Cats may understand the principle of cause and effect as well as some elements of physics, which they likely use to predict where possible prey hides. At least this is the conclusion of researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, led by Saho Takagi and published in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition.
The researchers videotaped thirty cats while an experimenter shook a container. Sometimes the container included a rattling sound and sometimes it did not. After the shaking phase, the container was turned over, either with an object dropping down or not.
The cats looked longer at the containers which were shaken together with a noise. This suggests that cats used a physical law to infer the existence (or absence) of objects based on whether they heard a rattle (or not). This helped them predict whether an object would appear (or not) once the container was overturned.
Based on this experiment, researchers concluded that cats understand the laws of physics. Most likely if these researchers sat cats in a political rally, they would conclude that cats are better at politics than humans as well.