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Is the cat's language decrypted now?


Hunger, fear or the invitation to pamper yourself? Cats communicate with their people using a variety of sounds - but does the meowing even hide a language of its own? Swedish researchers are now dealing with this question. What does this kitty want to tell you? Knowledge of cat language could help - Shutterstock / Valeri Potapova

One thing is clear: cats communicate with each other, mainly using their body language and special fragrance notes. Meows a velvet paw, then usually speaks specifically to a person with this spoken language, the phonetics researcher Suzanne Schötz reveals in an interview with "National Geographic". Many cat owners know this: in the morning they are woken up by an imperious meow. And cats who stand in front of closed doors give a heart-wailing whine - the message is usually clear in such cases.

The cat whisperer

But not all situations are so clear. After all, every cat owner probably asks every now and then: What does my cat want to tell me? Lund University in Sweden is now looking to investigate whether cats have some kind of universal language for communicating with humans. Are there certain sounds that always mean the same thing? So is there a meow that says "I'm hungry" and another that says "Stroke me!" stands?

To find out, the Swedish researchers compare pictures of cats and people from different regions of the country, in which different dialects are spoken. By examining the speech melody, the researchers also want to find out whether there are cat dialects. Because with its regional differences, human language may also have an impact on the velvet paws.

The cat code

According to the National Geographic, the team also wants to investigate whether the way people talk to cats affects the response of the velvet paws. So do fur noses prefer serious conversation or do they rather enjoy baby talk? For this test, different language styles are recorded and then played in the respective cat apartment via loudspeakers.

What do cats want to say?

The study is intended to show whether all cats use the same or at least similar speech melodies when communicating with humans. Any differences between different cat breeds should also be examined. The goal is to decipher the language of the cats so that people and the velvet paw can communicate better.