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Think cats are aloof? They make nearly 300 facial expressions, study says.
Brittany Florkiewicz has always been a dog person, but she was surprised by what she discovered when reviewing more than 100 hours of cat videos.
Florkiewicz, a psychology professor at an Arkansas college, spent her childhood running around her yard with her family’s German shepherds and Labrador retrievers. She believed dogs were friendlier and more expressive than cats, as many pet owners do.
That changed when she and a co-researcher began studying cats in 2021 to learn more about how they communicate and express themselves. After videotaping and reviewing felines’ facial expressions at a cat cafe for nearly a year, Florkiewicz debunked her lifelong belief.
The researchers found that cats displayed at least 276 different facial expressions, according to the study’s results, which published last month in the journal Behavioural Processes. Florkiewicz told The Washington Post that the findings show cats are more articulate and affectionate than previously thought.
COMMENT: Mrs Slug and I have had cats for almost the entire run of our marriage. We like cats, but we are definitely dog people. I would not have guessed that cats are capable of 276 expressions.