Kaeden Griffin took original thinking to an entirely new level in his sixth-grade science project.
Black cat looking away from the camera, back side in main view
Credit: Grace Cary / Getty

Putting on underwear is as much of a routine as brushing teeth. Underwear offers comfort, support, and cleanliness—to name just a few benefits. People have been donning undergarments dating back 7,000 years, according to this article from a British online newspaper. And it's safe to assume that most of us don't sit around questioning the importance of our delicates.

So, here's a twist…have you ever wondered why your cat is exempt from the undergarment category? All joking aside, don't their underwear-less hiney's touch everything in your household? From sitting on the kitchen counter to your bedroom pillow, you've got to admit your cat's backside makes the rounds.

This same question perplexed a clever Tennessee sixth-grader named Kaeden Griffin. While most of us would live the rest of our lives speculating, Griffin decided to find real scientific explanations. When deciding what subject to tackle for his upcoming homeschool science fair project, it was a no-brainer. The title to his experiment: "Does Your Cat's Butthole Really Touch All the Surfaces in Your Home?" Yep, you read that correctly. 

Applying the scientific method, Griffin started with a purpose, hypothesis, and collected data. According to his mom Kerry's Facebook page and PopSugar reporting, Griffin carefully applied nontoxic red lipstick to the anus of two very docile cats. Kerry says the cats were then given a series of commands like sit, wait, lie down, and jump up. The well-behaved cats were rewarded with treats. We're guessing they probably wondered what in the world their human friends were up to this time. 

As for the results...Kerry shared her son's findings on Facebook saying, "Long- and medium-haired cats' buttholes made no contact with soft or hard surfaces at all." She goes on to say that the hind ends of the short-haired cats made no contact on hard surfaces, but they did see evidence of a slight smear on the soft bedding surface. "If you have a short-haired cat and they may be lying on a pile of laundry, an unmade bed, or other soft, uneven [surface], then their butthole may touch those surfaces," Kerry says.  

Kerry and Griffin concluded their findings by saying that it's unlikely your cat's bottoms will touch all the surfaces in your home. Of course, a bigger study is needed to confirm Griffin's findings, but for now, cat owners can breathe a sigh of relief. Turns out, cats (or at least their hind-ends!) might not be the germ-spreaders we may have originally thought. 

If they could read the report for themselves, we have a feeling cats everywhere would hail Griffin a feline hero for solidifying their carefree and commando lifestyle! As for Griffin, his mom told POPSUGAR that Kaeden "most definitely got an A+."