Cats imitate babies’ cries to get food

Your pet cat is craftier than you think

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Cats use a mix of purring and a cry to manipulate us humans into getting what they want, says a new study.

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To spark us humans into action, cats purr and throw in a cry that’s a similar frequency to a human baby’s cry, say the researchers from the University of Sussex. It seems cats have “tapped into” our nurturing instincts, producing a sound that we find very hard to ignore.

Rather than just imitate a baby’s cry outright, cats embed the cry within contented purrs, because this is more acceptable to humans, and more likely to gain positive results.

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“We think cats learn to dramatically exaggerate it (the cry) when it proves effective in generating a response from humans,” said lead researcher Dr Karen McComb, herself a cat owner.

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