Cats sometimes get a bad rap…i.e. some people (aka dog people) call them apathetic and selfish. And, funny enough, new scientific evidence actually shows cats probably are aware when you call them—they just don’t care. The study, published on April 4th in Scientific Reports, compared the reactions of cats from regular homes with those from cat cafés—specifically when they heard recordings of their owners versus strangers reading five different nouns. After repeating the process with four different groups, for a total of 78 test subjects, researchers concluded that the felines could distinguish their names from nouns that were the same length, even when a stranger was calling them.
Ultimately, the research confirms what most cat owners already suspected: Cats do know when you’re trying to get their attention, but sometimes, they just can’t be bothered. (However, the study found that cats who live in cat cafés couldn’t tell their name apart from the other cats—which admittedly makes sense.)
Lead researcher Atsuko Saito of Tokyo’s Sophia University told National Geographic that cats are her favorite animal—partly because of their independence.
Preach. Even if cats might not always choose to socialize with us, we love them anyway…and we like to think the feeling is mutual.