A family was disturbed when they spotted what looked like a dog's severed head on the roof – only to realise it was an optical illusion.

In the clip, filmed on December 23 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a man is recording what looks like the head of a golden retriever-type dog with pale fur, two eyes, and a snout.

A woman then starts making "psst" noises towards the furry object and it suddenly spins around, revealing itself to be a cat with markings on its bum that look just like a mutt's face.

The man who filmed the video in Chapéu do Sol said: "We found the cat in the video by chance from our balcony.

"When my girlfriend saw it, she asked, 'Is that a dog on the roof?' Her mother said it was a cat. We couldn't believe it."

The video has been watched hundreds of times and people admitted it spooked them but they were relieved when it turned out to be a living animal and not just a head.

One user confessed: "Holy s*** that actually scared me a little."

"Same here, what a relief when it was a cat after all," chimed in somebody else.

A third viewer commented: "I don't believe my own eyes."

"I thought it was a dog waiting to be rescued," wrote a fourth person.

Meanwhile, others thought it was a chicken and some even said they knew it was a cat right from the beginning.

A similar optical illusion had people scratching their heads because it claimed to show seven horses in a picture – but most people can only spot five of them.

People were also baffled by a painting showing faces in rock formations and apparently only the most observant people can spot 10 or 11.

What do you think the weird animal looks like? A cat or a dog? Let us know in the comments

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