Cats imitate babies’ cries to get food

Your pet cat is craftier than you think


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


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.


“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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