Final Up to date on: June 14, 2023 by Crystal Uys
Our feline mates can typically interact in fairly odd behaviors. Probably the most well-known uncommon cat behaviors is their tendency to take a seat in squares. The truth is, in 2017, the complete web spent a major period of time watching every kind of cats determine to take a seat in taped squares on the ground (#CatSquare).1
However why do cats like sitting in squares a lot? Is there an precise cause, or is it simply a type of cat issues? Whereas extra analysis must be performed into the phenomenon of sq. sitting, evidently a lot of it has to do with a way of safety, whereas typically (as within the case of taped squares) it has to do with what’s often called the Kanizsa phantasm.
The Kanizsa Phantasm
Again in 2021, researchers from the College of Psychology and Public Well being in Australia and the Metropolis College of New York (CUNY) determined to check cognition in cats—particularly, whether or not felines have been in a position to see optical illusions that have been within the form of the sq..2 Nevertheless, due to the pandemic, they ended up doing a citizen science investigation the place that they had cat house owners check their cats at dwelling. These cat house owners have been required to put out three shapes on the ground—a sq. of tape, a Kanizsa phantasm, and a management form that didn’t seem as a sq..3
The outcomes of this examine (amusingly titled “ If I matches I sits: A citizen science investigation into illusory contour susceptibility in home cats”) discovered that almost all of cats caught to the taped sq. and the Kanizsa phantasm when it got here to sitting. Hardly ever did cats enterprise into the management form that was not sq.. What does this imply?
It signifies that felines are in a position to understand illusory contours (or fill within the concept of a form when visuals merely recommend the sides of a form). So, cats can inform a sq. form, and within the case of 2D squares (versus 3D ones, similar to packing containers), they’re seemingly interested in sitting in them due to the form’s sides. However why would they need to sit in these squares due to the edges?
Causes Cats Could Get pleasure from Sitting in Squares
As cat dad and mom, we’ve all seen our kitties hanging out in a wide range of square-shaped gadgets. The truth is, I’ve tons of images of my cats smushed into the smallest of sq. packing containers and baskets. However why do our cats take pleasure in these areas a lot?
There are a few potential causes felines head in the direction of squares, however the principle idea of why they like sq. sitting has to do with consolation and security. Our cats take pleasure in enclosed areas (or ones with sides) as a result of it presents them a way of safety, significantly when wired. When cats are tucked away into these squares, they’ll view the world round them from a vantage level that doesn’t contain them being out within the open, making them “safer”. So, even when the house with sides is solely a taped sq. on the ground, it’s seemingly your cat feels only a bit safer whereas sitting in it.
Nevertheless, our feline companions may also head to a sq., similar to a field or perhaps a piece of cardboard on the ground, to remain heat and comfy. Cardboard can act as first rate insulation for kitties, and cats like to be heat, so one can see why they’d take pleasure in sure squares that present coziness. The identical goes for square-shaped cat beds and gentle, fuzzy rugs!
Do All Kitties Like Sitting in Squares?
All cats are totally different, so some might not have any inclination in the direction of sitting in sq. gadgets or taped squares. You may tape off a sq. in your house, solely to seek out that your cat is completely disinterested or takes a fast look, then strikes on. It doesn’t imply there’s something fallacious along with your cat; it’s only a matter of non-public choice for them!
Most kitties are large followers of sitting in squares. The main idea for why they take pleasure in this revolves round sq. shapes, giving them a way of security resulting from having sides. The examine, “If I matches, I sits: A citizen science investigation into illusory contour susceptibility in home cats,” discovered that felines can understand sq. shapes and the phantasm of sq. shapes and can ignore different accessible shapes. This makes the speculation of the edges of a sq. being comforting extra believable. However it may also be that many sq. shapes can present heat and coziness to a cat.
Don’t be alarmed in case your cat received’t sit in a taped sq. (or different varieties of squares), although! All cats are totally different, so yours may merely not be a fan of sitting on this form.
Featured Picture Credit score: Lightspruch, Shutterstock
Concerning the writer
Cat mother to Ivy – a feisty little rescue kitten that’s her one and solely youngster. For now! All through her life, she has been launched to the particular love that may be discovered within the bond with a cat. Having owned a number of felines, she is greater than sure that their love is unmatched, unconditional and in contrast to every other. With a ardour to teach the general public about all the pieces, there may be to learn about felines, their habits, and their distinctive personalities, Crystal is devoted to creating certain that every one cats and their house owners know the significance of aware residing – and loving!