...and they love it!
We all do it right? We use a particular tone of voice when we’re talking to our cats. When you love your fur-baby, you don’t really care that you maybe sound a little silly when you’re telling them that they’re your favorite floofy woofy furball. You’re actually pretty sure that your cats like you talking to them in your baby-cat voice, and while others who may not get the joy of cats may raise an eyebrow, recent research actually suggests that you are indeed right. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Paris Nanterre University in France concludes that cats do recognize when you’re talking in your cat voice, and actually prefer that tone to your ordinary voice! Of course, this is something we cat-lovers knew all along, but it’s nice to be proven right!
"For a long time, it has been thought that cats are very independent creatures, only interested in (humans for) eating and shelter, but the fact that they react specifically to their owner, and not just anybody addressing them, supports the idea that they are attached. It brings further evidence to encourage humans to consider cats as sensitive and communicative individuals." – Researcher Charlotte de Mouzon
So how did they come to this conclusion?
Well, it’s a fascinating study that involved 16 cats being played recordings. One set of recordings was of the cat parents calling their names and talking to them in their ‘cat voice’ as they usually would, the other set had the same cat parents saying the same words, but in an ordinary voice, as if they were talking to an adult human. The final set of recordings had 16 strangers reading the same words. The cats were closely observed. Would they twitch their tail? Make a noise? Would their pupil size change? All reactions were recorded.
“We know that they react to this kind of speech and it’s a good way for cats to know that we’re addressing them” – Researcher Charlotte de Mouzon
The results are very interesting!
When listening to the recordings of the strangers, even though they called their name, the cats didn’t react. But, when the cats’ parents said their name, 10 of the 16 cats displayed some sort of noticeable reaction. What’s even more intriguing, is that the cats reacted at a greater level when the parents used their special kitty voice, but when a stranger spoke to them in a similar tone of voice, or indeed any tone of voice, they didn’t respond at all!
“So, we should feel confident about speaking to our cats with this kind of ‘baby talk’” - – Researcher Charlotte de Mouzon
Does this prove they love you the best?
We don’t claim to be scientists ourselves, but this certainly does seem to show that cats really do recognize the voices of their parents, and respond positively when they hear them. They’re particularly happy when you talk to them in your special voice that you reserve only for them, so we’d say that this is pretty much proof that your kitty loves you best in the world. Wouldn’t you agree?