New study reveals that the cats are in control (but we already knew that)

Tue, Jul 14, 2009

Gifts & Miscellaneous

A recent article on Yahoo News highlights a study exploring how cats can control humans by making specific sounds. The study, conducted by Karen McComb of the University of Sussex, identified a certain purr-cry that cats use to get their way. Apparently the cats studied insert a high-pitched cry into the middle of a meow, resulting in an urgent sound that humans have a hard time ignoring.

I’ve never personally noticed my cats making this kind of sound, but I’m going to be listening for it now. No matter what sounds they make, I know who’s in charge at my house.

Read the original article here.

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13 Responses to “New study reveals that the cats are in control (but we already knew that)”

  1. 1
    lesleySW

    My last cat made this sound all the time. We actually really love it. It was sweet…although annoying too, especially early in the morning!

    I’ve heard my current cat make that sound now and then but not often.

    I love this study. I’ve always known the cats rule the roost.

  2. 2
    Carola

    Well, yeah, we all knew that already. Scientists always need to proove what is obvious! I’ve always known I’m a guest in my own house, they own it since the day they got there.
    Personally, my cats make me fall asleep all the time with their purr. If they purr right next to me i sleep like a baby!

  3. 3
    jmuhj

    No matter what my cats say to me, I always listen. And comply. ;)

  4. 4
    Rhose

    Sneakers does that sound too and somehow he gets us to all move around and give him what he wants because he won’t stop. If he does stop meowing then he starts to sulk and won’t even want to play or eat. He really knows how to get us… sigh…. As soon as he got what he want though, he’s like a little angel. so sweet and such a good cat.

  5. 5
    Amy A

    One of my cats lightly taps me with her paw until I wake up and feed her. It doesn’t matter if there is already food in the bowl, she is absolutely relentless. I will never be able to oversleep again!

  6. 6
    Daniela

    all my cats are special, each one has a particularitity it surprises that me, and makes and only what they want and when they want something, they ask for – is as if I understood each meow, and I love so much!!! prrrrrrrrrrr

  7. 7
    Corinne

    The boys want to know who does these studies? They say that if the humans don’t already know this, they’re not paying attention. And if that’s the case, they don’t think it’s fair to cats everywhere to educate the humans ;-)

  8. 8
    iratecat

    There’s a specific noise that my cat makes when she’s locked the bedroom with me and I oversleep – I’ve been trained to the point where when I hear that meow, I’ll get up, open the door to let her out (to where her food bowl is), and get back in bed, all without really ever being conscious.

    Clever kitty.

  9. 9
    James

    My kitty does this sound all the time. It is kind of like an open-mouth purr when he does it.

    Here is the link to the University of Sussex page about the study with sound clips from test subject kitties as examples.

    http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/cmvcr/Domestic%20cats.html

  10. 10
    CrimsonCrow

    I’m not sure if my cat makes this sound or not. When she is hungry I have taught her to sit quietly on the kitchen stool. Sometimes I come down in the morning and she is just sitting there, staring at me! She doesn’t jump down to eat until I say “OK.” She has been able to sit on the stool with food on the floor for as long as 15 minutes. That was done only during training. I never make her wait now, I fill her bowl and say “OK” as I put it down.

    Gotta love ‘em!

  11. 11
    Shannon

    My current cat does it sometimes. My childhood cat did it ALL the time. We always thought he was hurt but really he just wanted a tummy rub.

  12. 12
    Little Doll

    My Pi makes that sound. It can mean anything from I have an itch to I’m hungry and I want Crunchies. Yes, a tummy rub is always a good response! My cats have me trained to fetch water and crunchies and wet food.


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Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzI2LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3T2N0MjAxMi5wbmciO2k6OTtzOjgxOiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8yNS1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEtMy5wbmciO2k6MTA7czo4MToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMjQtSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5M19OZXdEZWMyMDExLTMucG5nIjtpOjExO3M6ODE6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzIzLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3RGVjMjAxMS0yLnBuZyI7aToxMjtzOjc5OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8yMi1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjEzO3M6Nzk6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzIxLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3RGVjMjAxMS5wbmciO2k6MTQ7czo3OToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMjAtSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5M19OZXdEZWMyMDExLnBuZyI7aToxNTtzOjc5OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8xOS1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjE2O3M6Nzk6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzE4LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3RGVjMjAxMS5wbmciO2k6MTc7czo3OToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMTctSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5M19OZXdEZWMyMDExLnBuZyI7aToxODtzOjc5OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8xNi1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjE5O3M6ODA6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzE1LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjIwO3M6ODA6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzE0LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjIxO3M6ODA6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEzLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjIyO3M6Njg6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEyLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMucG5nIjtpOjIzO3M6Njg6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzExLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMucG5nIjtpOjI0O3M6Njg6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEwLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMucG5nIjtpOjI1O3M6Njc6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzktSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5My5wbmciO2k6MjY7czo2NzoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvOC1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzLmpwZyI7aToyNztzOjY3OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy83LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMuanBnIjtpOjI4O3M6Njc6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzYtSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5MC5qcGciO2k6Mjk7czo1ODoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvNS10ZXN0LmpwZyI7aTozMDtzOjc1OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy80LU1vZGVybmNhdExvZ29fMjAweDIwMC5qcGciO2k6MzE7czo2NzoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1IZWFkZXJfNTIweDgwLmpwZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gU2VsZWN0IGEgY2F0ZWdvcnk6PC9saT48L3VsPg==