Rotem, a sand cat, is pictured with her three kittens at the Safari in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, August 18, 2015. Rotem gave birth to her kittens three weeks ago. The species is listed as near threatened and extinct from Israel, according to the zoo's staff. Reuters/Baz Ratner

A group of scientists in Japan have made a weird statement. They are of the opinion that cats understand physics. They have been studying cats for a long time and have come to the conclusion that cats seem to use their hearing to ascertain whether objects that they can't see exist. Moreover, they also seem to understand the principle of cause and effect. This basically means cats understand that actions can lead to reactions.

Kyoto University published its results in the scientific journal Animal Cognition. In the experiment, the researchers filmed 30 domestic cats and their reactions to a researcher shaking a plastic container. The plastic container sometimes had something in it and sometime it didn’t. The results showed that the cats could understand when the container had something in it by the rattling sound made by the container.

Lead researcher Saho Takagi revealed that “cats use a causal-logical understanding of noise or sounds to predict the appearance of invisible objects.”

The cats looked longer at containers that were shaken together with a noise. This suggested 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.

Moreover, the cats stared longer at the containers in case of incongruent situations. This means, an object dropped out of the container despite not making the rattling noise. This is was true the other way round too, when there was a rattling noise but no object came out of the container. The cats made it clear that such situations “did not fit into their grasp of causal logic.”

Scientists believe that cats have been endowed with this ability so that they can catch preys they can’t see. More research is needed to find out what cats actually see in their minds when they hear noises.