Buttered cat paradox
- Cats always land on their feet.
- Buttered toast always lands buttered side down.
In reality[change | change source]
In reality, cats can turn themselves right side up in mid-air if they should fall upside-down. This is named the cat righting reflex. This reflex lets them land on their feet if dropped from high enough up (about 30 centimetres (12 inches)). Toast, not being alive, does not have the ability to turn itself over. Nor does it want to, since it cannot think.
Toast usually lands on the floor butter-side-down. This is because of how it is dropped from a table. As the toast falls from the table, it rotates or turns. Using the average speed of rotation for a slice of toast as it falls from the table and the usual height of a table, a slice of toast that began butter-side-up on the table will land butter-side-down on the floor 81% of the time. This is because the buttered side is heavier. When an object has a heavy and light side, in most cases it will fall heavy side first.
Domestic cats usually weigh between 4 and 5 kilograms (8.8 and 11.0 pounds). A regular slice of bread weighs only one ounce and a pat of butter about one fourth ounce. So attaching a very small piece of toast with butter to a much larger cat would hardly have any effect on how the cat would move.
References[change | change source]
- Nguyen, Huy D. (1998). "How does a Cat always land on its feet?". Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Medical Engineering. Archived from the original on 10 April 2001. Retrieved 6 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Nick McDermott (3 September 2013). "Why your toast falls butter side down". Daily Mail. Retrieved 6 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Carol Himsel Daly, Maine Coon Cats: A Complete Owner's Manual, OCLC 32388968, (Barron's, 1995), p. 11.
- American Medical Association, Today's Health (November 1957), OCLC 1605170 Vol, 35, page 25.