Some things confuse cats. It depends, somewhat, on the individual cat. The confusing events are normally to do with change. No one should deliberately try and confuse their cat for the fun of it.
I’ll write this mainly based on personal experience. The first way I inadvertently confuse my cat is by messing around using a different voice. Occasionally, I like to mimic people or use an accent. Usually, I talk to myself when I do this. Gabriel is certainly confused by it. I don’t think it worries him. He looks a little concerned (and rightly so). This is because he is totally used to my voice. It is a way of recognising me. Use a different voice and you could be a different person. I reassure him afterward by using my own voice.
Talking about not recognising a person, what about not recognising other cats. If there is more than one cat in the house and one of the cats has been to the vet and come back smelling strange or you had to bathe one of the cats which makes him smell different by washing off all the natural scent, the other cats will probably hiss at him as if he is a complete stranger even if he is a sibling. Cats get confused if their acute sense of smell tells them that they are in the company of a stranger even if their eyesight says something completely different. Smell rules over sight in the cat word as a means of recognition.
Any changes to the position of furniture and carpets etc. may confuse a cat. As we know, they are creatures of habit. This is reassuring. Moving large household items around is confusing and concerning but only if they are not present when it is done and it is done by you, the cat guardian. Moving stuff with your cat is usually fun for a cat.
Changes to the location of your cat’s furniture and litter will cause a certain amount of confusion. The confusion is temporary. There is an argument that suggests change is not a bad thing despite the initial confusion. Cats like the reassurance of familiarity but within that framework events need to happen as in real life, in the wild. Some change is good and stimulating.
Singing may confuse your cat but only if you don’t normally sing. That is my opinion. If you sing around the house regularly it is a routine event and your cat will recognize it as you.
Taking photographs of cats can be tricky. You have to be tricky to get a good one! From a cat’s perspective, in my experience, being photographed is more unnerving than confusing but it has to be said that this is about the individual cat. Some cats won’t mind. I remember watching many Helmi Flick photo sessions in her mobile studio of pedigree show cats. None of the cats bothered at all about it. Perhaps it was because they were used to it or perhaps they was a lot happening which provided a distracting environment.
For my cat the confusion or concern from being photographed appears to be linked to the change in my appearance as I place the camera to my eye. Holding the camera away from my face helps. This supports the idea that making faces at your cat also confuses a cat. I am not convinced about this because, as stated, body scent takes precedence, I would argue, over vision and therefore pulling faces might not elicit much of a response. That said, vision is a major sense and therefore, depending on the individual cat is may be confusing.
The ultimate cause of cat confusion is moving home. This takes them out of their ‘territory’ which is wholly unnatural. The confusion borders on fear and it take a long time to settle down and start exploring (about a week in my experience). A lot of wild cat conservation involves relocating cats. There are drawbacks but it is done and sometimes successfully.
Do you have any specific happenings which confused your cat?