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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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communication

Do you think it's possible to talk to your cat? To speak in their language? Would they respond to a human immitating their own signals like hissing and such?

Does anyone know of anyway's to communicate with their cats? Or do you think it's possible.

thanks for your consideration.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 07:49 PM
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Yes, of course it's possible to communicate with your cat. Using cat language. But it's not meows, as might first come to mind. Meows are primarily sounds cats make to communicate with PEOPLE. Cat language is primarily "body language". If you can learn that language, you can communicate with your cat. There are some sounds that cats make for other cats: primarily hisses and growls. You can communicate using those, too. But you'd better know what you're saying!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 08:59 PM
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I'm not sure if you've heard of a writer named Desmond Morris... he studies animal behaviour. He has a book I love called Catwatching, and it's all about cat body language and what it means.

For example, he says that when a cat blinks at you, it's a sign of trust, or of non-threatening-ness. My cats and I will sit and have squinting sessions where we'll all sit around and blink at each other, and eventually the cats fall asleep. I've also found that when I am with my friends' cats, or cats that don't know me, sitting low on the ground and blinking at them usually makes them more willing to approach me.

Has anyone else tried this?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseplaypen
Has anyone else tried this?
Not me, but it's certainly on my list of to-do's to see if it works.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 10:08 PM
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Assumpta gave me a crash course in cat language. You can mimic meows all day long, but it won't mean much to the cat, as it's mainly a one-way communication method they use to communicate with humans (adult cats don't meow at each other; they have better ways of communicating).

Blinking, yawning, and washing are all nice, non-threatening ways to communicate with your cat. And I will second what Tim said about hissing and growling and other communications of territoriality and aggression: You had BETTER know what you're saying and when to say it, or you chance escalating an aggressive episode and either being injured or damaging your relationship with your cat. I'll go face-to-face with Assumpta when she's acting up, but only because I know how she reacts and what she'll do...to date, I'm the only person she'll back down from; I've never hit, yelled at, or scared her, but I've tried to make myself look like the bigger, more powerful cat using body language and occasional vocalizations. She's either bought it or she thinks it's funny and forgets whet she was mad about. She'll start getting pushy with me, I'll challenge her in body language, and she'll consider it for a minute and then start washing or yawn...that's my cue to join her in non-threatening gestures, ending in patting and cuddles. I don't use body language methods with shelter cats, because they will certainly go to homes where they'll need to understand human language, so I use only people-talk and human postures...a shame, because there are a few that I think I could work with using a more cat-centered approach, but I have my orders.

I love slow-blinking. Assumpta will lie on my chest with her face in mine, nose-to-nose, and we'll swap slow blinks until one of us falls asleep. Makes me all sappy and sentimental.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 10:32 PM
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I'll second "Catwatching" by Desmond Morris. It's an excellent book about cats.

Mellie and I exchange blinkies all the time, but Rocket and Tommy seem to be unaffected by it.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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I definitely communicate with my cats. I use hand gestures that mean different things. They understand all of them and always respond.
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