We all know cats can be, well, a**holes sometimes. But a new study has just added more evidence.
Japanese researchers wanted to see whether cats, like some dogs, were able to recognise when their name was being called. The results were published in Nature journal, and they're kind of surprising.
The researchers used a group of cats and analysed their behaviour in their home. They recorded the cat's name in both the owner's voice and a stranger's voice, and also a loud of nouns that sounded similar.
What they found was that every time a cat's name was used by either the owner or the stranger, the cat's ears pricked up or their heads moved, indicating they recognised that specific word compared to the rest.
"From the results of all experiments, it thus appears that at least cats living in ordinary households can distinguish their own names from general words and names of other cats," the researchers wrote.
"We conclude that cats can discriminate the content of human utterances based on phonemic differences. This is the first experimental evidence showing cats' ability to understand human verbal utterances."
So basically, your cat knows you're calling them, they're just choosing to ignore you. Ouch.
The researchers were pretty convinced that their findings meant good things for cat owners though:
"Although such discrimination is acquired without explicit discrimination training, instead emerging from the patterns of natural daily communication between humans and cats, we may utilise this ability positively for cats' quality of life," the study read.
Yeah, we're just going to keep smothering them with love as usual. They'll give in eventually, we're sure of it.