Cats can be a difficult pet. It’s almost impossible to tell if they love you, and up to 80 per cent of the time they seem to ignore you – unless, of course, they desire food or 2.3 seconds of cuddles. It’s also hard to tell if your cat recognises their name, especially as most cats like to treat their doting parents with cold indifference.
However, a team of Japanese researchers have discovered the truth about cats, and published their study findings in the journal Scientific Reports.
As it turns out, cats can 100 per cent recognize their names when you call them.
The researchers conducted their experiment in Japan using 78 cats, which were measured for their reaction when both strangers and their owners read out their name. To ensure that the cats were not just responding to sound, the participants first read out a list of random nouns, before slipping in the cats’ names. Then the scientists watched to see if their ears pricked up, their heads moved or they displayed signs of excitement such as tail movement.
Hilariously, the team found that while cats almost always moved their ears and heads in response to their names, the cats rarely demonstrated excitement.
In their conclusion, the study team wrote that “From the results of all experiments, it thus appears that at least cats living in ordinary households can distinguish their own names from general words and names of other cats. This is the first experimental evidence showing cats’ ability to understand human verbal utterances.”
John Bradshaw of the University of Bristol told The Australian that “Cats are just as good as dogs at learning. They’re just not as keen to show their owners what they’ve learnt.”
What a surprise.
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