Cats and tin foil

Two observations about my recent blogging habits. Firstly, I’m apparently blogging less than I did this time last year. Secondly, perhaps my twittering has reduced my interest in blogging.

I’m aware of the former, but I dispute the latter. I’ve been busy, attempting to think about what I blog about and when I do so, and yes, I apologise if I’ve been quieter than “normal”. I do want to get more technical again, and I’ll make an effort to do so.

In the meantime, here is a break from the norm. Stop reading now if you came for highbrow discussion of technology trends.

A fascinating and utterly frivolous fact that I learned from a Toffee Crisp wrapper the other day:

Cats will not walk on tin foil

Since making this discovery, my mind has been working overtime:

  1. Do cats know something that we don’t?
  2. Who discovered this? How did they do so?
  3. Does it matter which way up the tin foil is?
  4. How can I test the theory? Given a cat’s ability to leap a reasonably large obstacle, how large a piece of foil would I need to lay down and in what configuration would it have to be in order to place the cat in a position where it had no other choice?
  5. What else won’t cats walk on? We already know that a hot tin roof is no problem…

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12 responses to “Cats and tin foil

  1. Hmm. I feel a home experiment coming on …
    I’ll let you know the results. 😀

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  2. Cats also won’t walk on or near Vicks Vapo-rub, so if you are going to go for added insurance, you could smother the foil in Vicks.

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  3. If you place a cat onto a large area of tin foil and leave it there, then what?

    My suspicion is that it’s the noise they object to, so probably either way up would have the same effect.

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  4. Catnabbit – no, I don’t want to deter them, I want to disprove the theory.

    Tim – I had a conversation with a friend about this on Saturday, and he theorised that it was that they don’t like their own reflection… thus my comment on whether the different sides of the foil make a difference. Could be the noise though.

    I’m still determined to prove the Toffee Crisp wrong. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so obsessive over a chocolate bar…

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  5. If a cat will walk on a hot tin roof, then logically it should walk on hot tin foil too (you can’t tell me it can understand the purpose of the tin).

    So just put the tin foil in the oven at 200 degrees for a few hours, take it out (oven gloves, careful, it’s hot!), then place cat gently on the foil.

    I wonder what might happen?

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  6. Never mind the logic of treating of something you learned from a Toffee Crisp as a “fact”, when was the last time you ever saw tin foil anywhere?

    Which chocolate snack food do I have to eat to find out whether cats will walk on alumin(i)um foil?

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  7. Does it matter if you put the foil shiny or matt side up?

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  8. For anyone planing experiments, my experience with cats is that whatever they might normally do, they are likely to enjoy messing up your results!

    On a small tangent… if toast always lands butter side down and a cat always lands on its feet, what happens when you attach buttered toast to a cat’s back… and can we generate clean energy from the result? What floor is it best to throw the cat-toast generator out of to maximise power output?

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  9. My kitten is 2 months old i got it on sunday. I tried this theroy to keep her from going behing my couch and entertainment center. She will walk right across it even stand on it at times. It does not seem to bother her at all.

    Is my cat stupid?? Or is it just smater than the rest??

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  10. Brandon: it’s awesome that you tried this, and I salute your scientific enterprise. Thanks for reading.

    Perhaps cats learn to dislike foil as they grow older? Or, perhaps we’ve discovered a fundamental lie to be found in Toffee Crisp wrappers? I’m considering Trading Standards at this point, to be honest.

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  11. I tested this theory myself, the result can be viewed here:-

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=v6m3kFx11OQ

    I hope this helps.

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  12. Marc, that’s fascinating – thanks for sharing the video!

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