The staring — the unrelenting, uncomfortably long staring. Cats, evidently, use it while contemplating complex principles of physics. We knew there was something going on.
A new study out of Japan shows cats use “cause and effect” principles and physics elements to find prey, the Daily Mail reports. Cats use these tools to locate prey they can’t easily see by relying on sound, Kyoto University researchers found.
Working with cats in a Kyoto café, researchers studied the way felines responded to noises from shaken containers. Because cats spent more time looking at containers that made noise when shaken than at ones that were silent, researchers concluded that cats use physical laws to figure out whether objects would appear.
“Cats use a causal-logical understanding of noise or sounds to predict the appearance of invisible objects,” says Saho Takagi, who led the study.
The team filmed 30 cats’ responses to different noise-based scenarios. Either researchers produced objects from the containers that made noise or they did not. When objects didn’t appear, cats stared. And stared. This led researchers to conclude that cats have a rudimentary grasp of gravity, in addition to the cause and effect principle.
And a need to bore into our souls with their steel glaring, we conclude, because we’re pretty sure they know we are obeying the principles of physics, and their whims.