Cats dominate their owners, study reveals
Some researchers carry out curious studies such as the one we are going to present to you below, studies that may not seem very credible. Sometimes, some of these studies may seem absurd or, on the contrary, very interesting . Those of you who have cats as pets will surely remember what you read in this article because you will feel identified with it. Some of you will even tell a relative at the next family meeting and add “the scientists say it” to back up your words.
In this article we echo a scientific study carried out in 2009 by the University of Sussex (United Kingdom) that states that cats dominate their owners and that they have developed a mechanism that does not fail: purring .
The key is in the purr
If you have cats, you’re probably familiar with the situation where the cat gets under your legs and, while grazing you, uses its most powerful weapon. The sound of a purring may not sound like an alarm, but this request for attention can deprive you even of your sleep. Although this sound can be annoying in the late hours of the night, when you are so quiet in bed, a cat can get you up to fill her bowl with food.
In fact, this is what motivated Karen McComb to conduct the study, a behavioral ecologist and director of this research, who was usually awakened by the claims of her cat. Her research was published in the journal Current Biology.
The author observed that domestic cats add to their usual purring a characteristic meow that has a higher frequency . This purring that they only use when they want something, provokes in the owners a paternal instinct that allows the cats to get away with it without bothering their master, affirms the investigation.
“This solicitation purr is probably more acceptable to humans than a meow, which is usually rejected, especially when you’re in bed sleeping,” McComb explains.
How the study was conducted
To understand how the vocal sound of cats is capable of manipulating their owners, McComb and his team conducted a series of experiments. First they recorded the purring of ten cats; some when they were soliciting food and others when they were not soliciting anything. Then, fifty subjects listened to the sounds at the same volume.
The subjects assessed the solicitation purrs as “requiring more urgency” to be attended to. Later they reproduced the sounds again, but this time without the solicitation purrs. The subjects responded that the cats’ demands were less urgent .
Domestic cats know what they want and how to get it
The author of the study suggests that the purring of cats has a similar effect as when a baby cries . Previous studies suggest that both sounds share the same frequency.
Just like babies’ crying, domestic cats have become accustomed to relying on humans, says C.A. Tony Buffington, a professor of veterinary medicine at Ohio State University. “Whenever a house cat finds itself in the situation that it wants something, it will manipulate its caretakers to get what it wants. Whether it’s a purr or any sign that works, such as rubbing between an owner’s feet,” he says.
Buffington thinks that this discovery can have a practical use, because it helps to know what cats experience . “This is something that cat pet owners will have observed, but not paid attention to. Now we know that this sound has a reason.
Another study states that women develop strong bonds with their cats, compatibility and mutual attraction
Research carried out in 2014 by the University of Vienna and published in the journal Behavioural Processes states that the relationship between cats and women has a special and characteristic link. The results of this study suggest that cats not only interact with their owners, but also understand and manipulate them .
For this study, different videos were recorded and the interactions of 41 felines with their owners (both sexes) were analyzed. Personality tests were performed on both the owners and the pets and then analyzed. The results showed that young and outgoing females living with active cats had better synchronization and communication with their pets.
This study also stated that cats remember favors and return them later , therefore, they are more likely to correspond to their owners’ needs if they have previously responded to their own.
Cats are not manipulative, and can be a form of therapy
Although cats use the purring technique to get what they want, they are not manipulative. In fact, they can be very helpful to many people. Cat therapy is a type of treatment that has been endorsed by science because it reduces the symptoms of stress and anxiety and combats low mood. In addition, can help many individuals improve their physical and mental health and their quality of life.