Illusion-schmillusion. If I fits, I sits.

Recent study by citizen scientists furthers the notion that cats experience visual illusion like humans do.

Under those watchful eyes… (Photo by author)
Six panels showing Widget Greything occupying enclosed spaces in various formats, lid of puzzle box, bowl hugger, washroom basin, luggage lid, cat scratchy-couch, and Amazon box.
Widget Greything in repose… inside enclosed shapes. (Photo by Author)

For all the hype that box-cats command, scientists still don’t fully understand why felines both big and small so fervidly flop their keisters into anything and everything.

Illustration of Kanizsa Squares used in the Study of visual illusion in cats led by Gabriella Smith, a researcher at Hunter College of CUNY.
Kanizsa Square (L), proper square as positive control (R) and non-square (M) as negative control in the Smith study; figure adapted from Table 2 for illustration.
Twitter user Betty Jane’s cat Doug is resolute in his refusal to find space inside a square, an act that is beneath his dignity.
Betty Jane’s Cat Doug appears to be one of those conscientious objectors to the indignity of having to park themselves inside geometric shapes, as shared by Betty Jane on Twitter.
Never one for being boxed in, our free-spirited Pudge Clementine occupies space in a fancy-free and footloose manner that nonetheless radiates dignity, he thinks. (Photo by Author)

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Wannabe storyteller in science. Graduate of John Hopkins Science Writing MA program.

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Kausik Datta

Wannabe storyteller in science. Graduate of John Hopkins Science Writing MA program.