Have you ever been in your house and no matter where you are in your home, it always seems like your cat knows precisely where you are? Well, it might not be quite as coincidental as you may think.
Cats often get a bad rap as being aloof and cold towards everyone in their world. However, most cat owners know that the stereotype is quite wrong.
They’ve actually got a very affectionate and loving side to them. In fact, our cats can be quite needy in their own little way.
There is actually research now to back that up. In 2019, a study published in PLOS One proved that cats are actually much more attached to us than we might think. In fact, they often track us throughout the home!
A group of Japanese scientists, headed by Saho Takagi from the department of psychology at Kyoto University, observed that our cats do, indeed, keep tabs on our whereabouts at home. Even if they’re not in the same room as us, they use clues within their environments to piece together where we might be in the home. They’re like furry little stalkers!
The researchers conducted an experience where they recorded the voices of cat owners calling out their cats’ names, as well as the voices of strangers and the sounds of other cats. The experiment was then conducted by playing the different recordings while observing the reactions of the cats.
They found that the cats showed the greatest amount of surprise when hearing their owner’s voices – especially since they had previously seen their owners exit the room. Given these results, it would suggest that our cats are mentally mapping out where we might be throughout the home.
The researchers noted, “Results showed that cats were surprised when their owner appeared to be ‘teleported’ to a new, unexpected location, but they did not react in the same way when tested with non-social stimuli. These results suggest that cats hold a mental representation of the unseen owner and map their owner’s location from the owner’s voice, showing evidence of socio-spatial cognition.”
What do you think of these findings? Do you think it means our cats love us more than they let on? Let us know what you think!
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