional complementation of cats in the past, but this is the first time that tests have been conducted in an environment familiar to cats. Cats don't like strange environments, so testing in a 'cat-friendly environment' rather than in the lab increases the chances of eliciting natural behavior, the researchers say.

Past studies have shown that cats reduce stress by sitting on a box, suggesting that entering a virtual square may make them feel comfortable. ..

Cats are not the only ones who like boxes. Large cats are also thought to prefer the inside of the box.

BIG CATS like boxes too! --YouTube

The research team commented on this study, 'I don't know why, but there is much less research on cat cognition than dogs. Using citizen science as an experimental study on cat cognition makes this difference. It can be a great help to fill in. '

in Science,   Creature,   Video, Posted by logu_ii