How to properly call cats: a method that pets will definitely respond to

Yulia PoteriankoLife
You can engage a cat by combining vocal signals with gestures

Sometimes in the debate about who is smarter - cats or dogs - one of the most important arguments is the ability of dogs to respond accurately to their owners' calls, whereas cats often ignore any attempts to attract their attention. French scientists claim that the reason is probably that we simply call them incorrectly.

An interesting study was reported by Gizmodo. It was conducted by scientists from the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology and Cognition at the University of Paris Nanterre. They specialize in studying the interaction between cats and humans.

In October 2022, a team of researchers led by Charlotte de Mouzon found that cats can easily distinguish their owner's voice among human voices. Moreover, the animal understands well when this person is just saying something and when he or she is addressing it. And it is the combination of these two factors that can attract a cat's attention.

After that, scientists decided to find out how to call an unfamiliar animal. To do this, they conducted a series of experiments with 12 cats living in a cat cafe. It turned out that the felines most often responded to a combination of two signals at once - voice and visual. But when people completely ignored the animals, they looked more tense.

According to de Mouzon, human communication involves a whole palette of signals: voice, intonation, facial expressions, and gestures. Her group assumes that the same approach should work with cats.

In the first stage of the research, the scientist accustomed the experimental animals to her presence. Then she tested several scenarios on them. After the cat entered the room where Muzon was performing one of the actions:

  • Called the animal but made no gestures;
  • Pointed at the cat but remained silent;
  • Simultaneously called to the experimental animal and gestured toward it;
  • Ignored the presence of the cat.

The third scenario, which combined voice signals and gestures, worked best. This way, the animals approached the scientist faster. This experiment also revealed that cats responded better when they received only a visual signal than when they received only a voice signal. But, according to the researchers, this approach will be effective only when communicating with unfamiliar animals. On the contrary, an animal that has been familiar with a person for a long time will respond better to a voice.

Another conclusion that the scientists managed to make is that cats wagged their tails more often when they received only a voice stimulus and when they did not respond to them at all. In the cat's body language, this gesture indicates the animal's anxiety, stress, and discomfort. Thus, the researchers suggested that the complete lack of response to them is unpleasant for cats.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you why, according to scientists, cats purr. 

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