Up or down? The Internet debates photo of cat on stairs

After the recent online furore over the colour of a dress, a furry feline is now dividing the Internet world.

Dubbed #catgate, an ambiguous black-and-white photo of a tabby cat poised on the middle of what appears to be a flight of steps has had netizens scratching their heads over whether it is going up or down the stairs.

The photo, which was first posted on 9gag.com, has sparked off a storm of comments. Several videos were also posted on YouTube attempting to explain the optical illusion.

Many theories abound, with some attempting to use animal physiology to prove their point.

One user on Facebook wrote: "It's going down. When cats go down the stairs, they raise their tail to mantain balance.

"When they go up, the tails remain down cause balance isn't an issue."

But the raised ridges on the edge of each step, some argue, are proof that the cat is moving up.

A later post by 9gag claims to have solved the conundrum using an architect's approach.

Or if you're having a headache staring at the photo, take a cue from the trolls: that the cat is stationary in the photo and going nowhere.