Wednesday, January 5, 2011
How Cats Manipulate You....
Yes, your cat really is the boss.
Household cats exercise control of their humans with a particular high-pitched, hard-to-ignore meow, a new study suggests.
A cat's purr normally says, "I'm happy." But researchers at the University of Sussex say some purrs send cat owners a much different message: "Feed me!"
Researchers found that purrs of hungry cats included a higher-pitched sound, somewhat like a cry or meow. They played recordings of these purrs from 10 cats to 50 human volunteers. Even people who'd never owned a cat found them to be more urgent and less pleasant than contented purrs from the same animals.
These food-seeking purrs may exploit the way humans naturally respond to a baby's cry, the researchers suggest.
"The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response," said Karen McComb of the University of Sussex, as reported by LiveScience. "Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom."
Not all cats use this strategy, but some apparently learn to turn it on when they see it's effective in getting a human to feed them, Karen McComb of the University of Sussex in England said in a statement.
Article Found at: New York Daily News