Last Updated on May 1, 2022 by Pets Feed
Although many believe that dogs understand people much better than cats, this is just a stereotype. Cats do not understand people any worse than their “colleagues”, but they need mutual understanding from their owners.
Most animal research in the last ten or twenty years has focused on the cognitive and social skills of dogs. The idea has been promoted that dogs are ideal companions for humans, having evolved with us and possessing a number of skills aimed specifically at communicating and understanding people.
But what about cats?
New scientific research on cats offers plenty of evidence that cats have highly developed social-cognitive skills. However, unlike dogs and dog-human interactions, which have been widely studied, much less is known about who cats are, what skills they have developed to understand and communicate with humans, and how to ensure a good human relationship. But cats, like dogs, can bond with their owners, follow visual cues (like when their owner points to an object), follow a human gaze, and recognize and respond to audio messages from their owner.
The majority of people in a study conducted by Peter Pongratz and Julianna Sulamit Sapu agreed that assessing your cat’s internal state is not easy. In particular, people didn’t understand what the cats were trying to convey with their meows other than that they “want something.” In contrast, humans are quite good at assessing the emotional content of dog vocalizations, especially barking.
However, a recent study from Tokyo not only proved that domestic cats have evolved to understand human language quite well, but also revealed more details about how cats communicate and what they want to tell us.
Declaration of love
Have you ever noticed how your cat blinks slowly when completely relaxed? It’s a way for cats to show how much they love you.
So why not let them know you love them too, in cat language. The next time you see your cat relaxed, make eye contact and blink slowly. He’ll probably blink too! Do you see? Your feelings are mutual!
Cats are cautious and, as many believe, arrogant animals. Indeed, very often you can observe how the cat defiantly lies down next to you, turning its back to you. But the problem is by no means in the arrogance and obnoxiousness of your cat, by substituting “his rear” for you, he subconsciously demonstrates complete confidence.
Cats usually greet each other by lightly touching their noses.
Why not say hello to the cat in his language? Bend your index finger in the shape of a cat’s nose, sit down, and slowly reach out to the cat. Chances are the cat will lightly touch your finger with its nose to greet you.
Well, if you have a trusting relationship with a cat, you can even turn your real nose at it. This greeting works great too.
Speak more calmly
When talking to a cat, it’s best to speak in a soft voice, as cats have very sensitive hearing. So don’t be surprised if cats run away when you speak to them in the tone of an army sergeant.
Unlike dogs, which can bark for a variety of reasons, cat’s meow much less often and usually to get attention.
Therefore, when your cat meows, give him time and his needs, he does not often ask for it.
Meow or respond “humanely”?
All owners are divided into two types: those who respond to the cat in “its” language, and those who speak to cats like people. One of the unique characteristics of human-cat interaction is precisely this use of cat vocalization by humans. Although many people talk to their dog and often use something like a playful, childish tone, dog owners rarely bark or growl at their dog. However, many cat owners’ meow and purr in response to their pets. It’s not yet clear which responses cats prefer, but research by Peter Pongratz and Julianna Shulamit Sapu has shown what can be said about a person judging by how they communicate with a cat:
- Young owners are more likely than older ones to imitate cat vocalizations
- Owners who play with their cat more often also use cat vocalizations more often
- Owners who respond to meows from unfamiliar cats are more likely to interact with their own cat in “her” language
- People with a higher level of education are less likely to use cat vocalizations and are more likely to talk to their cat like a human. Pongratz and Sapu suggest that people with higher levels of education tend to “show stronger anthropocentric attitudes toward their pets,” resulting in less frequent imitation of vocalizations.