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I've noticed that cats have no way at all to gauge my mood, because I don't have a tail or ears that move, and my body language is so different from theirs. Hey, I show my teeth when I'm actually happy.

I've observed that the only way they're able to tell my state of mind is if I speak - by the tone, volume and intonation of my voice. I often forget to speak so they can see I'm not in a threatening mood when they're feeling insecure, but I try to remember because I see what a big difference it makes. Often my mood, expressed in my voice, also calms them down and their body position changes to a more relaxed one and/or helps them fall asleep, recover their appetite, lose their fear, accept play / petting, stop fighting between them.

I'm talking about strays and former strays adopted not long ago, so it makes a really big difference for them.

Many of my strays also recognize me only by voice or what I'm wearing from the knee down. If I pass by on the way to/from work in pants and elegant shoes, they don't recognize me until they hear my voice. They'll shrink in fear as I approach silently, immediately dash towards me, relieved, the moment I start making sound.
 

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I talk to all the animals all the time too. I tell them "it's OK, it's just me". I think they associate that noise/sound with the accompanying non-threatening behavior (not to mention - food on occasion). :wink The young deer are fascinated by me almost as much as they are by Midnight, the wild cat. They still don't like to see teeth though, so you have to resist the urge to smile. :D Midnight has gone from biting me to letting me pet him when he is sleeping on the cabinet in the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I too tell them "It's me, it's mom" when I'm wearing my work fancy clothes - which in stray-cat language translates to: "likelihood of chicken breast or beef leftovers from work lunch." :)
 

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I talk a fair amount to Ritz. She was herself abandoned and still skittish after two years. I am especially vocal when I come up behind her or cross her path, "it's just me honey", or something similar. And when she looks like she is going to jump up onto the counter top or explore something new, I say, "well, you can if you want", like I don't really care. (And, actually, I don't.) If she wants to explore a closet, I tap three times on the door and open it; I actually think she's learned the 'code'. With trepidation, I let her be on the window sill, looking out, only a screen in between her and the lawn. I say, be careful and, so far, she has.
I hate myself when I speak harshly to her, it's more a "I don't have time for you" type of attitude or, more rarely, when she does something that is dangerous to herself. Cats DO sense our mood.
 

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I would second this - voice is very important! Not a surprise, I guess, considering how good a cat's hearing is!

(This reminds me of a funny incident recently with Gracie. As some of you might have read, we had an animal communicator come to the house a month ago. She has a soft, very distinctive voice. Just the other day I found a taped call-in session featuring several people including the communicator, so I played it on my computer. Gracie came rushing in with the most confounded look on her face, and her ears going every which way - "wait! that lady! is she here again? what's going on ?!?" :shock: )

Fran
 

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I agree that cats can tell our emotions by our voice. A while ago I wasn't very happy and was crying on the phone and Milky suddenly came over, stood up, put his arms on my shoulders and licked me, like he was trying to hug me. Whereas when I'm usually on my phone chatting normally, he won't do that. It felt so comforting when he did it and it made me feel so much better. He's so precious to me for all the cute little things he does. :)
 

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I talk a lot to all my animals and I think it is important but I think they have the ability to pick up our emotions from more than just our voices. I'm not sure whether they are sensitie to body language we don't even notice or maybe we actually exude different scentsaccording to our frame of mind - maybe it's even a psychic link. I have no real idea ow they do it but I beleive it is more than what is audible.
 

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I get really bad headaches - the doctor still can't figure out what the **** they are...two years of this nonsense...I digress.. - and kitty seems to know. He comes and lays on me and gives me his healing purrs :cat
 

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One of mine seems to be more in tune with me than the other 2.

He just knows when I need comfort. When we had to put one of our cats down earlier this year, he would come to bed with me and pat my head all night. He also knows when I've had a rough day at work and will spend more time with me than average.

Not sure how he knows, but he does.
 

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I've also noticed that speaking reaches to them. I hang around 5 strays now (still too toung to take, but I'm going to have one or two of them) often and they come to me when I speak - still shyly, but they actually recognize me. They're still pretty scared though :).
 

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One of mine seems to be more in tune with me than the other 2.

He just knows when I need comfort. When we had to put one of our cats down earlier this year, he would come to bed with me and pat my head all night. He also knows when I've had a rough day at work and will spend more time with me than average.

Not sure how he knows, but he does.
Me too. Celia seems fairly indifferent, but when I'm in serious pain (which is often, due to a hip that needs replacement), Margaux always comes up, sniffs me, and sits by me.

They both definitely understand tone of voice, especially when it gets stern. Celia will run away if my voice sounds angry.

Celia also understands "mommy has to vacuum".
 

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For some reason, I think my cat might've missed this trait.

If I'm happy, my kitty climbs on my head and bites my hair.
If I'm sad, she climbs on my head and bites my hair.
If I'm in extreme pain (ie period cramps), she will climb on my head and bites my hair.

It's all by her rules I suppose :(
 

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I feel like that with Celia, but then I wonder if it isn't just narcissism - how she feels and what she needs is more important than what I feel or need.

Of course, why wouldn't she feel that way? I've created a spoiled monster. It can be infuriating. And yet...we still love them. :) Smart little beasts.
 
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