Monday 28 January 2008

Talking To Your Cat

talk to your catYou don't need to research talking to your cat. If you have lived harmoniously with a cat or cats for a long time and you think about how you have communicated with them the answers are there.

It seems to me that the communication from my cat to me is different from me to my cat. There is a difference too between human/cat communication and cat/cat communication.

Human to Cat

The obvious way is through one's voice. When I call my cat by her informal name, "Binnie" she recognizes it. She looks up. She looks at me intently. She doesn't always look up and pay attention though, but neither does my partner .

Sometimes her response will be her ear twisting towards me (quite a subtle movement). Sometimes the tip of her tail will twitch but nothing else moves. She recognises her name though.

One reason and perhaps the main (maybe the only reason) that she responds to the call of her name is that it is usual to call her when I feed her. Also she recognises the sound of her name as spoken by me rather than the name itself. This is really a sound thing rather than a language thing (I guess that is obvious).

She also recognizes the phrase, "come on", said briskly and in the same way each time. I use this "sound" to call her to the kitchen to feed her. She understands this. These are just a couple of examples.

Cat to human

She will meow when asking for food. If I don't respond she will wait and eventually get irritated and this irritation shows in the tone of her voice when she next asks. There is a clear sign of irritation in just the same way a human voice changes. In addition to meowing to ask for food she'll come round to where I am sitting and look up at me with a clear message but no words said. When Timmy (new boy cat, a stray) demands food that he wants (meaning he wants more of the food he likes) he'll head butt me hard. This is a form of insistence in a nice way.

When she wants to check that I am around she'll meow but in another tone of voice. I respond with a reassuring sound.

She communicates too by her actions. She will sit by the cat flap when she want me to open the door (lazy devil). She will lie on the floor having looked at me first if she wants me to stroke her and whisper in her ear (she likes that). She'll sometimes look up and the plonk dwoon on the carpet and wait for the loving attention.

Other background forms of communication are her tail twitching (when receiving what I say) and a purr when she is contented.

We are able to communicate very well as above and through learned routine. We both know at a certain time certain things should happen and I deliver on those requirements (note: this is one way traffic :) These are examples. The bottom line is that taking to your cat is very possible and visa versa because there are a bundle of communication tools, which includes the voice, these include as referred to above:
  • the sound of our voice - its tone
  • our body language
  • out actions that accompany our voice
  • the cat's tails movements
  • the cat's meow has many different tones
  • our cat's actions
  • routines provide signals
  • our cat's facial expression - this is subtle but distinct and says a lot about what she expects and her feelings

Photo is copyright and by Sappymoosetree

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