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Cats react to their names, Research finds: NPR



A street kitty looks out of a panel of lights in Cyprus in 2018.

Hasan Jamali / AFP / Getty Images


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Hasan Jamali / AFP / Getty Images

A street kitty looks out of the panel of lights in Cyprus in 2018.

Hassan Jamali / AFP / Getty Images

Call the dog for him and his ponytail wakes up, he starts to choke hard, and he draws you from love and affection.

Call the cat for him and … well, the cat is a bit harder to read. Does a cat know his name?

Thus, researchers in Japan have set themselves the task of answering the question: Can a cat understand the difference between his name and any other random word that sounds like this?

thin compared to dog studies. This may be because cats may not be interested in participating in experiments. But in a study published Thursday in the journal Japanese researchers have developed a way to get results, whether they care about cooperation.

The researchers conducted a series of experiments in which a person speaks four different words, and then tell him a cat. According to the study, the selected words were "nouns with the same length and accents as their own names." If the cat did not act differently when she heard her, the scientists would know that the cat can distinguish her from other words.

The reason for pronouncing four words before the name was to "teach" cats – or to get them accustomed to hear spoken words. Cats often move head or ears when they hear words, but this answer decreases after four words. Only then is the time to tell them – and see how the cats responded.

The researchers conducted several variants of the experiment, all of them were in the house of the cat, with the owner outside the zone. In one version, the researchers played the owner's record, saying four words with a 15-second pause between each, and then the cat's name. In another variant, an unfamiliar voice will speak words and words. Sometimes the words were not just nouns but the names of the other cats that lived in the house

In any case, the results were clear: most cats moved their heads or ears in response to their own. Researchers, researchers have shown, showed that cats can identify their own names among other similar words.

"We conclude that cats can distinguish the meaning of human expressions on the basis of phonemic differences," the researchers wrote. "This is the first experimental data that shows the ability of cats to understand human verbal expressions."

Do cats understand that the name represents their identity? This part is unclear, said the leading author of the study of Atsuko Saito from the University of Sofia in Tokyo. It's clear that his cat is "a clear stimulus," researchers said, and may be rewarded with food, caresses, and game. "

So, does he not spoil himself as a sprout, she

Jennifer Wonk, a professor at the University of Auckland, who specializes in animal knowledge, told the NPR via email that she likes a research methodology that does not require much preparation and can be made in an environment where the cats were comfortable. "I agree with the authors that he can not tell us if cats present their names as a label identifying them, but it's interesting that they take on it as a special signal, Awarded with awards, such as food and caresses, "he said Mr. Wonk, who did not participate in the study.

The study found one minor exception for cats that recognized their name: cats that lived with others in a cat. These cats could distinguish their name from random nouns, but not from the names of other cats.The researchers offered several possible explanations – perhaps different cafe customers call their names with different intonations, or maybe the customers say their cat without offering a reward. "For example, if the visitor calls cat A, but cat B is approaching the visitor, and cat B gets caresses and delicacies instead of cat A," which makes name discrimination less relevant for these cats, "the researchers wrote.

Peter Pongräch, a professor specializing in animal behavior studies at the University of Euthhos Lorand in Budapest, said by e-mail that the study was "very thoughtful", noting that the sample, which actually showed "interesting results", was somewhat small. 19659008] Pongracz defended the tendency of cats to not react when called, compared with dog obedience. Dogs have been taken out for millennia to be easy to learn and to respond to people, he said. Although cats were also domesticated for a long time, people did not display as much money as possible to teach them to respond. "Most cats are very well combined with people, just being cute," said Pongrach.

If a cat is less likely to admit, it does not mean that they are individualistic or anti-social, he said. Cats react in their own way. "As Japanese research has shown, cats react to theirs, not necessarily fast running to their owner, but maybe with a simple, subtle tune-up of their ears."

So, lovers of cats take into account. Even if your cat does not congratulate you with the same fire as a dog, he also loves you.

Maybe.
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