Japanese Journal of Animal Psychology
Online ISSN : 1880-9022
Print ISSN : 0916-8419
ISSN-L : 0916-8419
Short Report
Recognition of directed-gaze from humans in cats
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2019 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 27-34


For animals living in groups such as some primates including humans and wolves, it is important to recognize the gaze of others and change their behavior accordingly. Dogs, which have a common ancestor with wolves, gained the ability to read human's gaze even though they are different species in the process of domestication. Although cats are originally solitary animals, cats sharing their living space with humans are frequently observed in modern days. Recent study showed that cats are likely to be able to detect the human gaze directed to themselves. In this study, we examined whether cats are able to recognize the human gaze and whether to change their behavior according to it. We investigated whether cats show different behaviors depending on the direction of the human gaze. As a result, when humans looked at the cats, the time which the cats looked back at the humans was shorter, regardless of familiarity and distance with the humans and the social situation. Also, when humans look at cats when the distance between individuals is short, the eyeblink frequency of cats increases. From these facts, it was shown that cats could recognize directedgaze from humans and change their behavior accordingly.

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© 2019 by Japanese Society for Animal Psychology
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