Does your cat imitate your accent?

A study in Sweden has been taken place to find out wether or not your cat’s miaow has their owner’s accent or not.

The scientists participating in this research decided to collect a number of cats sounds recordings in order to see if they sounded the same in Stockholm and the southern parts of Sweden. The accents between the 2 regions are quite different, even if for foreigners it might just sound the same.

It’s been shown that cats mostly “miaow” to humans, in order to communicate. Susanne Schötz, a phonetics scientist Lund University, a cat owner herself, believes we need to go deeper in the understanding of human and pet “conversations”.

“Many cats and their human companions seem to develop a pidgin language in order to communicate better. We don’t know whether there are similarities in the languages or whether they’re specific to a cat/human pair,” said Schötz to National Geographic.

Actually, when we talk to our cat, we tend to use the same tonalities than when we are talking to babies. Probably has to do with the fact that little creatures are cute so we try to communicate in a cute way to them. Our pitch is definitly higher.

The study is taking place in 2 different parts. First, to find out if the miaow is different according to the owner’s accent, and second, to see if cats are more responsive when being spoken to as if they were babies. To perform this last part, they will film the cats reactions to different level-pitched human voices.

“Maybe certain breeds will use certain melodies, or cats living in countries where human speech has certain melodic patterns will vocalise differently. If we can find that cats adopt these melodies, we may be able to help cat owners interpret these signals better,” said Schötz.

Well, we’ll keep you updated on that for sure!

In the mean time, check out this very interesting documentary about cats…

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