Cats and the art of turning a deaf ear

Cats and the art of turning a deaf ear

June 19, 2019

We've always known that cats are independently-minded free spirits. We now have the proof! A recent study has shown that cats recognize the voices of their owners and know their names... but that they can't really be bothered! Japanese researchers played recordings of their master's voices and those of 3 unknown people to 20 cats. They studied the cats' reactions, noting movements of the head, ears and tail, as well as dilatation of the pupils. The conclusion? While cats know their names and react to their owner's voice, the notion of interest wasn't a part of the equation. Contrary to dogs—who learned to hunt and herd animals which required them to respond to human commands, cats have never had to answer to people … a fact which may help explain feline behaviour. About 10,000 years ago, with the advent of agriculture, cats and humans began to cross paths. Cats were attracted to the rodents drawn to crops and, in return for keeping the pest population down, people started to feed cats. Ultimately, researchers believe that cats domesticated themselves … in their own best interest, we might be tempted to add! (Louise Dugas)

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