Cat righting reflex

Discussions on classical and modern physics, quantum mechanics, particle physics, thermodynamics, general and special relativity, etc.

Cat righting reflex

Postby in_vaccum on March 28th, 2017, 1:21 am

In the Cat righting reflex, we know initial and final angular momentum = 0. How does then cat choose to rotate in one direction over the other?
Forum Neophyte
Posts: 7
Joined: 09 Sep 2011

Re: Cat righting reflex

Postby Dave_Oblad on March 28th, 2017, 6:43 am 

Hi in_vacuum,

Welcome to the Forums.

I noticed that when I look behind myself, I usually look around to my right, all things being equal. I have to wonder if a cat also has a similar preference, all things being equal.

Funny, I was going to mention the Buttered Cat Paradox, but your article link already addressed such.

Dave :^)
User avatar
Resident Member
Posts: 3230
Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Blog: View Blog (2)

Re: Cat righting reflex

Postby vivian maxine on March 28th, 2017, 7:24 am 

Cats can be right-pawed or left-pawed. You see this if you watch them paw at their food or try to snag something overhead. Is it possible that they just turn toward their more dominate side, all other things being equal?
vivian maxine
Resident Member
Posts: 2833
Joined: 01 Aug 2014

Re: Cat righting reflex

Postby TheVat on March 28th, 2017, 10:09 am 

At the Univ. of Southern Northern South Dakota (it's really sort of in the middle), they conducted a cat dropping experiment and found, after comparing their results with a group in New Zealand, that cats rotate (as seen facing the head) clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. However, in a room isolated from the planet's magnetic field, they have cat blanche to go either way.
User avatar
Forum Administrator
Posts: 6949
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills

Return to Physics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests