Since humans and cats have cohabitated for over 10,000 years, researchers at the University of Tokyo wanted to examine cats’ and humans’ ability to communicate with one another. The latest research has confirmed that – although cats can and do recognize their owner’s voice – they choose to ignore them!
During the study, Carried out by Atsuko Saito and Kazutaka Shinozuk, researchers observed 20 cats in their homes for eight months to compare how they responded to their owners’ voices as well as the voices of strangers. Cat owners won’t be surprised to learn that only about 10 percent of the cats would actually come when called, but interestingly, the study revealed that cats do react to humans’ voices – by turning their heads or pointing their ears toward the sound. And, the reaction was noticeably stronger when the voice belonged to the cat’s owner. This proves that your cat really does recognize your voice.
via The Independent:
“These results indicate that cats do not actively respond with communicative behavior to owners who are calling them from out of sight, even though they can distinguish their owners’ voices,” write Saito and Shinozuka. “This cat–owner relationship is in contrast to that with dogs.”
The study suggests that the reason for cats’ unresponsive behavior might be attributed back to the early domestication of cats. Unlike dogs, who were trained to follow human orders, cats have basically been given free reign since the beginning. So next time your cat ignores you – blame it on evolution!