I have wondered about that. I’ve seen a number of cats stretch up and paw at door knobs when they want to go out. Not something I’ve seen dogs do. But I haven’t done a survey, so what I’ve seen could be totally non-representative.
Via @aLynHall in the Unicorn Chaser thread:
If only to mock us…
Every dog I know has a signal it needs to go out.
Imo dogs are way easier to train. It seems like how well a cat learns depends on how willing it is to learn. I dunno if dogs mimic, or just learn the command and action.
Cats and younger siblings, being copy-cats since… forever.
Hmmm - so I could sell some old broken lap tops as cat toys?
Yes, they mimic us, but will often discover they have no interest in doing whatever the heck it is that we’re doing, then wander off. Agatha will sit in my lap in the office and watch me work, but then realize she doesn’t want to work, so goes off to have a nap. She also watches me run on the treadmill, often walking around to get different points of view, but she doesn’t join me for that.
I’m not sure how distinct that is from just training a cat to do things.
That said, I do notice that our cat mimics our tone in his meows. When we say, “hello,” he replies “meow-row” which is simultaneously cute and freaky.
Pokey is a dog. At some point he started poking me, and then he’d immediately flip onto his side, time for patting.
When we started going for walks again in February, after a year when I couldn’t do it, he started poking me because he wants to go out. It’s obvious what he wants. Sometimes he just thumps his law on the ground.
It seems human thing.
It’s interesting that when the human turns around the cat turns in the opposite direction–literally mirroring the human action.
Mine used to do that all the time. He figured out he had to turn the knob. Obviously, it was hard to get traction with those little paws, but he did get it open that way once.
(This was the cat that the shelter named Harvard and the vet nicknamed Houdini, both times because he was talented at escaping from cages.)
Oh no you don’t! Clara Belle (my avatar) taught herself to ring the Christmas bells hanging on the door when she wanted to go out after noticing that they rang when we opened the door. So we left them there. It has been 7 years and several sets of bells since, but she still does it.
I’ve had cats that learned a lot, because they in it for the treats. The trick is to never run out of treats, though.
the poster today is just a cat mimicking Monday’s post
“Hey cat! I’m pissing where I’m supposed to piss: not on the carpet, nor in a suitcase. Mimic that!”
I really don’t think mimicry is that rare. There might be only a handful of species that have been shown to mimic humans in controlled studies, but lots of animals can observe and mimic behaviors of other species