Cats can be a**holes, and most of the time, they are (aside from those rare moments when your cat shows you affection and it feels like clouds in the sky are parting to reveal the sun shining behind them). But despite the standoffish, b*tchy behavior and simply mean things cats can do, we always gave them benefit of the doubt. 'They can't understand us', we reason. 'If they did understand, they wouldn't act this way.' Well, I'm really sorry to burst your bubble and possibly ruin your relationship with your cat, but I've got some news for you: cat's DO understand you and cats are MEAN. At least that's what the latest science says.
What Does Science Say?
A scientific report that was recently published in scientific journal Nature made the discovery that cats can distinguish their names from other words, contrary to prior beliefs. In the study, the responses of 78 cats (both pet cats and Cat Cafe residents) were recorded when their names were called out along with similar sounding cat names. And to everyone's surprise, the cats made specific body movements when their names were called, telling scientists that they understood which word was their name. This means one thing: your cat is ignoring you on purpose.
Why Do Dogs Respond...
Dogs and cats are practically on opposite ends of the friendly spectrum. But what's so different about them? Why will dogs enthusiastically run towards you and obey your commands when cats don't blink an eye? Apparently, the answers are in evolution.
While both cats and dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, dogs have been around humans for much longer, and had a much more involved relationship with humans that cats did. Dogs were used as hunting companions, and became loyal members of the family. They were trained to understand human speech and can now understand human gestures more than chimpanzees can. They were also taught how to do specific tasks to help out humans, whether it was protecting the village or herding animals, and were rewarded when they acted the way humans wanted them to act.
But Cats Don't?
Cats, on the other hand, lived alongside humans for thousands of years before being domesticated. Their genes remained almost the same as their ancestor, the wildcat. Dogs' genes changed within a few generations, giving them floppy ears and wagging tails as the most friendly dogs thrived. It was survival of the friendliest, not the fittest, for dogs. The same can not be said for cats. Cats were never required or taught to do any tasks, apart from catching mice, which they do naturally. This means that they didn't have to evolve like the dog did - and their attitude towards humans didn't either.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is: it's not your cat's fault if they have the temperament of a wrathful b*tch that despises you. It's just the way cats are. But that's why we love them, right? Because we fight so hard for their love that, when they show it, it's all worth it. But if you want a pet that will respond to your calls (and show you a lot more love), I'd suggest getting a dog. It'll be a lot easier than trying to evolve your cat into something it's not.
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