Baby Talk Will Get You More Attention From Your Cat, Vet Expert Claims

Choosing a cat name that ends in a high-pitched sound is bound to make them respond to it when called, a study shows.


A few months back, scientists confirmed that that annoying “baby talk” most of us pet parents do when talking to our dogs is actually a part of the social bonding process between pet and owner. High-pitched, emotional voices attracted more attention from pooches, leading researchers to believe that dog-speak could be what deepens the relationship between pets and owners, as well as helps with training and socialization. The most important result of the study, though, is that you can always blame it on the science when somebody catches you gushing and mumbling at your four-legged companion, successfully avoiding embarrassment. But how about cat owners? Are their furry babies immune to the cutesie baby speech?

According to Dr. Uri Burstyn, a veterinarian from Vancouver, British Columbia, felines are also prone to paying more attention if talked to in high-pitched voices. This theory has been around for some time, and it has been particularly helpful when it comes to naming cats. While you might have always wanted to name your orange tabby Garfield or Thor, you might be better off just saying “Here, kitty!” if you expect them to react. You see, felines respond to their name much better if the name terminates in a high-pitched sound, which is why a lot of them seem not to care when you call them… unless you’re using a cutesy moniker or a funny high tone of voice to get their attention. Just think about it- doesn’t your pet’s nickname or a shorter version of their name they prefer ends with a high-pitched sound, such as ‘e’? Coincidence? Dr. Burstyn doesn’t think so.


And before you go thinking that your spoiled kitty actually enjoys your embarrassing baby talk and silly nicknames out of love and affection, it’s not the reason for their interest. In fact, cats seem to prefer high-pitched tones as their ears of a hunter have evolved to pick up those types of sounds better, as they are characteristic for birds and mice- their natural prey. So, kitties like baby talk because you sound like their dinner. Go figure!

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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