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What is Kitty Trying to Tell You?

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What is Kitty Trying to Tell You?

By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline

I can barely stumble out of bed in the morning before my cat tries to strike up a conversation. As she goes through her busy day, she tells me when she’s ready to eat, when she wants to play, and if she’s in another room and sees a bug, she demands that I come vanquish it immediately. She doesn’t speak English, of course, but she’s trained me to correctly interpret every little sound she makes, from the meekest “meep” to the mightiest “MROW!”

Talk Kitty to Me
When cats communicate with each other, they do so almost silently. Felines mostly communicate through smell and body language, rarely having to raise their voices. Cats leave scent markers to tell other cats about their sex, their reproductive status, and their health, and when communicating face to face, they rely on a complex system of postures and body language to let each other know how they’re feeling. Cats are experts at communication, so with the exception of hisses and growls, most cat-to-cat interactions are wordless. When the humans enter the room, however, suddenly everyone’s got something to say. That’s because many of the vocalizations cats make are expressly for human benefit.

Cats start meowing when they’re kittens, in order to get their mother’s attention and food, and the most vocal babies are the ones who get the most of each. Domestic cats never grow out of this juvenile vocalization, because they’ve learned that it’s a pretty effective way to get what they want from people. It’s almost as if domestic cats think of us as mother figures, and they’re not afraid to let us know when they’re hungry, angry, or want some affection.

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Pets

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

418 comments

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3:34AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

ty

3:57AM PDT on Aug 10, 2014

Cats are fascinating.

9:17AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

My cat wakes me up every morning at about the same time by meowing. She has food, so I know she is wanting a good morning petting. And as the author stated - there are few things better than seeing kitty run to the front door when I get home, ready to greet me with head bunts and friendly banter. Priceless.

7:59PM PDT on Aug 5, 2014

Yes, John S, while cats sleep more often than do dogs, they still manage to pack a lot into a purrfect day and evening.

The cat that owns me believes that a meowing opera is in order as soon as I go into the kitchen a prepare a meal, even if it is salad. She sings a non-stop opera while I am in the kitchen, even with a food bowl that is full.

3:21PM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

I´m even convinced that my cats understand every word I say, f. ex. if I say one of them´s silly with a friendly voice, he/she will be offended, hahaha!!! Aaaaawww, what a cute kitten, I understand my 3 furry kids very well, but I´ve already been growing up with cats...

8:58AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

One of my cat simply go bezerk with giving me love bite and little head ''poke'' to my legs, when I whistle :-) . He also go is lenght to meows very long single mew. This is pretty funny! I wonder if there's a guiness record for that :-P

9:42AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

great article, thank you

9:19AM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

Our cat just says,"hurry up.Breakfast. Supper's in the cupboard. Faster. Faster."

12:27PM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

I know both of my cats' vocal arrangements, the little terrors, from 'Mehhhh' ('Give me my own way, immediately') to "M-roooo' ('OK, I give up, but I'm not happy about it'.

4:45AM PDT on May 20, 2014

One of my cat's answers when you ask her something and she really likes to initiate a conversation too.
My other cat mainly makes the prrrrrrt sound when she goes and lays herself down in the middle of the doorway...as if to warn you not to accidentally trip over her, and she tends to miep when I get home.

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