Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care- PAU 2015

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Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care
Any cat owner will tell you that although they are sometimes kept as pets, felines are friends to no one. A new study from the University of Tokyo has confirmed this, showing that although pet cats are more than capable of recognising their owner’s voice they choose to ignore them - for reasons that are perhaps rooted in the evolutionary history of the animal.
The study tested twenty housecats in their own homes, waiting until the owner was out of sight and then playing them recordings of three strangers calling their names, followed by their owner, followed by another stranger. The researchers then analysed the cats’ responses to each call by measuring a number of factors including ear, tail and head movement, vocalization, eye dilation and finally whether or not the cats moved towards the voice. When hearing their names being called the cats generally moved their heads and ears about to locate where the sound was coming from. Although they showed a greater response to their owner’s voice than to strangers’, they declined to move when called by any of the people.
“These results indicate that cats do not actively respond with communicative behaviour to owners who are calling them from out of sight, even though they can distinguish their owners’ voices,” wrote the researcher. “This cat–owner relationship is in contrast to that with dogs. Historically speaking, cats, unlike dogs, have not been domesticated to obey humans’ orders. Rather, they seem to take the initiative in human–cat interaction.” This is in contrast to the history of dogs and humans, where the former has been bred over thousands of years to respond to commands. Cats, it seems, never needed to learn.
However, it's unlikely that this will dismay cat owners (or indeed, be of any surprise) and the paper notes that although “dogs are perceived by their owners as being more affectionate than cats, dog owners and cat owners do not differ significantly in their reported attachment level to their pets”.
(27.11.2013 The Independent)



Question 1: [2 POINTS] Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
a) Cats probably do not have the ability to recognise different people’s voices.

Question 2: [2 POINTS] Answer the following questions in your own words according to the text.
Question 3: [1,5 POINTS] Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the words and definitions given.
Question 4: [1,5 POINTS] Complete the following sentences without changing the meaning.


Question 5: [3 POINTS] Write a short essay (about 120-150 words) on the following topic:
– What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a pet?


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