There are so many things in the animal world that humans don't really understand yet. Now researchers from the Hannover Medical School and the University of Veterinary Medicine have focused on the domestic cat - with interesting insights. As part of their study, they found that female cats seem to be better able than cats to judge whether a juvenile's utterance is a cry for help.
The study: This is how it went
The study was carried out with a total of eight female cats and nine cats. Previously, 14 calls were recorded from seven male and female kittens, all of whom were only nine to eleven days old.
In order to trigger a slight excitement in the young animal, the little ones were spatially separated from their mother and siblings for three minutes. For greater excitement, the scientists not only separated the kittens from their families, but also lifted them and moved them. These tones were then played to the adult cats and tomcats.
Hangover vs. Cat: Actually different reactions
During the investigation, significant differences between male and female were revealed. When a baby cried, the female cats recognized the severity of the need for help from the sound. And: They reacted ten percent faster than the hangovers. In the male animals there was also a reaction to the screaming of the kittens, but this was always the same regardless of the type of calls. According to biologist Wiebke Konerding from the MHH, the acoustic differences do not seem to be perceptible to the males or are of no importance.
You can see how hard a cat mum's job is in the following video, in which a caring fur nose lovingly cares for her babies and the offspring of her cat friend:
Amazing: childless cats are also worried
Since the faster response could also be observed in cats without their own offspring, the females were generally better able to classify the urgency of the baby cries, the study said. The ability could be ingrained from birth or develop with sexual maturity.
The favorite adoptive mums in the animal kingdom
What if a human baby cries? This topic is hotly debated among cat owners and lovers in various forums. There are numerous cute videos circulating on social networks with kittens cuddling with the newborn, licking it or sniffing it. There are many stories in which cats are sensitive to the cries of babies and toddlers. For example, they come quickly, want to cuddle a lot, or behave otherwise.