The experiment was done in Japan. “What we discovered is amazing,” explained Saho Takagi of Azabu University. He decided to do a study on feline pets. What did they find? That cats do recognize names.
“I want people to know the truth. Felines don’t seem to listen to people’s conversations. But in fact they do,” Takagi maintained. Households that had more than one cat were analyzed. One cat was shown a picture of a familiar cat. Then, the owner would say the name of the latter (the model cat), or say a different name.
The data spent more time looking at the picture of the familiar cat during the incongruent condition.Why? Because the kittens were puzzled or intrigued. the reason? The incongruence between the picture and the name heard. Cats do recognize the names they hear.
“Only domestic cats anticipated a specific cat face upon hearing the cat’s name, suggesting that they matched the name of the stimulus cat and the specific individual. Upon hearing a cat’s name, subjects expected the corresponding face,” the researchers noted in their paper.
In another experiment, images of humans were used this time. Attention was greater when there was a mismatch between the image and the name. And in certain cases, attention was prolonged. It happened in the cases of households that had more people living in them. Also, in homes where the cat had lived with the family for a longer period of time.
“This allowed us to get an interpretation about cats living with more people. With them they have more opportunities to hear names than cats living with fewer people. In addition, living with a family for a longer time enhances this experience.” So conclude the researchers of the study published at Scientific Reports.