Nov 29, 2013 07:26 AM EST
Cats Choose to Ignore Owner’s Voice, Study
"I Dont Care!" is probably a cat's catchphrase.
Japanese researchers have found that even though they identify their owner's voice, cats simply choose to ignore the call.
Unlike their canine counterparts, cats do not respond to their owner's call as they have learnt to domesticate themselves, according to University of Japan study. Researchers said that cats haven't depended on human voice for instruction throughout their evolutionary process.
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Cats are generally known for being aloof and independent species when compared to dogs.
For the study, the researchers observed twenty cats and analysed their responses to each call by measuring their movement, vocalization and eye dilation. They found that when owners called their cats by name (out of sight), they just moved their heads in the direction of the noise and pricked up their ears in response. Cats were found to be equally less responsive when the same experiment was conducted with a stranger's voice.
As a result, in both the cases, they identified the call but chose not to respond it.
"This cat-owner relationship is in contrast to that with dogs. Cats do not actively respond with communicative behaviour to owners who are calling them from out of sight, even though they can distinguish their owners' voices," Atsuko Saito and Kazutaka Shinozuka, the researchers who led the project, said, Daily Mail UK reports.
"Historically speaking, cats, unlike dogs, have not been domesticated to obey humans' orders. Rather, they seem to take the initiative in human-cat interaction."
Despite the attitude, owners say cats are as affectionate as dogs.
The study has been published in the journal Animal Cognition.