Large Cats Can Distinguish Known/Unknown Voices

( – A recent study done on large cats has shown that they can distinguish between unknown and known human voices. This proves that even large cats who are not as intertwined in society still have some social intellect when it comes to humans.

Reports have shown that cats in general, whether large cats or domestic pets, are quite standoffish and they don’t often put themselves in positions to interact with humans much. With that being said, studies have previously shown that domestic cats can recognize their owner’s voice.

This new study has shown that cats such as cougars, tigers, lions, and cheetahs all are able to distinguish between known and unknown voices. This study was done only for large cats in captivity but it’s said that this skill can help them to distinguish social calls from other animals, or to be able to recognize their cub’s sounds.

The study consisted of playing recordings of human voices to the cats. The voices were those of individuals that were known and unknown by the cats. The phrase that was said to the cats was “Good morning, how are you doing today?”

They took note of any behavioral changes that occurred in the cats when listening to the voices whether it was head turns, moving towards or away from the sound, as well as any hissing or growls towards the voices.

Many found it interesting that the results were so clear and that the cats all recognized the human voices that they knew. Professor Jennifer Vonk was one of the co-authors of the study and she had this to say about the findings:

“I think for the public it’s interesting to think that even non-domestic cats are registering who’s looking after them,” Vonk said. “It suggests that they may not be as aloof and indifferent as they sometimes have the reputation for.”

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