Do Cats Recognize Their Owners?
Cats sometimes act uninterested in being around humans and often only do when they want to rather than when we want to. It is quite evident that humans adore the feline species, but it not always clear if they live us back. Sometimes, due to some apparent behaviors, one can tell that the cat is interested in bonding with them. But the question is, ‘does my cat know who I am,’ and is that why they are showing an interest? So, do cats know their owners, and how do cats recognize their owners? This article will go into the details of answering these questions as well as other related ones.
Cats have a relatively good memory, and there are two types of memory to be looked at; associative memory and real memory. Associative memory has got to do with short-term memory while real memory is about long-term memory. Short term memory, also known as working memory is used for problem-solving, like identifying whether the cat has already scouted an area for prey that evening. Cats also use their short-term memory to associate food with time intervals or specific times during the day. Long term memory is used to remember things from a long time ago, like former owners or particular experiences. Cats have a stronger long-term memory and so can hold grudges for the longest time. Most long-term memories are associated with food and survival, and cats can remember traumatic experiences for an extended part of their lives. This makes grieving difficult for the creatures, and they will need extra loving to overcome it. Generally, kittens have a better memory than older cats, and their memory capacity declines with age. This decline is caused by the minimized ability of the neural connections in the brain to store experiences for later retrieval.
The Bond Between Cats and Humans
Cats are known to be self-sufficient, independent creatures, but research has shown that they experience separation anxiety, meaning they need to bond. One of the things cats do to bond with their human is to knead or massage them with their paws to show happiness and contentment. Another sign that your cat’s bonding with you is that they slow blink, especially when petting them, informing you that they feel secure in your presence. It serves as a form of silent conversations they have with you telling you they like you. They can also head butt you if they feel attached to you and groom you just like they would another cat they love. Cats will purr around you, expose their belly to you and bring you ‘gifts’ to show how much they are into you. Do not be surprised if it also follows you around and sits on top of you any chance it gets. It is doing that just to let the whole world you belong to it. Some negative behaviors they put up when separated from their owners include excessive grooming, becoming more destructive, and defeating or urinating all over the place. Cats see humans as just bigger cats, and so they bond with them like they would other cats they like. All the bonding behaviors mentioned above are reflections of how they would treat their cat moms, which humans are to them. They do think humans are clumsy, yet do not consider the species to be inferior.
How Do Cats View The World
Cats see in color, but on a separate level than humans do, and so they view everything in a different light. Everything around them appears in gray, blue, and yellow, and they cannot differentiate between red and green. If you wear bright colored clothes or hair and expect your cat to recognize you based on that then, you have the wrong idea. This is because the structures in their eyes, called cones, that help them to respond to red lights are very few. Despite this partial color blindness, research has shown that cats can see some colors that humans cannot see. The study showed that they view this light on the ultraviolet level, that a human would need a black light to see. Some colors on objects like birds and flowers that need a black light to be seen by humans will easily be spotted by cats. This means that a cat sees very vividly, and humans’ world is not as exciting as theirs. Cats are also nearsighted, and whether you are glowing or not, they cannot see you if you are not within a specific distance. If an object is over 20 inches away, then it is likely to appear as a blur to them. Unlike humans, cats do not have the eye muscles that help them alter the shape of their lenses to be able to focus on objects. So, they are left with a 6 to 20-inch distance view.
Do Cats Recognize Their Owners Face?
Even though it’s clear that cats can get attached to their humans, it’s not so apparent if it’s because they can identify and distinguish their faces from others. In essence, cats domesticated themselves by living in the same area as humans and catching the rodents that came with them. There’s never been the need for them to accustom themselves to the human species as compared to dogs who were intentionally bred for specific purposes. Dogs will, therefore, get more benefit out of recognizing faces than cats, since the latter are not helping humans directly. It is then safe to say that cats are not the best at recognizing faces because it’s of no benefit to them. They’re better at using their senses to tell who you are and rely on things like smell and sound to gather information about their surroundings. The truth is, cats do not care what you look like and are not looking at you to differentiate between others.
How Do Cats Recognize Humans?
- Smell: The sense of smell that cats have are not as good as dogs, but are better than humans. Their sense of smell is close to 14 times above that of humans because they have two times the number of receptors. They also have 200 million cells that are sensitive to smell, whereby humans have five million. They can perceive a lot, including direction based on smell, and so can find their way back home when they get lost. Kittens exchange scents with their siblings, so help with recognition in case they are separated, and they use this tip on humans too. They also associate a smell with experiences so they might react negatively to certain scents if it reminds them of a horrible encounter.
- Sound: Cats are better at hearing high-pitched sounds that some other organisms. Their ears are flexible and immediately move in the direction of the sound, and this quality is useful for locating prey. Studies conducted if cats could tell their owners’ sounds were performed, and it was proven that cats could recognize their owners. In the research, two recorded tapes were played, one of a stranger and one of the cat’s owners. The cat reacted by twitching its ears when the owner’s voice was played and ignored the sound of the stranger.
- Patterns: Cats pay very close attention to schedules, especially when there is food involved. They have a fantastic sense of time and so remember routines clearly. They have object permanence and can tell how long something will be gone for and when it will be back based on the time difference. So, do not be surprised when you come home to meet your cat waiting for you by the door. It does not believe that you have disappeared and is likely to wait for you to come back. It combines this quality with smell and sound to tell that it’s you who is coming. Cats can also recognize you by the way you feel in terms of petting them and playing with them. They will pay attention to your style of interaction and know that it is you.
How cats see human faces cannot be explained in full detail because there is not much research on the phenomenon. However, their behaviors show that they do not care much about what their human looks like but rather the sensations that come with him or her. Bonding is sure to happen, but you cannot tell if it is your face they recognize and are happy to see. Your cat might notice the contours and crevices of your face but will not use that to distinguish you from the others. They, therefore, rely on their senses to determine who is theirs from strangers, and so far these senses have served the creatures well. They will recognize your voice, your smell, and your routine based on how the interaction you have with them. Generally, the more time you spend with a cat, the more likely it is to recognize you. Their memory is not too bad, and they can remember experiences from a long time ago especially if their survival was at stake.
- Can Cats See Us Like We See Ourselves? How Cats See Human Faces – Pet finder
- Do Cats Recognize Their Owners? – Cuteness