Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Cats DO Talk

ANOTHER study has shown what we cat lovers have known all along - that cats communicate with humans.

My cat is adept at telling me all about her requirements. Her ladyship easily communicates, "I'm hungry but I don't want that cheap rubbish," or  "I want to go out and annoy someone else." or "Rub my head - and I mean NOW," or  Go to bed so I can sit on your head." We are left in doubt about madam's needs.

A few  days ago my subject for the letter T in the A to Z challenge was Talking Cats. Read it here. I quoted Dr. Nicholas Nicastro, Ph.D., who wrote a thesis on how people interpret meows, compiling a  sample of 100 different vocalizations from 12 cats.

Now Dr Sharon Crowell-Davis, a professor of veterinary behavior at the University of Georgia, says cats are as expressive as dogs. The problem is that people don't always understand them.

Dogs have more expressive faces and body language which are easier to read than a cat’s more reserved expressions. But they ARE trying to communicate.

Speaking at the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants' 2015 Feline Behaviour Conference, Dr Crowell-Davis says we are right.

She said many people didn’t pay attention to their cats’ facial expressions.

“If you do begin to pay attention to their faces, she said, “you’ll see when they’re stressed or when they’re pained the facial muscles are tensed, and when they’re happy or relaxed, their facial muscles are relaxed.”

I think I know what these two are saying to each other:

Fluff: "Have your heard there's been another study about cats talking?"

Kitty: "They are stupid, these humans, what do they think all our meows, chirrups and purrs mean?"

Fluff: "They must think we're doing it just for the hell of it."

Kitty: "Yup, stupid. Now, if I lie down quietly will you give me a good licking?"

Fluff: "OK, but it's my turn next."

PS: Since posting the above,CATachresis has pointed me in the direction of a video of a translation of what these two are saying. It's hilarious. See below:

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Austin Towers said...

This is true! I talk all the time only the stoopid human doesn't understand .. or pretends not to understand! MOL I think there is a translation of that terrific video on You Tube somewhere. Very funny :)

That's Purrfect said...

I must try to find that video!

That's Purrfect said...

Found it and added it! Thanks. It's fantastic.

Fur Everywhere said...

Cats *definitely* talk to us. Now I'm wondering if different kinds of people are more likely to be able to tune in to a cat's communication. I tend to be able to feel the energy of how a cat is feeling, for instance. I have a severe vision problem and can't see their expressions, but I can usually tell what a cat wants or how it's feeling. I'm also an introvert and reserved, so I'm wondering if introverts can tune into a cat's moods more easily than extraverts. Wouldn't that be an interesting study for someone to do?

Birgit said...

Too funny. Last night I awoke from one of our cats walking on my face. This was around the time they feel i should get up and feed them since I am their servant. Our other cat has this diva quality. I swear if she could throw a cell phone at us she would. The male cat is the most whiny (figures). "Let me in", "Clean my litter box", "pet me, not with your hand but with your foot", "feed me", " I am meowing now just to annoy you", "I want to go into the veranda" We open the door, He pauses, sits and then walks away. Grrrrrr

That's Purrfect said...

They definitely own us and not the other way round!

That's Purrfect said...

I'm sure some people are more tuned in to cats than others, just as some people are naturally more empathetic to others. It would be a fascinating study.

Darla M Sands said...

We have some mouthy ones in my house that I wouldn't trade for anything. Best wishes!

Austin Towers said...

YAY!!! It is so funny! Thanks for the laugh. It's a while since I'd seen it :)

Liz A. said...

I read someplace that cats do know their names, but don't come when called because they're ignoring us. Perhaps that's turnabout...

Jo said...

Not lived with a cat in years unfortunately. But I am quite sure they do talk to us.