House cats may be domesticated, but that doesn't mean they want to obey rules. Most cats are more inclined to bathe in the sunlight and offer demanding stares, then learn to roll over or come when called. The fact that cats are fiercely independent animals makes this internet theory a beacon of hope for cat owners everywhere.
The theory is that if you create a circle on the floor, the cat will sit inside of it and refuse to move. Cat owner (and writer) David Derbyshire decided to test this school of thought with his own feline, an "elderly, lazy cat," according to his report in the Daily Mail.
It took a few minutes, but it worked. And Derbyshire isn't the only one who had success with the test. Countless people have submitted photos online of their cats sitting or laying in the circle, that "go-ahead-make-me-move" plastered all over their faces.
Reddit User, SneakyChino, spawned the original theory by posting photos of his cat sitting in a power-cord circle. He created more circles on the floor, and his cat sat in them too. Viewers all over the world took up the challenge of testing their cats too!
But why do cats seem to enjoy sitting in circles? It depends on who you ask. Popular thoughts (according to The Daily Mail) include:
Supernatural Phenomenon: Cats have a sixth sense and a drawn to circles (and important shape in witchcraft).
Territorial: Cats are naturally territorial, so they sit in the circle and refuse to budge to show dominance.
Curiosity: Cats are curious by nature and if you're paying attention to something (like building a circle), they'll be curious about it too.
Security: Cats like feeling surrounded. The circle (especially one built with some depth) is comforting to them because they can hide and/or have a better view of the surrounding area.
Animal behaviorists seem to support the curiosity/security reasonings more than any others, citing examples of cats hiding in litter boxes when they go to the vet or hunkering down in their own cages at home, according to the Daily Mail.
Until scientists decide to devote a few resources to studying the behavior, we may never really know why cats do what they do.