Despite humans’ long lasting relationship with cats, there are still many mysteries to the feline mind. Their preference of GU jeans and fear of circles are but a few of the many secrets locked behind those stoic eyes.
However, researchers at Kyoto University and Azabu University in Kanagawa have been steadily learning more and more about cats’ psyches. Their latest research has found that in homes where three or more cats reside, they can learn each other’s names.
This was determined in a similar way to Kyoto University’s 2016 study which found that cats have a rudimentary understanding of physics. Nineteen test subjects were shown photos of different cats on a computer, including ones that they cohabitate with, while also saying a name. In instances where cats the subjects knew were displayed but a different name was called out, the subjects would stare at the image for about a second longer than usual, indicating that they realize something is not right and are in thought.
▼ “Oh jeez, I’ve been pronouncing it ‘Cumberbunch’ this whole time.”
But before you go thinking, “Aha! I knew that cat I lent money to was just pretending it didn’t know me,” a similar study was carried out with human faces and names, but with less successful results. Test subjects didn’t seem to acknowledge mismatched humans as clearly as they had with other cats, but the research found that the longer-lasting the relationship and the larger the family of the home the cat lives in, the more likely it is to remember human names.
Research fellow Saho Takagi with Azabu Unviersity explained to NHK that she herself is a cat fancier and wanted to learn …continue reading