Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23
Like Tree45Likes

Thread: Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care, says study

  1. #1
    Elite Member palta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    5,780

    Default Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care, says study

    Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care, says study

    Japanese researchers tested cats' reactions to their owners, suggesting that because cats "domesticated themselves" they never needed to take notice

    James Vincent
    Wednesday, 27 November 2013


    Any cat owner will tell you that although they are sometimes kept as pets, felines are beholden to no one.

    A new study from the University of Japan has confirmed this, showing that although pet cats are more than capable of recognising their owner’s voice they choose to ignore them - for reasons that are perhaps rooted in the evolutionary history of the animal.

    Carried out by Atsuko Saito and Kazutaka Shinozuka, the study tested twenty housecats in their own homes; waiting until the owner was out of sight and then playing them recordings of three strangers calling their names, followed by their owner, followed by another stranger.

    The researchers then analysed the cats’ responses to each call by measuring a number of factors including ear, tail and head movement, vocalization, eye dilation and ‘displacement’ – shifting their paws to move.

    When hearing their names’ being called the cats displayed “orientating behaviour” (moving their heads and ears about to locate where the sound was coming from) and although they showed a greater response to their owner’s voices than strangers’, they declined to move when called by any of the volunteers.

    “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, published by Springer in the Animal Cognition journal, suggests that the reason for cats’ unresponsive behaviour might be traced back to the early domestication of the species, contrasting this with the relationship of humans to dogs.

    Recent genetic analysis has revealed that the common ancestor of the modern housecat was Felis silvestris, a species of wildcat that first came into contact with humans around 9,000 years ago. As early societies developed agriculture, these cats moved in to prey on the rodents that were attracted to stores of grain. In the words of the paper’s authors, they effectively “domesticated themselves”.

    “Historically speaking, cats, unlike dogs, have not been domesticated to obey humans’ orders. Rather, they seem to take the initiative in human–cat interaction.” This is in contrast to the history of dogs and humans, where the former has been bred over thousands of years to respond to orders and commands. Cats, it seems, never needed to learn.

    However, it's unlikely that this will dismay cat owners (or indeed, be of any surprise) and the paper notes that although “dogs are perceived by their owners as being more affectionate than cats […] dog owners and cat owners do not differ significantly in their reported attachment level to their pets”.

    The study concludes by observing that “the behavioural aspect of cats that cause their owners to become attached to them are still undetermined.”


    Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care, says study - The Independent


    ***

    I think twenty cats is a small sample for a study.
    ConstanceSpry likes this.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Froogy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,270

    Default

    “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.”
    So not true, I can whisper the word treat from two floors away and my cat will come running.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,039

    Default

    I love the thread title! LOL!

    Sometimes mine cares and sometimes....well, he doesn't.
    ConstanceSpry and Sassiness like this.
    Before you can judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He's a mile away and you've got his shoes. - Billy Connolly

  4. #4
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    26,465

    Default

    I think they should add "primates" to the title, because I've noticed this evolutionary fact with my kids, too.

  5. #5
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    8,093

    Default

    Nah, not true. All of our kitties come when they are called. Sometimes, they even "answer" while they come running.
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

  6. #6
    Elite Member Icepik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    10,725

    Default

    I had four cats at one time, all but one have since passed away (21, 18, 16 -still with me, 13), but not once did any of them acknowledge me or come when I called them. The one I still have will now come when I call his name and say, "Time to eat."
    ConstanceSpry likes this.

  7. #7
    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9,578

    Default

    My cat acknowledges me when I say her name, and she also comes when I call her. At night, I say, "Bedtime!" and she stops what she is doing and goes into our room for the night.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    exiled and ostrich sized
    Posts
    18,929

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ConstanceSpry View Post
    Nah, not true. All of our kitties come when they are called. Sometimes, they even "answer" while they come running.
    Same here. I had one who would always come running when I called him to come in for the night. I would call his name and imitate his funny meow and he would answer back. It was our little ritual. But like Icepik, I've had a few who were very aloof too. Except at feeding time, they all come running and talk then.
    ConstanceSpry likes this.
    These people don't give a fuck about YOU or us. It's a message board, for Christ's sake. ~ mrs.v ~
    ~"Fuck off! Aim higher! Get a life! Get away from me!" ~the lovely and talented Miss Julia Roberts~



  9. #9
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In the "D"
    Posts
    22,571

    Default

    They all come running when I get the cat food bag out.......
    ConstanceSpry likes this.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

    - Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Elite Member Shinola's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Smokin' with your baby
    Posts
    3,615

    Default

    I guess the researchers didn't realize the cats were too smart for them and knew it was a recording, so why go running toward it?

    Most of the cats I've had came when called, more reliably than my crazed little dog.
    ConstanceSpry and rockchick like this.
    Posted from my fucking iPhone

  11. #11
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    39,489

    Default

    My cats greet me at the door and then put their noses in the air and walk away.
    Bluebonnet and ConstanceSpry like this.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

  12. #12
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    fellow traveller
    Posts
    52,305

    Default

    mine's an affection whore. can't get enough. but he won't always come when i call. he'll always acknowledge me. sometimes he'll get up and come over, but if he doesn't want to, he just turns to me as if to ask, what? then carries on licking his balls.
    ConstanceSpry likes this.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  13. #13
    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Where it all begun
    Posts
    14,175

    Default

    Call me what you will ,but i have actual conversations with my two old boys left..
    ConstanceSpry likes this.
    "Effie is all kinds of awesome." - Some internet moderator


  14. #14
    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    the sin bin
    Posts
    14,600

    Default

    Lucy would recognise my voice and come to me when I called her, especially if I patted my knee, then she would jump up on me and sit/sleep on my lap. I miss her.
    ConstanceSpry likes this.
    Ain't nothing wrong with Ohio wang! - MontanaMama

  15. #15
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,673

    Default

    Mine care! I fell off the stool while decorating the tree and was on the floor for a few minutes and they both were walking around me. The youngest one started to lick my head. Or maybe they were just seeing if I was dead so they could feast.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Study asks: Where do cats go when they roam?
    By AliceInWonderland in forum Pets and Animals
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: July 7th, 2011, 11:35 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: July 21st, 2010, 12:44 PM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: February 10th, 2010, 05:22 PM
  4. Replies: 10
    Last Post: July 13th, 2009, 04:01 PM
  5. iPhoto's Faces feature can recognise cats
    By Honey in forum Pets and Animals
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 28th, 2009, 08:25 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •