A team of researchers from Japan claims to have solved the mystery when cats remember the names of their owners and those around them. They conducted a study on 48 cats who lived in a family home or a cat cafe with at least two other pets.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from Kyoto University.
According to The Telegraph, they conducted two experiments to gain insight into cats’ cognitive abilities. In the first, the 48 cats were shown the photo of a cat they lived with.
While 29 of these cats live in a cafe, 19 were pets.
Their reactions were tracked whenever a name was mentioned – either a cat’s or nothing to do with each other at all. If the cat stared at a photo for longer, scientists said it was a clear sign that the cat knows the real name of the pictured animal.
The 19 cats from family homes stared longer at the photo when the cat whose name was mentioned was not visible.
“Domestic cats pay more attention to the monitor if it is called the wrong name, suggesting a ‘expectation violation effect,'” the researchers wrote in the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports.
A separate experiment was conducted with 26 cats who were shown a picture of their owners or their own. The researchers found that the power of connection was stronger for fellow cats than for humans, but they did demonstrate the ability to learn their owners’ names.
“This study provides evidence that cats link a companion’s name and its face without explicit training,” the scientists said in the study.
The larger the family and the longer they are with the group, the more likely they are to remember a name, she added.
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