According to Scientific Reports, researchers have discovered that a cat can distinguish its name from other random sounds.
Have you wondered whether your cat's ignoring you because it can't understand its name? Some researchers from Japan did, so they tried to figure it out. And the result may disappoint you...
So if your cat does not react when you call it, maybe it's because it's bored of you.
Matthew Gault is an author on Vice and he loves cats. At home, Gault raised two cats named Fade and Alucard. The cats can understand their names. Every time Gault called, they knew he was calling.
"Suppose I was sleeping and Alucard wanted me to fill the water plate, the boy would bite my face. I shouted his name but he just got more excited. Alucard knew I would wake up and fill the plate with water for him," said Gault.
Even Fade is the same. Gault often works long on the computer, and sometimes it made his cats feel abandoned. Fade would then go into the office and hiss at Gault, she called out until Gault had to leave the desk.
When Fade started screaming in annoyance, "I rebelled the name of the little girl, but she kept screaming, I shouted her name bigger, then she screamed even louder. After that, I had to logged out and let the girl sit on my lap," Gault said.
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Unlike dogs that will run back as soon as you call their names, cats rarely do that (they are cats after all). When you call the name of a cat, they can only snap their tail, glancing at you like a strange creature.
Could this make you think cats are too stupid to know their names? No, according to Gault. Cats may react or not react when you call them, but they certainly know the name you call them.
What Gault believed was a scientific study published in Scientific Report. In particular, scientists from Sophia University in Tokyo demonstrate: Cats can distinguish their names in a list of other words that people say.
They performed four experiments on domestic cats and cats raised in coffee shops. First, the scientists recorded a list of words, including their names and names of other cats. The recordings were made with the voice of the owner of the cats and strangers.
The results show that most cats appear happy when human voices begin to take off. Some children will wag their tails, have a wriggling ear-ear, and some will call to respond to the sounds coming from the speakers.
But as the recording continues to play with consecutive words in the list, the cats start to get bored and ignore it. Things change only when they hear their names coming out.
The domestic cats sitting in the study immediately stood up. Worth mentioning is that domestic cats can recognize their names among a bunch of common nouns, even when strangers call them. So are the cats in the cafe.
This also leads to a question: Can cats recognize the names of other cats that live with it? It was a phenomenon that Gault observed on his two cats.
"When I quarreled with Fade, the quarrel often caused me to say his name in a scolding voice. Alucard usually only slept and nothing. He knew I was only yelling at Fade alone, only when calling. When he came to Alucard, he would wake up, "he said.
Experiments by Japanese scientists also show that domestic cats can distinguish their names from other cats. However, the cats in the cafe did not.
Explaining this difference, they hypothesize that cats can distinguish the words people say, especially recognizing their own names, because the name of the cat is a prominent stimulus.
Domestic cats often hear their names the most and those name calls may be linked to rewards, such as food, caressing or playing with the owner.
However, in a cat cafe environment, these stimuli can be confusing. For example, many cafes provide customers with a menu with cat names in them. When the customer calls the cat A, the cat B snuggles into them first.
Usually the guest still caresses and plays with the cat B. At this point, the cat B may mistake his name as A.
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"Cats are very sensitive to differences in human speech characteristics," the scientists said. "Some owners also insist that their cats can recognize their own names and words related to food."
However, through this study, we can understand that cats recognize their names are just from repeated stimuli when you call and feed them or caress. Although people have been following people for thousands of years, cats still cannot understand human language.
In short, you can call a cat to caress, but don't be afraid it will eavesdrop on your phone.
Watch next: How to Train a Cat to Come When Called