If you think cats don’t really care about people, think again. A study by PLOS One reported by The animal rescue center, says cats keep an eye on their humans at home.
A group of scientists from Kyoto University found that using contextual cues inside the home, cats can determine where their owners are, even if they are in a completely different room.
In the experiment that led to this finding, the researchers recorded the voices of cat owners calling out the names of their pets, along with other noises such as the voices of strangers and other cats. Then scientists watched the cats’ reactions as they played the sounds.
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According to the report, cats were most surprised to hear their owner’s voice. The surprise is compounded as they can already see the owner walk out of the room so hearing the familiar voice doesn’t make sense to the animal. Researchers say the cat’s surprise reaction suggests cats create a mental map of where their people are at all times.
“The results showed that cats were surprised when their owner was ‘teleported’ to a new, unexpected location, but they did not react in the same way when tested with non-social stimuli,” the report said. “These results suggest that cats hold a mental representation of the invisible owner and map the location of their owner using the owner’s voice, which shows evidence of socio-spatial perception.”
All of the cat lovers out there might want to know that a Garfield live action film is in the works starring the most popular Monday hating cat of all. The iconic character is voiced by Chris Pratt, who in addition to his Role as Super Mario, has the internet wonders who he will say next.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.