Cats sitting inside circles on the ground is about an innate desire to feel secure within boundaries.
This is a mini-phenomenon or at least the newspapers are calling it a phenomenon – but it is not as far as I am concerned. They say that you can trap a cat in a circle marked on the floor and that the video below proves it. It’s just another one of those little cat viral videos that we encounter sometimes on the Internet.
I do not think that you can trap a cat with a circle on the floor. This is not about trapping a cat. This is about a cat believing that the circle marked on the floor provides security and safety. We know cats like to find and use these sorts of places. We know that cats like boxes. We know that cats like to rest in high places. They all reflect a desire to find a safe place where they can relax and rest.
It also indicates that cats need a safe place to go to sometimes and my interpretation of this video is that this calico cat is perceiving the circle as a safe place. I sense that she is perceiving the red lines as something concrete and solid much like the walls of a box and in doing so she perceives the area as safe.
Now, of course, I am guessing when I say that, but my suggestion, I would argue, is not a bad one and based upon common sense.
What, if anything, can we learn from the video about the psychology of the domestic cat? Well, if I’m correct the domestic cat can quite easily feel insecure even when inside the family home. Also, cats are concerned with boundaries. This is quite true because when cats create their home range they use natural objects and trails as a boundary to their territory.
Often the home range of a wild cat is identified with trails (places through which animals often walk) and trees or shrubbery. The domestic cat will use walls and other man-made structures to mark out a home territory, I suspect.
A cat needs some sort of marker or indicator which provides a boundary and I feel that this cat is using that innate desire and combining it with a desire to feel safe and secure to come up with a decision that sitting inside a circle marked out on the floor in the family home is safe or safer than being outside of it.
Other people have tried this:
What do you think?