Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why do cats ignore us?

Japanese scientists at the University of Tokyo have made a new study on cats and their interactions with humans. The result comes as no surprise to cat owners: cats hear us fine. They just don't care.

The study tested twenty house cats in their own homes and analyzed the cats' responses to calls from their owners - and strangers - through measuring ear, tail, and head movements, eye dilation, paw movement, and more. The cats did show a greater response to their owner's voice than to strangers, but couldn't be bothered with moving regardless of who called for them.

Every cat owner knows cats are independent. The interesting question is why. The study suggests the behavior might stem back to the early domestication of the species, which contrasts with the relationship between humans and dogs.

The website independent.co.uk writes, "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. They effectively 'domesticated themselves'."

Dogs, on the other hand, were domesticated to work with humans and taught to respond to orders and commands. The cats never needed to learn.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

4 comments:

  1. Our cats are really a mind of their own. We try to get them involved with us but it is always on their terms. We love them, but they are tough nuts to crack!

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    1. I used to have a cat. I swear she disappeared into an alternate dimension - I could search through the house and she was nowhere to be found. Then, she'd appear, sitting on the living room floor like she'd been there all along. When she got bored she would go up to my Border Collie and poke him until he chased her. Too funny!

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  2. A woman once told me that I don't love my cats as much as I love our dogs. What she doesn't understand is that I don't have those lap cats that love attention. My cats want to be fed, have their litter box cleaned, and get a bi-weekly brushing. The rest of the time, they want to be left alone. They'll hang out in my office with me, but ignore me the entire time. And I like them for that :)

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    1. Great points! I don't see why you would have to have the same kind of relationship with everyone you love. That doesn't mean you love one less than the other. =D

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