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Dr. Ann M.
Dr. Ann M., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4851
Experience:  ER and general medicine Veterinarian since 2005
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can cats tell the difference between female humans and male

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can cats tell the difference between female humans and male humans? if so how?
also do cats know they are a different species from humans?

Certainly. Why do you think dogs sniff your crotch when they first meet you? They're trying to tell what sex you are. Both dogs and cats probably use a combination of scent, sight and the sound of the voice to determine a person's sex. I have three cats, one of whom loves men and one of whom loves women (the third one is scared of everyone, regardless of gender!). The one who loves men will generally approach a man she doesn't know, but not a woman, and the one who loves women the other way around. They certainly know who's who.

You being the alpha of your 'pack' isn't dependent on what sex you are. A wolf pack has an alpha male and an alpha female, both of whom are dominant over all other pack members. Your cats recognize dominance, regardless of sex.

Cats know different species based on sight and scent, and it is fairly easy for them to determine what species something is based on smell because their sense of smell is WAY more developed than ours is. In fact, if another animal (raccoon, for instance) were to come into their home while they are away, they would know instantly that a raccoon had been there simply based on smelling the scent of the raccoon on the floor, etc. Once they smell a different type of animal, they will always recognize that scent and associate it with that type of animal. Hope this helps! Best of luck.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
how do they recognize the difference between a male human and a female human by sight like what are cats basing it on? Also are you saying they notice which humans are the dominant ones?
Yes, they can tell by sight the same way that we can tell by sight- based on size, body shape, facial differences, sound of the voice, etc. All animals can tell dominance based on behaviors once they have spent time around other animals/people.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
can they tell the difference between there owners? also can they understand some of the words we say? do cats have there own language such as do they have a vocabulary or words?

Yes, they can tell the difference between their owners by sight and by smell. They get used to words and associate them with things due to conditioning, but they don't necessarily "understand" them. They do have their own "language", of sorts, meaning that different pitches of their cry/meow can mean different things, such as "beware, I am angry", or "hello, let's play". Hope this helps!

Take care.