Cat experiment - care to contribute?

The Snark

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Take your fingertip and gently draw random geometric patterns on the head of your cat.
Does it's disposition alter? Do you notice a change in it's behavior? How significant is the alteration or is it present at all?

It's a mnemonic trigger
 

Leila

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My fat boy, Lu, is wandering outdoors at the moment. It's almost dinner time for him, so I will let you know what his reaction to the experiment is when he graces me with his presence. :embarrassed:
 

Leila

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Ok...I brought him inside. His overall reaction to the shapes: "Why the heck are you doing that to my head????" Then he ran away from me. Lol.
 

Chris LXXIX

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My cats are skilled hunters of 'those who fly', they are independent but nonetheless, loyal than dogs. One of my battle is to state that cats aren't selfish home-luvers only but best friends just like dogs.

My cats loves to suck my arms, my cats always watch my T's when I'm not home :kiss:
 

MetalMan2004

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Cat #1 try #1 I reached toward her and she thought I was going to pet her so she stretched her head and neck toward me. When I drew with my finger on her head she couldn't decide if I was actually petting her or not so she tried to rub her head on my hand.

Cat #1 try #2 she sat there and took it. Didn't move a bit.

Cat #2 I'll let you know when she shows up.
 

Goodlukwitthat

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My cat, let's just say... is special.... She has all the symptoms of feline hyperesthesia but I have not taken her to the vet to fully assess her condition. The only thing she doesn't do is chew herself. She's healthy, shelter rescue, approx 4 years old and is getting to be a fatty lol.

Anywho, so attempt number one... called her into the livingroom.... she comes running in....try to coax her to get on the couch with me... she just looks at me as if to say...nope not falling for that again cause the last time you tried drowning me in the evil ocean (bath tub; she hates baths)...I lean down, fingers together like I have food... she sniffs my finger, I try to touch her head and she takes off like something was after her. I will try again later after she's calmed down some.
 

Goodlukwitthat

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2nd attempt unsuccessful. Touched her head and that was a no go. she immediately jumped off the couch. Give it a few minutes and she'll come back and head but my leg and jump on me then lay down and sleep on my lap or my chest.
 

awiec

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My cats take any touching as attention so they just meowed at me and demanded more shapes
 

The Snark

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Supposedly all newborn kittens can be lulled into a contented stupor by this sensation, when the tummy has been filled. Then as they develop they acquire traits, likes, habits, dislikes and so on. Note, ACQUIRED. So their deviation from the mnemonic trigger is indicative of their learning-experiences and their environment.
Occasionally an adult cat can be encountered which will respond to the trigger in newborn fashion.

It isn't just the environment but the interactions that take place during the learning curve that dictate the degree of deviation.
 

The Snark

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It's one of those quirky scientific experiments. It yields data but we're not quite sure what we're looking at. It does establish that cats develop very strong independent character traits. Compare to the average dog.
 

RepugnantOoze

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We have 7 cats will post result later.

Instead later I will post results now lol.

Molly - Was a bit off put at first but he loved it.

Gemini - Off put but loved it.

Skunk - Loved it.

Mustard - Loved it.

Earl - Loved it.

Sophia - Loved it.

Clementine - Loved it.

Am I doing something wrong?
 

Chris LXXIX

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It's one of those quirky scientific experiments. It yields data but we're not quite sure what we're looking at. It does establish that cats develop very strong independent character traits. Compare to the average dog.
I have four cats: one is the mother (10 years almost) the other three are two males, one female (7 years).
All of them are completely independent (in Spring/Summer they are never in the house aside for eat) still the two males loves to reach a bed, start to suck themselves belly, moving their pawns... a fun to watch. How do you explain that? I'm clueless :-s
 

RepugnantOoze

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Supposedly all newborn kittens can be lulled into a contented stupor by this sensation, when the tummy has been filled. Then as they develop they acquire traits, likes, habits, dislikes and so on. Note, ACQUIRED. So their deviation from the mnemonic trigger is indicative of their learning-experiences and their environment.
Occasionally an adult cat can be encountered which will respond to the trigger in newborn fashion.

It isn't just the environment but the interactions that take place during the learning curve that dictate the degree of deviation.
I don't think I quite understand this.

The cats are being triggered to do what exactly?
 

The Snark

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I don't think I quite understand this.
Now that I can't find the original white paper... Essentially, a newborn kitten has an on-off switch the mother can operate. During this initial period the animal has few basic 'instinctive' functions operating. For example, it has no survival mechanism. Drop a kitten in water it just sinks and drowns. Drop a puppy in water it attempts to swim.

This on-off switch remains throughout the cat's life but gets over-ridden by all sorts of things. However, some cats retain this throughout their lives and it can be triggered. Sometimes the animal's correct mood and correct circumstances must be present.

So what the cat does, whether allowing the mnemonic trigger to kick in, or whatever else, are all traits it has learned. The stronger the deviation, variation, the stronger the learning incident or incidents. One cat ignores. Why? One cat will try to bite your hand. Why? One cat will get the fright-flight instinct triggered. Why? What trains these trait responses? Can the training be altered? Can the training be over-ridden and revert back to the on-off trigger?

The physiological mechanisms have been observed and measured, used as indicators. The off trigger significantly lowers the heart rate and brain functions, essentially inducing a torpor.
 

The Snark

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I became curious about this from observing our two cats and consulting a researcher. One cat is overt and rambunctious the other, the on-off trigger can be operated about 6 hours a day. The one that can be turned off reverts to a puddle on the floor. The other is far more environment aware and responsive. However I was able to train her to come when called, assume a certain position on my arm and in that position I was able to trigger the off switch.
 

The Snark

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I made this post to get other peoples takes on this. I honestly don't undertstand what is going on. It is especially interesting to me that we can observe an animal with a 'control'. The deviations from that control can reveal a lot of information on behavioral science. (Or, as so often is the case with scientific experiments, produce more questions than it answers.)
 

CWilson1351

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Tried calling him over, he opened his eyes briefly, then closed them again without a glance in my direction.

Went over to his lazy self and tried. He let me do it once, sniffed my finger, and just laid there completely uninterested.
In fairness to this experiment, he has been mad at me since I have begun working longer hours. He still likes my wife. I'll have her attempt and report back.
 

CWilson1351

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Experiment take 2:
He sniffed the wife upon approach. Once that was done he allowed her to do the shapes. The only reaction seemed to be a content squint of the eyes. He allowed her a second time (3-5min between) and the reaction was the same. His eyes were closed before her first approach and he has since gone back to trying to sleep.

In conclusion to our portion of the experiment is that our cat is a fat and lazy butthead who doesn't appreciate me working my tail off to keep him well fed. :rofl:
 
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