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Common cat behavior logic would tell us that cats are indifferent or unconcerned about human behavior, but this does not mean that they are unaware of our moods and feelings. Let’s uncover some things that you may not have known about your feline friend.
Cats ignore your calls because they are wired to be that way!
Cats are not as indifferent as they might seem; in fact they are quite perceptive of human gestures. You are probably shaking your head in disagreement wondering how cats, who plain ignore your calls and commands are perceptive. Researchers say that while cats do register the calls and commands from their owners, they choose to ignore it, as they are wired that way. Researchers from Japan found from a study that cats could tell the voices of their owners from others, even when it was just recordings and the person was not actually around.
Cats showed subtle responses such as dilated pupils or perked up ears when they identified the voices of their owners when the recording was played. So why do cats act aloof then? According to researchers, this is a basic survival instinct in cats. Cats in the wild try and hide their emotions when they are hurt or ill, as if they did show any reactions, it would make them vulnerable to predators. Cats may be showing the same aloofness in domestic scenarios as well.
Cats pick up on human mood cues
Researchers from Michigan carried out a study to see if cats recognized human behavioral changes. What they noticed was that cats reacted differently on seeing their owners frown than when they smiled. When the owners smiled, cats responded in a positive manner too by either purring or hopping onto their lap. Researchers also noticed that the cats were keen on spending time around the owner when they showed positive emotions like smiles as opposed to frowns. When the same test was repeated with strangers, cats seemed to be indifferent to their moods and emotions.
Researchers say that cats may be identifying such behavior in their owners, due to the actions that are associated with it. For instance, you probably have a better chance of pampering your cat with treats when you are in good spirits as opposed to otherwise. So it does not come as a surprise that the cats in the research were more keen on being around their owners when they were all smiles, as they probably associated it with rewards or other positive actions. It’s no selfish act; it’s similar to what happens in a society. When you’re put in the same social environment, we all depend on each other at some point of time. The fact that cats have a similar limbic system (associated with thought process and emotions) to humans only confirms this further.