New Research Shows Cats Imitate Their Owners

Do you ever feel like you and your cat see eye to eye? Well, new research suggests that this might be the case for all felines. Claudia Fugazza, an ethologist at Eötvös Loránd University, has been studying the training behaviors of dogs for over a decade. However, she and another trainer friend have decided to shift their focus to the mimicking behaviors of cats after her friend had made a breakthrough with her own feline. 

With little outside influence, the friends discovered that the cat, named Ebisu, could copy actions provided by the owner such as opening a plastic drawer and chewing a rubber string. Then, they gave her new tasks to similar success. According to Science Magazine, "In 16 subsequent trials, Ebisu accurately copied her owner more than 81% of the time." While optimistic, the duo is still skeptical. 

The tasks were all things the feline might have done on her own anyway. Additionally, 16 trial runs with one cat aren't hard and fast science. Nevertheless, it's promising. "Hopefully other people will replicate this work so we know how widespread this is in cats," says Kristyn Vitale, a cat cognition researcher, and animal behaviorist at Unity College. With one paw in the right direction, this could be something big!

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