Cats understand you when you're gaga - THECHOWANIECS.COM

Cats understand you when you’re gaga

In the face of the adoration they are given, cats have the annoying tendency to be very (very) not very expressive. But are they real? A study published on Animal Cognition and highlighted by ScienceAlert rejects any kind of ignorance. On the contrary, the owners would be the little darlings of their four-legged animals. Luck!

In a series of experiments conducted on sixteen domestic cats, the research team showed that felines know their master’s voice and behave differently when he speaks to them. To reach this conclusion, the researchers played different audio recordings for each animal, first from interactions with its handler. In the following recording, the owner repeated the same speech, but this time he assumed a tone intended for a human. Finally, a stranger repeated the words, imitating the master’s intonation.

The results are unanimous: cats distinguish between speech intended for humans and speech directed specifically at them. At the sound of a familiar voice, many froze and wagged their tails from side to side. Others blinked, moved their ears, stopped grooming, or even yawned back, but only when the words were spoken in a register reserved for a small furry ball. In contrast, when a stranger spoke in the same way, the animal showed no interest, but just went ahead.

The observation therefore suggests that domestic cats, which are not used to being in the presence of strangers, have only learned to decipher the nuances of their master’s speech. “It emphasizes the importance of the individual relationships we have with these animals”specifies the authors and author of the study.

A special cat language?

Work published in Scientific Reports in 2017 and Animal Cognition in 2018 revealed that an owner more easily attracted his pet’s attention when he used specific language such as “Who is the most beautiful?”. A loud voice, short and repetitive phrases, usually used in the presence of small children, are also required to entice our four-legged friends. To arouse even more affection, some also like to put more air in their voice. But beware the inconveniences: the postilions are not pleasant for anyone.

Although the authors claim that the results promise well for the understanding of our pets, the presented study has limitations given its small panel: all felines had a similar lifestyle, lived in apartments and with a unique owner. Other research will be conducted with different profiles, especially in households where the cat has multiple masters. War will soon be declared over who is the treasure of the household.

In the meantime, keep going gaga with your cat: that’s how he understands you best.

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