Forget about #TheDress. A picture of a cat on stairs went viral last week when it was circulated on, making netizens wonder if this tabby cat is going up or down the stairs. The #catgate image is a black and white image showing at cat walking in the middle of the stairs. The optical illusion in #catgate is making me see both up and down!

Image from

So, what are the ‘up’ and ‘down’ the Netizens are seeing??

In the heated debate by Netizans, strong opinions are given from both sides whether the mysterious cat is going up or down.

One Facebook user said that the cat is going down the stairs because the cat’s tail is up straight and this helps cat to maintain balance.

Some Netizans analyse it from a more architecture angle by looking at the tiles and lips of the stairs. Some said that the cat is obviously going up the stairs as the designs of the tiles are usually facing up.

Many other theories was also suggested by different netizens. There are also some that chose to stand in the middle and suggested that it all depends on individual perspective.

Thankfully, Nick Chater, a Behavioural Science professor have explained to CNet that “We see in 3D, even though our eyes only receive 2D images. This seems puzzling, because it can be shown mathematically that there is an implied number of 3D scenes that will create the same 2D images. Most of the time, our brain is spectacularly good in solving this problem. It usually turn out the precise one 3D interpretation is ‘sensible’ and all the others are bizarre, in one way or another. Our brain uses the   most ‘sensible’ 3D interpretation; and mostly except when we are being subjected to cunning visual illusion” He also explains that the brain flips between one interpretation to another, Like #catgate.

These are some common optical illusion that make you see both....

Images from

Enough with all the theories. So is it going up or down???

Chater states that the only way to determine this big mystery is by identifying the mysterious square patch the top of the image, whether it’s a floor or ceiling.

Wait…… So after all those explanations on how our brain see things, there is still no definite answer?

And the ONLY way to find out is to find the photographer just like #TheDress to identify the mysterious square patch?