The cat is not as haughty and independent an animal as it seems. A French scientific study published in Animal Cognition reveals that felines understand us and are interested in us… but only if we talk to them like babies.
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To reach this conclusion, these ethologists from the University of Paris-Nanterre locked 16 cat owners with their pets in a specially equipped room. In this room there were toys for cats, scratching posts, hiding places, small circuits in the height. The experiment took place at the Maisons-Alfort veterinary school with students from the school and their cats.
These researchers first recorded people’s voices in a normal tone, the one used when talking to another adult. So with a slightly silly tone, the one you use when you talk to your cat. Then they had the cats listen to the different types of sentences spoken by their owners and by strangers.
Cats react wonderfully. Their interest wanes when their owner speaks to them in a classic voice. But when their human starts talking stupid to them, they change their attitude. They either prick their ears or stop grooming, others turn to their owner or go to him.
More amazing: it only works with the owner of the cat. Unlike dogs who react to anyone who talks to them like babies. Probably because they are used to meeting more people than cats during their walks.
This study teaches us that it’s in our best interest to talk to our cat like a baby, even if we don’t always assume to look stupid. Because it is important to have a good relationship with your pet. One of the authors of this study, Charlotte de Mouzon, believes that this is a matter of animal welfare and our welfare. The cat is a companion, it is part of the family and it needs to be encouraged because these little balls of fur do us a lot of good. This is also proven by scientific studies.