Cats Recognize Their Own Names, But May Not Come When You Call
Studies show that human beings and cats have been living together for about 9,500 years.
Dogs have lived with humans longer than cats. Dogs are domesticated, meaning they have been trained to do what people want them to do.
What do cats understand?
As cat owners know well, cats do not obey humans in the same way dogs do. In fact, some scientists claim that cats have trained us to take care of them. As a result, many people have come to think that maybe cats simply do not understand human language.
A report in the scientific journal Nature shows that cats understand human beings well enough to recognize their own names.
The report describes a series of experiments with house cats in Japan. These tests involved having people say four words that were similar to a cat's name. Each word had the same number of syllables as the name and some of the same sounds.
The cats seemed to lose interest after the speaker said a few of the words. Then the person said the cat's name. The cats moved their ears or turned their head when they heard their names. They also moved their feet or bodies very little – not a surprising result.
Cat cafe friends know their names
In another part of the experiment, Japanese researchers compared house cats to cats who live in a cat café, a business where humans can come to spend time with cats. People said the names of the cats staying in the cat café. These animals reacted just as much to the name of a fellow cat living at the cat café as to their own name. The researchers thought this was because visitors may give food to the cat or rub its back when it responds.
Another finding was that a cat will react when a person who is not its owner says its name. The study was carried out by four researchers: Atsuko Saito, Yuki Ito, and Toshikazu Hasegawa at the Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Science of the University of Tokyo and Kazutaka Shinozuka of the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Saitama.
Helping humans and cats
"I think many cat owners feel that cats know their names, or the word ‘food,'" but until now, there was no scientific evidence to back that up, says Saito, who is a cat owner.
The researchers hope that the findings from their study will help both cats and people. They added that perhaps cats can learn words to warn them of dangerous things or places.
I'm Jill Robbins.
1.back up 支持；援助
The girl denied being there, and the man backed her up.
2.scientific evidence 科学证据
There is sound scientific evidence of what certain gases do to the atmosphere.
3.carried out 实施
Forensic experts carried out a painstaking search of the debris.
4.human language 人类语言
One function of human language, which refers to the social interaction of language.
5.In fact, some scientists claim that cats have trained us to take care of them.
take care of 照顾；照料
You take care of your end, kid, I'll take care of mine.
You have to learn to take care of your possessions.
6.As a result, many people have come to think that maybe cats simply do not understand human language.
As a result 结果
The government appears to have miscalculated and bills are higher as a result.
His car alarm had been going off for two days and, as a result, the battery was flat.
狗与人类生活的时间比猫更久 。狗是驯养的动物，这意味它们接受过训练，可以做人们希望它们做的事情 。
养猫的人都知道，猫不像狗那样顺从人类 。事实上，一些科学家声称，猫反倒训练人类来照顾它们 。因此，很多人逐渐认为，猫可能根本听不懂人类语言 。
这篇报道描述了在日本用家猫做的一系列实验 。实验内容包括让人们说出与猫名字相似的四个单词 。每个单词都跟猫的名字有同样多的音节和一些相同的发音 。
在说话者说出几个单词后，猫似乎丧失了兴趣 。然后说话者叫出猫的名字 。当听到自己名字时，猫会迅速侧耳听或转头看，它们还会小幅度移动脚或身体，这一结果并不令人惊讶 。
在该实验的另一部分，日本研究人员将家猫和猫咪咖啡馆的猫进行了比较，后者是人们与猫共度时光的店铺 。顾客呼唤猫咪咖啡馆内猫的名字，这些猫对住在猫咪咖啡馆的同伴的名字和对自己名字的反应一样强烈 。研究人员认为，这是因为顾客可能会在它们做出反应时给它们喂食或抚摸它们的后背 。
另一项发现是，当不是主人呼唤时，猫咪也会对名字做出反应 。该研究由东京大学认知和行为科学系的Atsuko Saito、Yuki Ito、Toshikazu Hasegawa以及琦玉县脑科学理化研究所的Kazutaka Shinozuka4位研究人员完成 。
研究人员希望他们的研究结果能够同时帮助到猫和人类 。他们补充说，也许猫可以学会一些单词来警告它们危险的事情或地方 。