Why Can’t You Train Cats & How Do Cats Purr
The internet was clearly invented with the sole purpose of allowing the earth’s population to watch cute cat movies. So who are we here at guernseydonkey.com to argue with the wisdom of ‘the net’. Accordingly, in this article we shall duly play our part in adding to that great body of information we like to call “internet fluff”, with some rather erudite answers to some of those perplexing questions about our feline friends …
Why Can’t You Train Cats?
Cat owners would say that cats are too smart to perform stupid tricks like a dog. However the real explanation lies in evolutionary history. Dogs were originally pack animals, who learned to pick up on cues from those around them, while cats were solitary hunters who never needed to acquire this ability.
Because a dog is a pack animal, in its natural state it always has a leader who tells it what to do. Even the pack leader will do what you tell it once you have proved that you are the new pack leader. So a dog instinctively wants to do what the boss says because this strengthens the pack and makes it more efficient as a living and hunting unit.
Cats live alone or in family groups and have no leader, so you have to convince a cat that the task you want doing is to that individual cat’s advantage. Therefore training has to be different and takes much more patience as the cat has no evolutionary reason to find it helpful to do what another being tells it. This is why cats will respond to the sound of food tins being tapped but few will deign to do much else.
How Do Cats Purr?
The explanation relates to the rapid twitching in muscles attached to a cat’s voicebox. As the cat breathes out, air passes through its vibrating voicebox, producing the oddly comforting sound we call purring. The frequency of this sound may at least explain why cats purr. For a house moggy, it’s between 27 and 44 cycles per second- strikingly similar to the type of vibration doctors have found encourages bone healing in humans. This has prompted scientists to suggest that purring cats may be repairing themselves after a hard day’s mousing.