Saturday, July 25, 2009

purrrr-meow-purrrr

Here's an interesting tidbit from Current Biology. Researchers conducted an acoustic analysis of cat purrs and found that hidden within mealtime purring (so-called "solicitation purring") is a high-pitched meow. This hidden meow is reminiscent of a cry which signals urgency and exploits our "sensitivity to acoustic cues relevant in the context of nurturing offspring".

I think Mr. Tumnus uses this purr quite effectively when he wants to be fed. Marble, however, doesn't bother with the solicitation purring and goes straight for the mealtime howl. This is also quite effective, albeit more annoying.

7 comments:

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

mochajava uses the deep in the throat woof to let me know that he is offended, that i should ever think he would finish the 1/4 cup of dog food at the bottom of his dish... when in fact those he considers 'crumbs'... the deep woof comes and i obediently give him another cup of doggie food...

i am so well trained...

mompriest said...

I've never noticed my cats purring for food...instead we get the most annoying YOWL....sigh...or from the little cat, an almost inaudible "yip"....one extreme or the other...

Purple said...

Interesting.

Presbyterian Gal said...

My all black cat yowls for everything. The tuxedo cat quietly mews, with the purr.

dust bunny said...

We should have named our cats "Squeaker" and "Yip".

David said...

Marble is so loud I can hear him clearly when I talk to you on the phone!

Diane said...

it's been a long time since I had a cat, but I do remember different purring volumes.

Scout has a really interesting combination howl/whine....