Is This Cat Going Up or Down the Stairs?! The New Optical Illusion That’s Breaking the Internet

This isn’t a joke, guys, it’s a very serious question—even more serious than, “What color is this dress?” Is this cat walking up or down the stairs?

This 9Gag optical illusion went viral overnight and threatens to divide the world in two: Those that believe that cat is walking upstairs, and those who swear this divisive feline is going downstairs. Then there are those tormented few who just can’t decide.

cat stairs optical illusion

The internet just can’t deal with how mind-blowing this picture is, and predictably Twitter is blowing up.




First spotted on The Daily Mail, the picture has spurred thousands of comments and even YouTube videos attempting to explaining the illusion.

Those who think the cat is walking downstairs argue the light is coming from the ceiling, the pebbled texture of the stairs, and what looks like a stair lip that would only be visible if you were looking up at the cat as it descended the stairs. They also suggest that the cat’s upright tail is being used to balance as the cat moves downstairs. 

However, those in camp “upstairs” say it’s obvious you’re looking down at the cat as it walks upwards to you. They insist the light is coming from downstairs and say the stair is actually a mosaic tile with a wooden lip. Again, the cat’s tail positioning is used as proof in the upstairs argument:

“The cat is going up, the tail is used to balance the body of the cat and in this case the tail is elevated upwards 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,” said one commenter.

This is how wars start, people.

Over to you: Do you think the cat is walking up or down the stairs? Let us know in the comments.