Study confirms that cats understand the childish language of their masters

On the other hand, these works show that if this same language is used by a stranger, then the interest of the feline will decrease.

Talking to your cat works, and it’s now scientifically proven. According to a study conducted by Charlotte de Mouzon, ethologist at the Cognition and Development Ethology Laboratory (University of Nanterre), the conclusions of which were published last week in a journal of the group Naturefelines would be more receptive to what their masters say, especially if they use a more childish tone.

To reach this conclusion, the scientists brought together 16 students from the Maisons-Alfort Veterinary School in Val-de-Marne to observe the behavior of their pets. The felines were initially confronted with recordings of strangers addressing themselves in a “traditional” way, then recordings of their owners addressing them directly, with a more childish, even “silly” tone.

Snubbed strangers

The results of this experiment are striking. The cats were more demonstrative in the second case. Scientists have indeed found that they turn their ears and have more dilated pupils in this specific case. Some even stopped their grooming and turned to their masters.

On the other hand, this phenomenon does not occur when strangers themselves use this more childish language. “Of the 16 cats in the study, 10 showed decreasing interest when it was a voice other than that of their owner”, estimates, in the columns of the FigaroCharlotte de Mouzon.

“special link”

If talking to your cat may seem ridiculous at first glance, Charlotte de Mouzon, still in the columns of the daily newspaper, believes that communicating with her cat remains important.

“Like dogs, cats seem attached by a special bond to the humans who take care of them on a daily basis,” she concludes.

This work complements the conclusions of a 2019 study published in the journal Current Biology. The three researchers from the University of Oregon who are behind it had thus updated the ability of cats to s attached to humans, at least as much as dogs can be.

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