MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Which sounds do cats respond to the most?

Date: Fri Jan 12 08:48:01 2001
Posted By: Brigetta Allen Hughes, Faculty, Veterinary Science and Technology, Des Moines Public School
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 978918807.Zo

Good question --
It really depends on what they have become familiar with -
If you read about Pavlov's experiment with dogs - he "conditioned" the dogs 
to respond to a bell because they were used to getting food when the bell 
rang ---- anytime they heard a bell they woudl get ready for food (excited, 
salivate, etc).
The same holds true for most animals with thinking capacity.

Cats can be conditioned to respond to all kinds of sounds --
For instance, my cats know that the sound of the opening of a large plastic 
container means that it is time to eat and they will be fed. I used to have 
a cat that would come running whenever I would shake the cat food bag.

It could be interestig to see if you coudl train a cat to come running 
(because he thinks he will get food) to some oddball sound. For instance, a 
toy that makes loud sounds that are consistent, or a bell, or shaking a 
rattling item of some sort (eg. rocks in a can, or items in a pop bottle). 
Then each time the cat hears the item -- BINGO! treat! or food.

For nutrition, use food instead of treats if you are doing this a lot. Too 
many treats can result in an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea.

Hope this helps!

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