British Columbia Sun

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Cats can trace your ‘invisible presence’ utilizing only ears

Key points: 

  • You’re rummaging through cupboards and cracks attempting to search your cat’s latest favourite hiding place. 
  • At that hour, cats may be keeping cerebral tabs on you also. 

Cat’s hearing capabilities researched:

The latest study out of Japan discovered that a stationary cat can trace its owner’s location utilizing audio prompts, specifically the owner’s voice. 

Saho Takagi, the first creator of the study and a doctoral student at Kyoto University, said she has consistently been interested in cats’ hearing capabilities. She’s a cat person all around but said her best part is their ears. Cats have delicate ears that can do movement in various directions. 

“I saw a cat with only one of its ears tilted back, listening to the sound behind it, and felt that cats must be thinking about many things from the sound,” Takagi said in an email to CNN. “This time, I investigated whether they map their owner’s position spatially from sounds.” Source –

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The study which happened in a home setting and at a cat cafe noticed how the cats would behave to their owner’s voice without optical signs by utilizing speakers that played an audiotape of the owner saying their cat’s names.

The further discoveries located the speakers apart from each other, out of the cat’s eyesight, to visualize how the cats would react to the sounds, especially if the owner’s voice seemed to teleport from one spot to another. Another group of individuals, who were not animal behaviour professionals, rated the cat’s level of shock from a scale of 0 to 4, based on reactions like ear and head movements. 

“It is generally believed that cats are not as interested in their owners as dogs are, but it turns out that they were mentally representing the invisible presence of their owners,” Takagi said.

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