If you’re a cat parent looking to grab your feline friend’s attention, here’s a tip: speak to them like a baby! New research suggests that using a high-pitched, sing-song tone when addressing your cat lets them know you’re talking specifically to them.
And here’s the best part: it turns out your cat does love you, because they’ll likely ignore a stranger who attempts the same tone (take that, random strangers!).
Scientists from Paris Nanterre University conducted a study to observe how cats responded to recordings of both strangers and their own parents using different tones.
They closely watched for any changes in feline behavior, such as ear and tail movements and dilated pupils.
What they discovered was quite fascinating. When a stranger’s voice called their name, even in a high-pitched, baby-talk manner, cats mostly ignored it.
However, when their cat parents used the same sing-song tone, 10 out of 16 cats perked up and started paying attention. It seems cats have a special bond with their owners and respond specifically to them.
Charlotte de Mouzon from Paris Nanterre University explained, “For a long time, it has been thought that cats are very independent creatures, only interested in [humans for] eating and shelter, but the fact that they react specifically to their owner, and not just anybody addressing them, supports the idea that they are attached. It brings further evidence to encourage humans to consider cats as sensitive and communicative individuals.”
So, the next time you’re calling your cat for dinner or attempting to capture their attention, don’t be shy about unleashing your inner baby-talk skills. Pretend your feline companion is your adorable little “cuddly wuddly baby” and shower them with your loving, high-pitched tones. Embrace it, because there’s no reason to feel embarrassed!
“People may be shy about admitting [that they speak ‘baby-talk’],” de Mouzon added, “but I think it can help to reinforce the bond between cats and their owners. They get that we are giving them attention.”
By using this sweet and melodic language, your cat will understand that you’re addressing them directly and, most importantly, how much you adore them. So go ahead and indulge in some adorable baby-talk moments with your furry friend. Your loving communication will strengthen your bond and let your cat know just how cherished they are.