Housecats are able to observe human behavior and mimic it, according to researchers at Eötvös Loránd University's Department of Ethology in Budapest. Previously, only orcas, apes, elephants, dolphins, and magpies have been known to imitate human behavior.
[Lead researcher Claudia] Fugazza observed as the cat responded to 18 requests to perform an action it had never done before following requests mimic [colleague Fumi] Higaki, including opening a drawer, spinning around, reaching out and touching a toy, and laying down in a certain position. The cat was found to respond as desired approximately 81 percent of the time. The researchers suggest that the cat demonstrated the capability of mapping its own body parts to those of another creature, and to understand how those parts could be used in similar ways.