If you’re a devoted cat parent, chances are you love addressing your kitty by his/her name…only to be completely ignored.
Perhaps you thought they didn’t hear you or couldn’t understand your intentions.
Sorry pet parents, it turns out that cats do know their own names but would much prefer to blank you.
That is according to a new study based in Japan, carried out by Atsuko Saito at Sophia University.
During the research, the team visited one of Japan’s famous exports: cat cafes to analyse the way the animals’ ears, heads, tails and feet moved in response to the sound of various words.
Then, once the owner was out of sight, they played recordings of them saying four words with the same length and accent as their cat’s name, 15 seconds apart.
Finally, they then played a recording of the cat’s name.
Saito and her colleagues believed they would see a different reaction once the cat heard their name spoken.
11 out of 16 cats showed signs of getting used to the recordings. Out of those 11, nine reacted again when their name was played.
When Saito performed the same test with a stranger’s voice, 20 cats became used to the words and 13 of these responded again to their own names.
The results indicated that cats are able to discriminate their own names from other words.
However, when explaining why cats don’t always come when called, the researcher had the best response. Possibly recapping just why some cat lovers love the nature of their felines, Saito said:
“Cats are not evolved to respond to human cues. They will communicate with humans when they want. That is the cat.”