Cats express their emotions through 300 different facial expressions

Cats express their emotions through 300 different facial expressions

Imagine a cat silently staring at another cat nearby, blinking, with flat ears bent back, sticking out its tongue and licking its mouth. The other cat stares at the back of his head, wrinkling his nose and curling his whiskers back. People who come into contact with cats know very quickly what a terrible thing is about to happen: a cat fight. If the problem isn’t solved by growling and growling, the sharp nails will be pulled out of the claw sheaths and the two furry creatures will fly towards each other.

Fighting is not the only way cats communicate with each other. In a recently published study, researchers 276 different facial expressions of cats They measured the time of communicating with each other. These different expressions of the cat’s face to communicate included hostile, friendly and other purposes. The study says that cats owe us this behavior; This cat behavior and principles have evolved during its 10,000-year life history alongside humans.

Daniel Millsa veterinary behaviorist from the University of Lincoln Quoted from Science “Many people still mistakenly identify cats as a largely asocial species,” he says. He notes that the facial expressions described in the new study contradict this popular belief. Clearly, we still don’t know much about cat behavior.

Cats can be solitary creatures, but they often form friendly relationships with their peers at home and on the street. Wildcats live in thousands of packs and sometimes take over an entire island.

Researchers have long been curious about how these felines communicate with each other. In the relationship of cats with each other, there is not only war and fight, but also love and tact. However, until now, most of the studies on the expression of emotions in cats have focused on aggression and violence.

In 2021 Lauren Scott The self-professed cat lover medical student studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, just minutes away from the Cat Cafe Lounge. Visitors to this cafe can interact with, play with, and even adopt dozens of domestic cats.

From August to June, Scott recorded in a 194-minute video all the different facial expressions of the cafe’s resident cats, especially when the cafe was closed and the cats were freely interacting with each other.

Then Scott and Brittany Florkiewicz, Evolutionary psychologists coded all the facial muscle movements of the cats in the video; Of course, except for normal postures such as breathing, chewing and yawning. A total of 276 distinct facial expressions were discovered that showed the cats communicating with each other, Florkiewicz says.

Each facial expression consisted of a combination of four examples of 26 unique expressions, including parted lips, open jaw, dilated or contracted pupils, blinking and half-blinking, stretching of the corners of the lips, licking of the nose, extended or retracted whiskers, or different ear models. In comparison, humans have 44 unique facial expressions, although researchers are still investigating the combinations of different expressions. Or, for example, dogs have 27 facial expressions, but again the total number is not precisely known.

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