Does your cat understand when you talk to him? A scientific study has the answer - THECHOWANIECS.COM

Does your cat understand when you talk to him? A scientific study has the answer

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When you talk to your cat, do you think he understands you? French researchers studied the behavior of several cats and found the answer.

Your cat understands when you speak to him: you are convinced of this by seeing his reaction. But is this really the case? How do cats perceive and respond to human speech? To finally have an answer to this question, three French researchers published a study at the end of October. Charlotte de Mouzon, Marine Gonthier and GĂ©rard Leboucher are ethologists, i.e. specialists in animal behaviour. Their work was published in the scientific journal Pet cognition.

Sixteen cats participated in the study. Their masters are students of the Maisons-Alfort veterinary school in the Paris region. The experiment was conducted in a classroom equipped with cat toys and litter boxes.

Normal voice and “baby” voice

First experience. The cats are in the room. Their masters sit beside them. One recording broadcasts the voices of their masters asking five questions such as “do you want to play?” or “do you want something to eat?” The first three questions are asked in a normal voice, as if the masters were addressing another human being. The fourth question is asked in a “baby” voice because man often assumes a higher pitch when addressing his animal with back vowels. That fifth again with a normal tone.

The researchers also observed and noted the cats’ behavior: does he look for where the sound is coming from, does he turn his head or does he stop grooming, for example. On the first three questions, the cats became less and less attentive, varying from 13/20 to 4/20. At the baby’s voice, attention increased to 14/20. On the fifth question, attention dropped to 6/20.

Different experience. It was identical to the first, except that cats heard another human’s voice, not their master’s. The level of attention decreased continuously from 15/20 to 5/20. This voice the baby’s voice made them not react.

The cat responds to a certain voice from its master

It appears from this study, identified by Western Francethat cats understand that you are talking to them, but that they only respond to their master’s voice when he speaks to them in a certain way.

“For decades we thought that cats were very independent creatures who only cared about having food and shelter,” explains Charlotte de Mouzon in her study. The study shows “evidence of the attachment that exists between cats and humans”.

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