How Do Cats Understand Human Language?

Cats can only understand some of the owner’s short words and phrases, such as “eat,” “sleep,” or “come here,” and will respond in their way. Cats can also recognize their owners when speaking to them and will infer the owner’s meaning based on the way they speak and act. However, cats cannot understand language as comprehensively as humans.

Will cats interact with us by meowing or by body language?

According to Animal Path, scientific studies show that cats usually understand about 20 to 40 words. Some species comprehend up to 50 words and can learn and identify their own names.

It is more correct to say that cats distinguish and associate words with certain things rather than understanding them and expressing them in body language and voice when they are played with, fed, and petted by their owners.

  1. Childlike Perception

Accordingly, cats’ reception and understanding of words will be equivalent to what happens in young children.

Words that are short and used often are the ones they will recognize most easily. Thanks to their owner’s body language and tone of voice, they can associate words with an object or situation they know well, such as food, a moment of play, or a sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ.

Notably, cats can also easily recognize their names. They respond uniquely when their owners call their names, and they often react by meowing or making head, tail, and ear movements.

  1. Do Cats Like To Talk?

Cats do not have the full cognitive ability to interpret human language.

If you feel your cat is not receptive when you talk to him, rest assured that they can recognize their owner’s voice and pay attention to human speech.

But they respond more quickly to calm and gentle voices. Cats also pay attention to facial expressions and body language. One study found that cats notice blinking.

According to a Japanese study, cats understand or recognize their owners’ voices and pay attention when spoken to.

Marilyn Krieger, a feline behaviorist at the University of California, USA, says cats are more likely to react and interact with humans if spoken to them in a calm, soothing voice. This means that the tone and volume of your voice are so important when communicating with cats that they may feel ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛᴇɴᴇᴅ or protected by their owners.

Some cat owners attest that their pets react to them by meowing and whining when they talk. Cat experts believe that cats love to be talked to as long as you don’t interrupt their sleep or meals.

They also observed that cats gather a lot of information by listening to human voices, watching facial expressions, and paying attention to body language.

According to Dr. Uri Burstyn, a veterinarian from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, cats tends to pay more attention if spoken to in a high-pitched voice.

You can take advantage of this to name your cat. Cats tend to react when names end with a high-pitched sound because it mimics the sound of prey.

When we talk to them, cats may respond to us with head movements, ear movements, tail wagging, or squawks. They can also recognize their name when called by their owner.

Learning how to talk to cats is something that owners should do to create a close relationship that increases solidarity. Because whenever needed, they are the place for owners to vent their sorrows and joys and confide. Be persistent in creating a language you can communicate with your pet daily.

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