Cats understand physics enough to help them catch unseen prey by predicting their location based on sound, according to researchers at Japan's Kyoto University.
Their study, published in the journal Animal Cognition, said that cats use an understanding of "cause and effect" principles tied with simple elements of physics in their hunting style, which explain why they can find prey in areas of poor visibility, said the Daily Mail
"Cats use a causal-logical understanding of noise or sounds to predict the appearance of invisible objects," said Saho Takagi, lead author of the study hosted on Springer.com
Researchers videotaped 30 domestic cats while shaking a container, resulting in either a rattling sound or no sound.
"We used an expectancy violation procedure to ask whether cats could use a causal rule to infer the presence of an unseen object on hearing the noise it made inside a container and predict its appearance when the container was turned over," says the study's abstract.
said additional research would be needed to find out exactly what cats see in their mind's eye when they pick up noises, and if they can extract information such as quantity and size from what they hear.
The Daily Mail noted a 2015 study by the University of Edinburgh and the Bronx Zoo that found that domestic cats shared similar characteristics of aggression and neurotic behaviors with snow leopards, Scottish wildcats and the African lion.
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