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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