The Department of Defense has published its findings on a study aimed at training cats for the battlefield. The study lasted 2 years, cost taxpayers $5 billion dollars, and involved 1000 cats. Cats were chosen because they are small, lightweight, cheap and expendable. It is also assumed that they have an excellent sense of smell. After 2 years of training, 100% of all test subjects proved useless or died in action or had to be euthanized (the researchers really don’t know what happened to them).
The report stated that the biggest problem was trying to decipher the cats’ meows. It had been assumed that their meows were some form of code. After spending $1 billion on trying to communicate, it was discovered that they were just complaining about the food. Researchers found that when cats had little food left in the bowl, they began to act erratic. Some cats became aggressive, while others became overly affectionate. Once the cats were fed, they dismissed the trainer altogether.
Next, researchers tried training the cats to sniff out various items. The results were futile. When given a scent to sniff out, cats would normally ignore the item and go lay down in a corner. The cat’s that did sniff the item would typically follow up by rubbing their face all over it, grooming themselves, and then taking a nap.
Finally, researchers tried to see if cats could carry a message from one end of the battlefield to another. When given a note to deliver, the cats would typically walk around aimlessly. Sometimes they would get distracted by a piece of string, a bug, or something shiny. At times, the cats would even go after the researchers themselves. Several cats were very aggressive and would bite the researchers on their legs.
The study looked at 1000 cats and found that all of them did not have the right temperament to be trained. The study concluded that cats are not only unsuited for military life but also have an ‘attitude problem.’ After spending $5 billion on the training program, military officials were forced to admit defeat and decided to use continue using dogs instead. The dogs were incredibly effective in battle, and are still used as messengers today.