Meow in Russian: what cats say

In order to benefit from cohabitation with a man, cats independently found a common language with him. And although we still have not figured out what they want to tell us with all these “meow” and “mur, ” cats of this level of understanding are quite enough.

For millions of years walking on their own, cats communicated using body language and smells - and rarely somehow else. With a man, this would be impossible: his weak sense of smell notices only harsh aromas. Yes, and we did not learn to interpret cat gestures correctly, otherwise we would not have received so many scratches from domestic animals, which, it would seem, were quite calmly lying on their knees and purring quite. Fortunately, the furry predators turned out to be very smart and managed to establish new communication channels themselves. So, the main means of communication between a cat and its person is sounds: people hear well, including at the frequencies of cat vocalizations.

Wild representatives of the cat family can meow, growl and purr, and roar and purr are rarely found in the same species. The reason for this is still not entirely clear. This is probably due to the structure of a number of skull bones, although this hypothesis is criticized regularly and quite reasonably. However, cats themselves are free to use all this sound set. Most likely, having settled next to people, cats tried different ways to achieve a tasty hand-out or just attention, until they found an option that works.


Studying the feral cats of the Chirisan National Park, South Korean biologists found that they were mostly silent in solitude. But if they meet a person, a dog or other potential danger, they growl, howl and demonstrate a repertoire even wider than that of domestic cats. An important feature of the “tongue” of feral animals was the lack of meowing in response to human actions - behavior that is very characteristic of domestic cats. Apparently, “meow” is a special word that is used to communicate with people. The word is very multifaceted and ambiguous.

Initially, these sounds were used by kittens, wanting to attract the attention of their mother. It was not possible to immediately turn them into a tool for communicating with a person; for this, cats had to make the meow more understandable and enjoyable for him. The meowing tone is already different in domestic cats Felis silvestris catus and their closest wild relatives, the steppe Felis silvestris lybica.


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