But of course!
Betteridge’s law of headlines would suggest that the answer is “no”, but the authors of a new paper in Animal Cognition beg to disagree. This short report (reference and free pdf below) tests the idea that cats can identify a rattling sound in a box as denoting an object in the box, and then, when the box is opened upside down, will get flummoxed if something doesn’t drop out of the rattling box. They will also get flummoxed if a toy drops out of a shaken box that didn’t make a rattle. In other words, cats can somehow sense the incongruity between an auditory stimulus (the rattling) and a visual stimulus (the expected object causing the rattle).
So, to be brief, here’s what Saho Takagi and her colleagues did. They studied 30 domestic cats of both sexes, all tested in —yes—cat cafes: a delightful staple of Japanese culture. Each cat was given…
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