Even though our cats can’t talk back, that still doesn’t stop most pet owners from telling their kitties all about what’s going on in their lives and minds and everything in between. The next time you’re in mid-conversation with your feline friend, you might pause to wonder whether cats actually like it when you talk to them. After all, they can be so hard to read sometimes!
Yes, cats do seem to enjoy or at least tolerate their humans talking to them. How much they understand is a different story, however. In this article, we’ll talk about why cats like us talking to them, how much they understand of the conversation, and even why talking to your cat may be beneficial to you.
Why Cats Like It When You Talk to Them
Despite their reputation for being stand-offish and independent, the truth is, most cats form strong bonds with their humans over time. Like dogs, cats who don’t get enough attention may develop behavior problems.
When you talk to your cat, they know that you’re interacting with them and enjoy the opportunity for attention and bonding. Some cats even seem to understand that talking is a way to communicate and respond with chirps, meows, and other vocalizations.
Do Cats Understand What You Are Saying?
The cat’s ability to understand actual words is not very strong. One study found that cats were able to learn and recognize their own names, but beyond that, the evidence is weak.
However, cats are much more talented at reading and interpreting our facial expressions and emotions. Cats can recognize when we are angry or happy based on our expressions and tone of voice. They can also recognize their owner’s voice from that of a stranger’s.
Cats have been shown to interact more often with depressed people, demonstrating the ability to change their behavior in response to human signals. If you’ve had a rough day and are telling your cat all about it, don’t be surprised if you notice them being extra affectionate.
Why Talking To Your Cat Is Good For You
In general, owning a cat poses many mental and physical benefits to humans. A study found that the presence of a pet helped people feel less stressed when performing difficult tasks. Other potential health benefits of owning a cat include lower blood pressure, decreased anxiety, lower cholesterol, and feeling less lonely.
Talking to your cat in a happy tone, even if you don’t feel very joyful, can end up lifting your mood anyway. Your cat may like it when you talk to them but, as you can see, even a one-sided conversation can benefit you as well.
Communication is very important to cats, but their ways of speaking tend to be of the non-verbal variety. For example, cats use body language to show how they are feeling, as anyone who’s watched an angry cat lay their ears back and puff up their tail can tell you! Scent marking, by head butting or urine spraying, is another way cats communicate, primarily with each other. Though our cats may not be able to join in when we talk to them by speaking, they can still understand that we’re showing love and affection by interacting in this way.
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