My cat went down the apartment stairs but thought she was still on our floor. Why did she think that?
We recently moved into a new apartment building. My cat
has become comfortable in the apartment but is still figuring out the building.
Yesterday, she trotted out the door and went down the stairs to the apartment immediately below ours. She then sat at that door, meowing desperately to be let in -- a sound that's different from her regular "speech." I had to pick her up and take her back up the stairs.
Clearly, she thought the lower apartment was ours. I know cats have the equivalent of a two-year-old human's brain, but it strikes me as odd that she would think "If I walk directly away from point A, I will arrive back at Point A." Nothing else in her experience would match that logic.
Even more strange is the fact that cats rely so much on scent. She has been marking our front door since we moved. The place downstairs can't smell at all like her or us. It just looked
like our front door, which shouldn't be enough to confuse a cat.
So it must have been the stairs that disoriented her. Has anyone else had this experience with cats on stairs? Ours is young and healthy and has good vision. We hope to take her on walks outside, which means going down three flights of stairs -- will she eventually figure them out or is she doomed to a life of MC Escher-like stair confusion?