Critical Reasoning: Assumption Questions
Veterinarians reported a decrease in the rate of visits by sick cats last year. It can be concluded that the health level of the pet cat population is improving.
The argument's conclusion relies on which of the following assumptions?
Dogs are outside the scope of the argument. The assumption needs to connect the premise to the conclusion. This answer choice, by stating another reported fact by veterinarians, is connected to the premise but is not connected to the argument's conclusion (the health level of the pet cat population is improving).
Death was mentioned in neither the premise nor the conclusion. Therefore, death is outside the scope of this argument, which deals with sickness versus health. The assumption needs to be hidden within the argument, meaning that it must directly connect between the premise and the conclusion.
Cat food was mentioned in neither the premise nor the conclusion, so it's unlikely that the author assumed anything about the cats' nutrition. The assumption needs to be hidden within the argument, meaning that it must directly connect between the premise and the conclusion.
The argument deals with cats in general, not just Siamese cats. Remember, you should be looking for the assumption that links the given premise to the conclusion. Since Siamese cats are not mentioned in either, they cannot logically be a part of this link.
If the author does not assume that the owners took their cats to the vet whenever they were sick, then the veterinarians' report loses its relevance since there could have been more sick cats than before - the veterinarians just wouldn't know about them. Since the conclusion is based on the number of visits reported by veterinarians, the author must assume that these visits represent every time a cat was sick.