General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

Can an animal find something funny?

Asked by AstroChuck (37336points) September 14th, 2008 from iPhone

I swear my cat reacts to humor. A couple of times I’ve noticed him reacting strangely to funny events, such as one time when he was watching the parrot as he slipped off his perch. Have you noticed anything that would make you think an animal has a funnybone?

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21 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Milo finds almost everything I do hilarious. In order to avoid squishing him recently at 3:00 AM, I fell out of bed.

( Gotta run..it’s time for his evening moth.)

tinyfaery's avatar

My oldest cat loves to put her butt on my boy cat’s face. Whenever they “fight”, she goes for the head. Once she does it, she looks at me, then at him, and then struts around; I swear I can hear her laughing.

gailcalled's avatar

And what about the disdainful snub? I took M to get his nails trimmed yesterday. He didn’t talk to me for several hours.

tWrex's avatar

My dog will jump on the bed, lay next to me and my wife, fart and leave… Oh yeah. They find it funny.

bluemukaki's avatar

I love how my cat checks no one saw him when he falls off something, he looks around all shifty-like… I think they have a sense of pride too!

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh yeah blue!

JackAdams's avatar

I have a Nanday Conure (Nandayus nenday) who imitates human laughter with a series of rapid “clicking” noises, which is as close as he can come, to mimicking that sound.

One time, he was staring intently at the ceiling. I went over to his stand, and began to stare in the same direction as he, but couldn’t see whatever it was that he saw, on the ceiling.

I said, “What are you looking at? I don’t see anything.”

He replied with a series of clicking noises.

Take a look and listen at this

AstroChuck's avatar

@bluemukaki- I know that cats and birds definitely have pride. When Tyra, my oldest cat, tries to jump up onto something and comes up short and falls she’ll notice us watching and snickering. That’s when the ears go back and she runs out of the room like rats from an aquaduct. Also, both my Meyer’s Parrot and my folks’ Conure slip off their perch from time to time then move away from the sides of their cage. Neither will make a sound or look at you until they’ve gotten over their embarassment.

marinelife's avatar

My dogs smile and have a sense of silliness and playfulness. They definitely have senses of humor. Sometimes he will deliberately do something naughty, and then cut his eyes at me slyly while smiling.

Harp's avatar

I came across this in a Discover magazine article recently:

“Central Washington University researcher Roger Fouts reported that Washoe, a chimpanzee who was taught sign language, once urinated on him while riding on his shoulders. The chimp snorted and made the sign for “funny.” Washoe was also observed playfully wielding a toothbrush as if it were a hairbrush. Moja, another of Fouts’s signing chimps, called a purse a “shoe” and wore it on her foot. A signing gorilla trained by another researcher appeared to derive amusement from offering rocks to people as “food.”

Nimis's avatar

Blu and Astro: They definitely have a sense of pride, because they can totally get embarrassed!

One time, the entire family (‘plete with dog) was hanging out in the living room. When all of the sudden, my dog let one rip. Everyone looked around at each other. When we realized it was the dog, we all started cracking up and pointing at her. She barked at us, then hid her muzzle under her paws!

What’s really interesting is that of all the dog owners I’ve told this to, the only ones who have comparable stories have only had female dogs. I wonder if this is merely a coincidence or if female dogs (like many female humans) are more likely to be embarrassed about farting? Like one of my friend says, his (male) dog just lets it rip without an a care in the world.

JackAdams's avatar

I don’t recall if I ever mentioned this before, but I once owned a horse who stuttered.

Everyone around him would laugh at him and point when he did that, but eventually, he’d laugh also, after he realized that we loved him very much, and it didn’t matter to us that he did that, on occasion.

His name was “Stormy” and he was one of my best-ever friends, when I was growing up. I sure miss him…

Like Joni Mitchell once sang, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got, ‘til it’s gone.”

Nimis's avatar

JackA: Awwwwww…so cute!
But what exactly does a stuttering horse sound like?

JackAdams's avatar

I can’t accurately describe the sound, without appearing to “make fun” of him.

Nimis's avatar

JackA: You’re laughing with him.

girlofscience's avatar

Just an hour ago, I was talking to a colleague, and he was telling me that he recently read about a researcher who successfully forced laughter upon his rats through tickling.

No joke.

gailcalled's avatar

Who tickled whom?

girlofscience's avatar

@gailcalled: Ha ha.

Sakimichi's avatar

Well, I don’t believe in a heartless living thing so it’s quite possible but animals tend to show it in a differently matter.

Humans breath through the nose
But Fishes breath through the gills

They do it differently but they are doing the same thing right?

Tantigirl's avatar

I noticed something not long ago. I was talking to my cat about something, making small talk, asked him a question, and he shook his head as if to say I don’t believe you just said that!!! I swear, with my hand on my heart, that is truly what happened.

faye's avatar

Oh I enjoyed that clip @JackAdams.

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