About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We can't tell if this cat is going up or down the stairs and it's driving us round the bend

The black and white blurry image of the cat on a set of stairs has the internet dazed and confused.

We can't tell if this cat is going up or down the stairs and it's driving us round the bend
Image source: 9Gag

Every once in a while you come across a visual puzzle that is befuddling. The latest one involves a cat. No, it's not Schrödinger's cat. This one is definitely alive and taking the stairs. We just can't tell if it's moving up or down the stairs. Along the likes of the iconic blue dress/gold dress conundrum comes the new puzzle that shows a cat with its tail up, on a set of stairs. The rather grainy black and white image makes it hard to tell which way the cat is heading. The image was first posted on and has since been the buzz on the internet.



There have been arguments for either side and many believe there's a credible argument for either direction if the camera angle of the picture is slightly shifted. Some are fluctuating between either so fast they're going dizzy. Some have done so much research on it, that it puts a lot of scholars to shame. Some have even used the cat's body language to deduce the direction it's moving in. "Look at the cat’s tail — it’s facing upward, or the opposite of the direction it’s moving in. If the cat were to go up the stairs, it’s tail would point downward," noted one person, reported TODAY. Another person used similar body language to state the very opposite. "The cat is going up, the tail is used to balance the body of the cat and in this case, the tail is elevated upward so that when the cat uses its rear legs to push up it pushes parallel to the line on which gravity is working on the tail to stabilize itself." It just summed up the problem and confusion.


One article in the Minds Journal even suggested that your perception of the cat's direction reflected the viewer's mentality. The journal suggested that those who 'see' the cat going up the stairs had an optimistic view of life. “You see potential and you see growth wherever you look,” said the Minds Journal article. Meanwhile, those who 'see' the cat going downstairs were more cynical and pessimistic. “It may have been based on your experiences in life or just because of the sort of people you may have met that tilted your view of life towards the negative side,” noted the Journal.




Some people even broke down the three parts of a step — Nose, tread, and riser — to make their case that the cat was going down the stairs. Not to mention there was a group studying the angles of the shadows and they overwhelmingly sided with the call that the cat was going downstairs. They pointed out that the shadow on the lip of the stairs shows that the cat is definitely moving downstairs. This theory further backed up the fact that the light appears to come from behind, which in this case would be from above and thus the shadows beneath the nose. 




One person studied their own cat to come to a decision. "When my cat goes upstairs, he kind of hops up them. Front paws first, then back ones, and on up. It's only when he's coming back down that he actually walks one paw at a time. That and the position of the ledge, makes me pretty sure it's down. I thought about this way too thoroughly," wrote the user. Some even poked fun at the puzzle by making a reference to the blue dress/white dress conundrum. "THE CAT IS BLACK AND BLUE HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT," wrote one person. We can't tell ourselves because both sides are making compelling arguments. The only thing we're sure of is that it's not a dog. At least, not from where we're seeing it. 

More Stories on Scoop