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Frank Hovis

We Domesticated Dogs, Cats Chose Us

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Well that would explain their independent nature.

And the study proves that cats are now unresponsive to their owners because they didn’t need to take notice of humans throughout the evolutionary process.

Researchers found that when owners couldn’t be seen and called to their cats by name, the pets moved their heads in the direction of the noise and pricked up their ears in response.

When the same experiment was carried out with a stranger’s voice, the cats were found to be significantly less responsive.

In both cases, they recognised the call and choose not to respond to it.

Atsuko Saito and Kazutaka Shinozuka, the researchers who led the project, said: ‘This cat–owner relationship is in contrast to that with dogs.

‘Cats do not actively respond with communicative behaviour to owners who are calling them from out of sight, even though they can distinguish their owners’ voices.’

The study tested twenty cats at home and analysed their responses to each call by measuring their movement, vocalization and eye dilation.

The reason for the cats indifference is believed to be rooted in the early domestication of the species.

‘Historically speaking, cats, unlike dogs, have not been domesticated to obey humans’ orders. Rather, they seem to take the initiative in human–cat interaction.’

Genetic analysis shows that the common ancestor of the modern housecat was Felis silvestris, a small wildcat that came into contact with humans more than 9,000 years ago.

The species is then thought to have domesticated itself without answering directly to humans.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2514776/Your-moggy-DOES-know-voice--just-ignores-Evolution-means-cats-need-pay-attention-owners.html

Felis silvestris

Felis_silvestris_-_July_2007-1.jpg

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I like cats! Pretty stupid, like me! :blink:

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Blimey - someone had better remind my cat that he's meant to be indifferent and unresponsive. The annoying little bugger won't leave me alone!

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I once spoke to a fireman who said that he had to break into the house of an elderly person who had not been seen for some time. He found them dead in the lounge. Their cats were quite healthy having eaten a considerable portion of their owner's body.

I have two dogs.

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I,ve had more than one of both, but if I had to choose, it'd always be a dog. They are a tie, though. Cats can look after themselves for a day or two.

I have known extremely affectionate cats, though. I used to feed a neighbour's cat when they were away - as soon as I was in the front door he was racing downstairs, not for food, but for a cuddle. I would pick him up and he would be purring like a traction engine. I used to feel bad leaving him again.

Forget who said this but it was on a birthday card bought for a dog-mad friend, who now has it permanently pinned up in the downstairs loo:

'If your dog thinks you're the greatest person in the world, don't seek a second opinion.'

Sums it all up, really.

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Apparently, when cats are crying for food their cry is at the same pitch as a human baby's cries. That provokes a natural response in humans, especially females.

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Apparently, when cats are crying for food their cry is at the same pitch as a human baby's cries. That provokes a natural response in humans, especially females.

Our cat would put on a particularly pathetic 'orphaned starving kitten' little mew, often raising one paw at the same time. He was a huge cat anyway, and certainly no sylph, but it evidently worked since he would go round various neighbours for extra rations, like Six Dinner Sid in the children's book. At home he would usually just yowl at the kitchen cupboards where the food was. Very often he would merely lick the jelly off, and then yowl for something else.

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Our cat would put on a particularly pathetic 'orphaned starving kitten' little mew, often raising one paw at the same time. He was a huge cat anyway, and certainly no sylph, but it evidently worked since he would go round various neighbours for extra rations, like Six Dinner Sid in the children's book. At home he would usually just yowl at the kitchen cupboards where the food was. Very often he would merely lick the jelly off, and then yowl for something else.

Reminds me of this:

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Apparently, when cats are crying for food their cry is at the same pitch as a human baby's cries. That provokes a natural response in humans, especially females.

Interesting point. I did ask our cat yesterday (although he didn't answer) why it was always me that he made noises at and came to for food. I'm the only female in our house.

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The reason for the cats indifference is believed to be rooted in the early domestication of the species.

‘Historically speaking, cats, unlike dogs, have not been domesticated to obey humans’ orders. Rather, they seem to take the initiative in human–cat interaction.’

I've seen this discussed before.

The reason for the difference is that we started using dogs as working animals (mostly hunting I guess) quite early in our species' history, in comparison cats are simply parasites who started hanging around us once they discovered that we're a useful souce of food.

The other difference is that dogs are pack animals, which is presumably why we started using them in the first place.

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I once spoke to a fireman who said that he had to break into the house of an elderly person who had not been seen for some time. He found them dead in the lounge. Their cats were quite healthy having eaten a considerable portion of their owner's body.

I have two dogs.

A dog would do the same thing if you left it for long enough. They are just scavengers, after all.

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I've seen this discussed before.

The reason for the difference is that we started using dogs as working animals (mostly hunting I guess) quite early in our species' history, in comparison cats are simply parasites who started hanging around us once they discovered that we're a useful souce of food.

Surely cats did contribute once people started farming, because they'd keep down the rats and mice that would otherwise ravage stores of grain.

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Interesting point. I did ask our cat yesterday (although he didn't answer) why it was always me that he made noises at and came to for food. I'm the only female in our house.

Harperson will probably try to start a cat-cull.

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Surely cats did contribute once people started farming, because they'd keep down the rats and mice that would otherwise ravage stores of grain.

That was the reason they started hanging around us, we attract rats and mice, they attract cats.

But the point is the relationship is passive, we didn't train them to go after the mice, they just did it naturally and we ignored them because it was useful.

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Dogs are something other people have.

I love Jack Russells and sometimes think I'd like one. That adoring look in its eyes. The way it loves its owner.

But it's too much like high maintenance. It always wants to know where the next game is, what the next thing is going to be. That's its charm and I know why people love dogs.

Personally I prefer the more stand-offish nature of cats. You each live your lives and you sometimes cross at convenient moments when you both get to have a cuddle and strengthen the bond between you.

Every cat is different, and some are more "generous" than others with affection for their owners.

We lost our male, but our female is incredibly responsive, and yes, she does come if you call her name.. I've actually not had that before, and it still seems weird.

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Ex-girlfriend's cat would always respond to her but, not by name, she had perfected mimicking the cat's meow. This was one of many deafening loud batshit alarm bells I mistakenly chose to ignore.

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I've seen a duck eating a duck.

Chinese Cannibalism? :blink:

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Dogs are something other people have.

I love Jack Russells and sometimes think I'd like one. That adoring look in its eyes. The way it loves its owner.

But it's too much like high maintenance. It always wants to know where the next game is, what the next thing is going to be. That's its charm and I know why people love dogs.

Personally I prefer the more stand-offish nature of cats. You each live your lives and you sometimes cross at convenient moments when you both get to have a cuddle and strengthen the bond between you.

Every cat is different, and some are more "generous" than others with affection for their owners.

We lost our male, but our female is incredibly responsive, and yes, she does come if you call her name.. I've actually not had that before, and it still seems weird.

Male cats are generally more "bold", more outgoing!

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Ex-girlfriend's cat would always respond to her but, not by name, she had perfected mimicking the cat's meow. This was one of many deafening loud batshit alarm bells I mistakenly chose to ignore.

There may have been many alarm bells but we've all tried to copy our cat's miaow at some point haven't we?

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Both our cats come when called, but I think it's only because they associate the sound with food.

They're both really loving though and don't mind having a fuss at any time. Much more interactive than I thought they'd be.

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