You thought cats were hard to read?A recent study,ledby the University Of Georgia’s Professor Sharon Crowell-Davis,had a closer look into how our feline friends communicate. Their findings were rather surpurrising. It seems that cats are a lot more expressive than we'd previously thought...
Sharon Crowell-Davis, the professor who led the study, found that cats, just like dogs, are happy to see you when you get back home from work. When your cat rubs itself against your legs when you've just walked through the door, or even wraps its tail around your legs, they're saying they've missed you. Contrary to popular belief, they aren't asking you for food, they'rewelcoming you home.By studying the behaviour of feral cats living together, the researchers saw how domesticcatsreproduce this sort of behaviour with their human companions.Another surprising find was that purring does not always mean your cat is happy. Cat lovers know there's nothing better than hearing your cat purring away. But whilst cats generally purr to say they're happy, they mayalso purr to tell you something's wrong.John Bradshaw, one of the scientists who participated in the study, explained:
They haven’t got a good way of asking for help — it’s not in their language — so they do the next best thing, they do the purring thing.
Finally, you thought that cats miaow all the time for no reason. In fact, Bradshaw found that cats in the wild hardly ever miaowed, rather it is something they have developed in order to talk to their humans. Whether they're bored or they're hungry, the specialist says:
Miaowing is something they’ve learned to do to get our attention. It’s really something they’ve adopted as a way of communicating with humans.
So it turns out our feline friends are talking to us after all, we just might need to pay them a little more attention. Who knows, one day whilst you're talking to your cat, they might respond!