CORVALLIS, OREGON — New research is proving cats are as socially aware as dogs, according to ScienceMag.
Humans in the world are divided into two kinds, dog and cat people. Dog people claim puppers are more loyal, affectionate and smart — I mean have you ever heard of a police cat? While cat people like how independent felines can be.
But are cats really that different from dogs? Some scientists don't think so.
According to ScienceMag, researchers began testing cognition among our furry friends roughly 20 years ago by using a test that's used to gauge social cognition in toddlers.
If you point at an object in a room, toddlers will automatically look in that direction. This shows they understand that the adult is trying to communicate with them.
This was thought to be a very human process until 20 years ago when experiments showed that dogs also reacted to humans pointing at objects. Not even our chimpanzee cousins responded to the experiment.
Cats are not social animals like dogs or chimpanzees, so it was assumed they wouldn't be able to recognize this human gesture, or would they?
Kristyn Vitale, a postdoctorate student at Oregon State University, is studying feline cognition and has witnessed cats successfully pass this test.
Cats aren't just responding to pointing either. Vitale has also placed loud fans inside empty rooms with the cats and their owners. The felines automatically seek shelter behind their owner and begin to respond positively to the fan if they see their owner speaking to the object in a reassuring way.
Cats have always been left behind when it comes to animal research due to their solitary nature but this new research shows that our feline friends could be more aware of humans than we give them credit for."
If you want to test how 'human-friendly' your cat is, ScienceMag suggests you try the experiments at home. Check if your cat reacts to where you point at or if they look to you for reassurance when in presence of a foreign object. For now, dogs still hold the title of 'man's best friend'.