What Can You Tell About Your Cat From Their Meows?

Cats meow to communicate with humans, not with other cats. What are they telling us?

Meowing with an accent?

If you live with a cat, you're probably already aware that there are a lot of things that can make them meow: when they want you to come, when they want to go out, maybe when they're hungry, or when they want you to wake up at 3am...

And most likely, you respond. This is nothing abnormal: almost everyone who has pets talks to them, and science has shown that it's completely normal. It's also sometimes obvious what they're trying to get us to do: they want our attention to play, to open the door, to give them food, etc.

Now, however, new research is taking things a step further. Susanne Schötz, a phonetics specialist from Sweden and cat lover, has set out to uncover a more precise understanding of our cats' meows. She wants to know specifically if the local human speech that a cat is exposed to can affect their vocalizations: in other words, does a cat from Texas meow the same way as a feline from London?