Cats have 276 different facial expressions, study finds

4 Min Read
Cats have 276 different facial expressions, study finds

Join CNN’s Marvel Principle science e-newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more.


Ears flattened, constricted pupils, a lick of the lips. In the event you’ve ever questioned in case your feline buddies’ furry faces had been saying one thing every time they acquired collectively, chances are high they had been.

In a research printed within the journal Behavioural Processes final month, two US scientists counted 276 totally different facial expressions when domesticated cats interacted with each other.

“Our research demonstrates that cat communication is extra complicated than beforehand assumed,” research co-author Brittany Florkiewicz, an evolutionary psychologist at Lyon School in Arkansas, informed CNN Wednesday, including that their findings counsel that domestication has a big impression on the event of facial signaling.

Ginger cat lying on a bed, looking happy.

Florkiewicz defined that domesticated cats are usually extra socially tolerant than their wildcat counterparts due to the best way they dwell in proximity to people, so the researchers had been anticipating to see expression in each optimistic and damaging contexts—however they had been shocked to “observe 276 morphologically distinct facial expressions.”

In accordance with Florkiewicz and lead creator Lauren Scott, a medical pupil from the College of Kansas Medical Middle with a private curiosity in cats, domestication permits extra cat-to-cat social interactions, which is why the pair believed they’d present extra expression.

To gather information, Scott filmed 53 cats at an area cat café when each had been based mostly at College of California, Los Angeles, between August 2021 and June 2022. From the 194 minutes of video footage gathered, she recorded 186 feline interactions. The cats had been grownup home shorthairs of each sexes, all neutered or spayed.

Each researchers assessed the variations in expression with a coding system designed particularly for cats, known as the cat Facial Motion Coding System, and looking out on the quantity and forms of facial muscle actions. The research added that muscle actions related to organic processes resembling respiratory and yawning weren’t included.

European Shorthair Cat Hissing and Arching Back with Hair Standing Up

Whereas they weren’t capable of attribute a that means to every expression they recorded, Florkiewicz and Scott discovered that 45.7% of coded expressions had been pleasant, whereas 37% had been aggressive.

The paper detailed {that a} pleasant expression is proven when the ears and whiskers transfer ahead whereas the eyes shut, and an aggressive cat has constricted pupils, ears flattened towards the pinnacle and a tongue-swipe of the lip.

“Our hope is to increase our pattern dimension to incorporate cats dwelling in different areas…wanting on the facial expressions of cats dwelling in multi-cat properties, feral colonies” and so forth, Florkiewicz mentioned.

One other purpose for the long run is to conduct a follow-up research to find out what extra of the expressions imply, she added.

Source link

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *