Study Gives Cat Owners Scientific Proof That Their Pets Are Ignoring Them

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If you’re owned by a kitty, you already know it: cats do as they please. Unlike dogs, who are always in the mood to run when called, our feline overlords don’t stoop so low as to act excited when they see us. Their aloof and uninterested behavior led people to believe that cats somehow understand human communication less than dogs. But, a new study confirms what many other suspected: cats understand us perfectly fine, they just don’t care to show it.

A group of researchers from the University of Tokyo set out to explore the extent of the domestic cat’s ability to communicate with humans. To find out, Japanese scientists tried to determine if cats recognize their names when they’re called and choose to ignore it, or if it’s all just human blabbering to them. The series of tests included 78 felines, some from Tokyo’s famous cat cafes, others who live as pets with their families.

The team of scientists played the recording of four various nouns to the participating cats, followed by their name. Then, they monitored the behavior of the cats to try and ascertain if they recognized it or not. The results varied- pet cats proved to recognize their names more than cafe cats, who are probably accustomed to strangers giving them various cute nicknames. So, what was the final verdict of the study on cat-human communication? Saito, the leading researcher, says that “cats are not evolved to respond to human cues- they will communicate with humans when they want. That is the cat.”

The next time your feline friend doesn’t come when called or ignores your love-dovey summons for cuddles, don’t take it too personally. Your cat’s spurn and impassiveness don’t speak about their emotions (or lack of it)- rather, it’s just one of many cat quirks we learn to live with. In the end, ignoring you is not as bad as getting their butt right up in your face- or is that just me?