Cat Speak: Understanding Your Feline Friend

How Does Your Cat Speak To You?

Do you understand how your cat is trying to communicate with you? Many of us are sometimes confused about what our cats are saying to us, but we don’t have to be! Here’s a look at some common cat speak and what it means!

The one thing you probably think you understand about how cats communicate — purring means they’re happy! — isn’t exactly right.

Cats do indeed purr when they’re happy, but that’s not the most accurate translation of the sound’s meaning, Cromwell-Davis explained.

“You can have cats that are happy and content purring, but also a cat that’s injured or sick will purr,” she said.

Instead, purring means something more like, don’t go anywhere, please. It’s more likely a solicitation for care, in other words, than purely an expression of contentedness.

“They haven’t got a good way of asking for help — it’s not in their language — so they do the next best thing, they do the purring thing,” said John Bradshaw, a University of Bristol anthrozoologist.

Cats and their humans develop a secret language of meows.

Cats don’t really meow to communicate with other cats, Bradshaw said, which in itself is a pretty surprising little cat-fact.

But in his observations of feral cats, he said, “you get a meow about once every hundred hours. They’re very silent.”

And yet domesticated cats, as you know if you’ve got one, will often meow their little heads off, all day (and sometimes night!) long.

“People think of it as an absolutely classic cat behavior … but it’s something they’ve learned to do to get our attention,” Bradshaw said. “It’s really something they’ve adopted as a way of communicating with humans.”

– via Science of Us

Cat Speak: What Your Cat’s Meows Might Mean

Wondering what your cat’s meows mean? What your furry, fluffy friend is trying to tell you? Here’s a look at what your cat might be saying and how she might be trying to get your attention.

With each purr, yowl or even blink, felines are saying, “Hello,” ”Let’s snuggle” or “Beat it, Mom.”

For the increasing number of pet owners who want to connect with their often-aloof fur babies, experts say there’s something to gain from those attempts at communication.

Cats are very independent, and so they are easily misunderstood, says Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA and author of the new National Geographic book “How to Speak Cat.”

He aims to unravel the mystery by helping people discern what cats are trying to convey.

Crafty kitties can make 16 different meow sounds and usually only unleash them when people are around, he said. Meows can be their way of saying feed me, pet me or let me out, and hardly ever get exchanged between cats.

The meaning of a scratch or a hiss is pretty clear, but cats can talk in more subtle ways – with their eyes and tails.

A slow blink from a feline, for example, is like a wink between friends, Weitzman said.

“Blinking is like a kitty kiss,” he said.

And extending their tails straight up equates to a human handshake, he said. A cat perks up that appendage as it approaches to show it’s happy to see you.

– via The Huffington Post

How well do you understand cat speak? Do you and your cat have a special relationship?

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