Saturday, March 12, 2022

Dogs can see and are fooled by optical illusions but cats can't see them

This video seems to tell me that dogs see and are therefore fooled by optical illusions i.e. they see them as real whereas cats do not recognise optical illusions and therefore, they ignore them. We see both reactions in this video.

Dog nonplussed by this optical illusion
Dog nonplussed by this optical illusion.

Right now, I do not know for sure how to interpret from these differences. I have never seen a test like this before between cats and dogs and how they react to an optical illusion.

Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which stops it working here. I have no control over this.

The difference between cat and dog may be the difference between three dogs and one cat i.e. the difference may be on an individual animal basis rather than a species basis although that is unlikely.

Cat cannot see the optical illusion
Cat cannot see the optical illusion.

A crude deduction might be that dogs are more visually sensitive and aware and cats. But that does not make sense to me. Thinking about it, what may be happening is that dogs believe more in the human environment and are more trusting of it compared to the more independent-minded domestic cat.

Domestic dogs have been domesticated for about 20,000 years or so whereas the cat has been domesticated for about half that time. Perhaps the dog is more in tune with the human environment than the cat even after these thousands of years. And as mentioned they are more trusting. Optical illusions work because the observer trusts that it is real.

They say that the wild cat is just below the surface of the domestic cat. And it is plausible to argue that a wild cat is less likely to appreciate an optical illusion compared to a domestic dog because they are mentally distanced from the human environment. I am, of course, speculating and these ideas have simply flowed from my mind as I am writing this.

I would appreciate input from any visitors to try and explain the difference between cat and dog behaviour under the circumstances.

Note, if the video no longer works let me tell you what it shows. The owner of three dogs and one cat put an optical illusion in the hallway which gave the impression that there was a big hole going through the floor. The dogs observed the hole as genuine and jumped over it and the last dog just stopped before it and looked into the false hole. The cat in contrast, sniffed the object (a rug) and then lay down on it. There was no recognition of it as a hole whatsoever. To the cat it was a rug.

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