Cat Tails and Vocalizations - Breed Specific? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Cat Tails and Vocalizations - Breed Specific?

Hi everyone! Since Rochelle is starting to come out of her skittish shell, and is now interacting with us humans of the household like normal, I've noticed some very specific behaviors that only she exhibits.

First her tail. Both Samantha and Alice use the classic signs of cat tails...raised up straight for greetings, thumping against the floor when agitated, and so on. They are both extremely expressive with their tails. Rochelle on the other hand, seems to rarely use her tail when compared to the other two. She usually carries her tail down, and she flicks only the tip. Sometimes she'll carry it straight up, but usually it's just down. Even when laying down or purring from getting love, I've never seen her swish her tail or anything, she just only flicks the tip.

Secondly, her voice. Both Samantha and Alice use a pretty broad range of vocalizations. Rochelle has three vocalizations...she either trills, purrs, or she has this adorable meow that sounds like she's singing...seriously, it sounds like she's taking a breath inwards while trying to make a noise, and it sounds like a little breathy note of music. It's adorable, but I've never heard anything like it from either of my cats or from anyone else's cats I've known.

I was wondering if she perhaps had a certain type of cat breed in her to cause these differences? If so, what breed type does she sound like she could have mixed in her? If it's not something breed-related and just her adorable cuteness, I'll buy that too...I was just curious.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 04:42 PM
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I think it's likely more individual-cat specific (at least in mixed breeds, I know pure siamese often have a very distinct meow with an edge to it from what I've heard). My two lynx-point siamese mixes sound totally different!

Apollo has a high-pitched trill that he uses most of the time, and only occasionally meows normally (again, very high-pitched). Athena on the other hand barely meows at all. When she does, it's a very faint raspy Donald Duck sort of noise.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 05:33 PM
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No problem! Hope you enjoy them
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts guys. So I guess I have a singing cat, that seems to have an aversion to tail-use...I can deal with that. I was just curious, because they are very specific behaviors that I've only seen her exhibit, and I do know that there are certain breeds that have defining behaviors. Just speaking from the experience of owning my three girls, I'm amazed at each of their separate personalities! Different vocalizations, different quirks, different likes and dislikes...they are more people-like than dog-like in their diversity. I feel honored to share my home with these wonderful little creatures.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 12:32 PM
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This sounds she makes...is it an odd sound sort of like "Arrrrrut"? My cat Raven who is a mix with some Siamese in her makes strange sounds too but is unable to meow. She makes a sort of trilling chirping sound that is very musical as well. It is very hard to explain but she rolls her r sounds a lot and always seems to be saying something like "arrrrrrut" or "brrrrrut brrrrrrrut". I have never come across any other cat in the world who makes these sounds and since she is part Siamese she talks constantly. she also makes a high pitched chirp that’s sounds like an "eeeh." a sound I have listened to servals making. and of course her cute little clicking sounds whenever she watches birds. If both our cats make the same odd sounds then I don't feel so alone. I was always wondering if her strange sounds had to do with her Siamese bloodline, if it was because she was inbreed (not sure if she is but the cat population she came from at the barn was small) or if it was something odd like a cat speech impediment, if she never learned cat speak so to say properly or if she was just a freak of nature. As you said your cat seems to sing, Raven has the same sort of singing sound which is why we called her the Singer. Another theory I had was if she had learned it from me since I sing opera and have sung to her since she was a baby that possibly she tried to mimic some of the sounds I made since I have listened to her wonderful mimic of a falsetto voice. I know odd but my cat is pretty brilliant learning how to open doors and drawers, and open catnip bags. If it at all possible for cats to mimic sounds they hear much like they had learned to mimic bird sounds to lure them in for the kill? I have seen cats before who seem to mimic “hello” and other human words or is it just coincidence?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Rochelle doesn't chirp like your Raven does, LadyVictorian. But the "Arrrrrut?" and the little "eeeeh." noise sound like they could be very similar...Rochelle makes these a lot when trilling and very excited. Sometimes, when she gets super excited about something, she'll string them together into a mishmash of high-pitched sound.

I would love to get Rochelle on video doing her little breathy mew, but so far I've been very unlucky with the timing. I've been trying to find similar noises in YouTube cat videos and things, but so far, no cat has yet to make this noise. It's just an amazingly adorable high-pitched little music note.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:08 PM
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I think there are breed and individual differences for vocalizations. Before I got my Devon Rex, I had some Manx and was surprised how quiet the Devons were in comparison. My Manx all did the Brrrrt! thing and were very chatty when you talked to them. My Devons not so much. Tho my boy is chattier than his half sister. But I chalk that up to his pointed color pattern which indicates that way back in the development of the breed there was Siamese in there, which are known to be chatterboxes. One of his grandparents was seal point Devon. His meow is louder and he's more communicative when talked to; his half-sister is pretty quiet, unless she has a mousie in her mouth, and then she meows up a storm. Devons are still allowed to outcross to British Shorthair and American Shorthair by CFA (Cat Fanciers' Assoc.) for genetic diversity, but the book will be closed next year. I think my girl has a more quiet temperament like a British SH, whereas my boy's is a little more high strung and he's more active...the Siamese influence or just his individual personality?

You might be interested in reading this excellent article on Cat Communication, especially the tail positions.

CAT COMMUNICATION
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the excellent read ami! I found the parts on the face and ears the most interesting. Who knew they were that expressive? I'm going to be keeping a closer eye on my cats from now on...these little creatures really interest me.

I've read that there are some breeds more talkative than the others, the Siamese being the most prominent. I would love to own a Siamese and see him and Samantha go head to head to see who's the most vocal...for being a mutt, Samantha has got a mouth on her!
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