Language Barrier : Exactly part of meow you don't understand? What is the meaning of a cat's meow that grows louder and louder?

OR your pet's sudden flip from softly purring as you stroke its back to biting your hand?

It turns out these misunderstood moments with your cat may be more common than not.

A new study by French researchers, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, found that people were significantly worse at reading the cues of an unhappy cat. [ nearly one-third got it wrong ] than those of a contented cat [ closer to 10 percent ].

The study also suggested that a cat's meows and other vocalizations were greatly misinterpreted and that people should consider both vocal and visual cues to try to determine what's going on with their pets.

These findings were drawn from the answers of 630 participants. Each watched 24 videos of cat behaviors. One-third depicted only vocal communication, another third just visual cues and the remainder involved both.

Cats have a range of visual signals : tails swishing side by side, or raised high in the air ; rubbing and curling around our legs ; crouching; flattening ears or widening eyes.

Their vocals include meowing, purring and growling, hissing and caterwauling.

Even some of the most common cues may be misunderstood. Purring is not always a sign of comfort, but may be used when a cat is stressed or even hurt. [Anthony Ham ].


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