Cats have been found to be able to remember the names of relatives and people around them

(ORDO NEWS) — Although cats tend to be more aloof than dogs, they are much more attached to people than we think.

In a new study, Japanese scientists found that these pets not only remember their own names, but also learn the names of other familiar cats, as well as the people with whom they live next.

Usually cats seem to us less attached to humans than, say, dogs, but recently there is a growing body of research reporting a strong bond between furry purrs and their bipedal owners.

Cats are indeed able to communicate with us to some extent, while they may prefer human interaction to toys or food, and also track the movements of their owners, even if they are in another room.

In a 2019 study , it was convincingly shown that cats recognize their names, distinguishing them from other human words.

In a new article published in the journal Scientific Reports , knowledge about the capabilities of cats expands even more: it turns out that our pets learn not only their own nicknames, but also the names of familiar relatives, as well as people with whom they often interact.

It may seem a little strange to know that your cat remembers the names of the household and, say, the cats of the neighbors. But it is already known that dogs remember the names of hundreds of different things, and in this respect, feline abilities are not so surprising.

A group of Japanese scientists tested 48 cats: 29 of them lived in so-called cat cafes , the remaining 19 were domestic but lived with at least two other cats.

The experiment consisted of the following: a cat sitting in front of the screen was shown a photo of another cat with which she lived in the same house / cafe, after which the owner’s voice either called the name of the animal depicted in the photo, or the name of someone else.

Pets looked at the computer screen for longer if the “wrong” name was called: they may have been puzzled by the discrepancy between the image and the name. Meanwhile, the cats from the cafe did not show such a gaze delay.

This was probably due to the large number of animals cohabiting in one cafe (on average, almost a dozen cats lived in each of the five cafes) and a lesser degree of acquaintance with each of them.

In another experiment, the researchers ran a similar test, but instead of a picture of a cat, they used pictures of people as a stimulus. The cats were shown a picture of the person with whom they lived, after which they called his name or any other.

Pets again studied the screen for longer when the photo and name did not match, and the study time was positively correlated with the number of people in the house where the cat lives and the length of her life with this family.

The researchers concluded that animals living with a large number of people are more likely to remember the names of “two-legged neighbors” (because they will inevitably call each other) than cats living in small families.

The longer the pet lived in the house, the more likely it was that he would associate the name and image of the corresponding person.

Cats have been found to be able to remember the names of relatives and people around them
Cats don’t always show us this, but they seem to pay more attention to people than they seem

While the researchers say their work provides “the first evidence that domestic cats associate human words and specific images as social experience accumulates,” this is still a fairly small experiment (only dozens of cats involved), so the results should be called only preliminary.

In order to fully appreciate the social learning potential of our meowing pets, more research will be required involving more of these animals.


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