Cats are well known for being pets that easily lose interest in their humans. Indeed, many cat owners find it difficult to attract the attention of their feline companion. Those days may be over, as scientists may have found the best way to capture cats’ attention.
Saying “kitty-kitty” with a small voice would not be the most effective method
Cats are well known for their independent and sometimes aloof nature. Either way, cat owners love their feline companions, so it’s only natural that they want their attention. Whether it’s trying to teach him a new trick, to take a cute picture, or just to cuddle him, getting a cat’s attention can be a big challenge. If you’re one of those who struggles to get their cat’s attention, science may have a solution to your problem.
In a new study, researchers from the University of Paris Nanterre indeed seem to have discovered the best approach for interacting with cats. According to the results of their study published in the journal animals, the best method of getting a cat’s attention is through a combination of vocal and visual cues. When trying to attract an animal – be it a cat, a dog or any other species – we tend to rely on vocal cues.
Cats appreciate gestures more than words
When it comes to calling cats, we tend to use that characteristic little kissing noise we make with our lips, or call them with our speech. But the fact is that noises and words are not effective enough to attract the attention of cats. As part of their study, the researchers tested this technique as well as two other methods of attracting the attention of cats. These other methods consisted of using a gestural approach and a mixed approach that combines gestures and vocalizations. The gestural approach was to reach out to the animal.
All three methods were tested on 18 domestic cats that lived for at least three years in a cat cafe. The researchers thought the vocal approach would probably be the most effective. ” Knowing that cats have evolved specific vocalizations to interact with humans, we hypothesized that they would be more inclined to approach a human engaging in vocal communication compared to visual communication. “, explained the researchers. Indeed, seven of the cats in the study responded to the vocal approach.
However, compared to the control approach – which consists of doing nothing – there were very few differences. On the other hand, the gestural approach made it possible to make 10 cats react, and the mixed approach was even more effective. In other words, cats seem more receptive to gestural and visual cues than to vocal cues. Moreover, the study also showed that immobility generated stress in cats. The researchers also found that cats wag their tails more when faced with vocal approach than with gestural approach. Note that wagging the tail is a sign of discomfort and stress for cats. To go further, here are 16 unusual facts about cats, these adorable felines that still hide many secrets.