A new study has found that cats can use their natural acoustic sounds to tell whether they’re happy or sad, and they can also distinguish between them and other types of sound.
The researchers recorded cat noises during two different conditions, and then tested the recordings in the lab.
They found that cat sounds can help us identify whether cats are feeling well or poorly.
“It’s one of the best ways we have to distinguish between different types of noise,” said lead author Dr Rachel Paine from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
“When we can hear what cat is feeling, we know what’s going on in the cat’s body.”
For example, cats have the capacity to feel cold and wet, and that’s very important for us as carers to know.
“Cat sounds can also help us tell whether cats live in an urban environment or an arid desert, or if they’re trapped in a tree.
The team also looked at cat sounds during the same conditions and recorded the sounds from different locations in different cats. “
They were just looking at the same location, but when you heard the sound you’d have to go back and listen at different distances,” she said.
The team also looked at cat sounds during the same conditions and recorded the sounds from different locations in different cats.
The cats were placed in the same room, so the team could measure how long they would be able to hear a different sound.
When the team looked at the different recordings, they noticed that the cats with urban sounds were more likely to be in the urban environment than the urban cats with the rural sounds.
“The urban cats were in the denser areas of the forest, which we thought would be good because we can see the densities of trees,” Dr Paine said.
“So we’re hoping to figure out how urban cats feel when they’re in urban environments, and the other way around.”
The researchers found that the urban sounds they recorded from urban cats differed from those recorded from rural cats.
“When the urban sound came from the tree, we didn’t get a cat sound because we’re expecting the tree to be there, so we don’t have a bird sound,” Dr Peter Crampton, a lecturer in environmental biology at the University.
“But when the urban signal came from a tree, it didn’t matter.
The urban cat didn’t seem to know that we were there and so we weren’t able to distinguish that from the bird sounds.”
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.