Are Cats Purring Us Into Submission?
Is it true? Could we possibly be under the control of our cats soothing purrs? Are they going to purr us into submission, forcing us to be more social so they can turn around and conquer the world?
It’s possible, according to a recent study. Okay, maybe not the “taking over the world” part but who really knows what our favorite felines have in store for us? Although many animals (including guinea pigs and elephants) are capable of purring, cats are the most well-known for it. Their low rumble is emitted at an amazing 27 Hz, comparable to the lowest note on a piano.
Animal vocalization experts have identified a new purr that our feline friends have recently developed and it’s known as the “socialization purr.” It’s true.
According to animal vocalization experts Anna Taylor, Christian Wilson, Karen McComb and Benjamin Charlton, all purrs are not created equally. The team has examined the acoustic structure of recorded purrs and has determined that one is used as socialization purring.
The newly recognized type of purr includes an embedded, high-pitch cry, similar to the plaintive yowling you hear when they really want something. “Cats have about the right size of vocal folds to produce a cry that is similar to a baby’s, so there is a coincidental element,” explained McComb. “In fact, the meow can sound remarkably like a crying child, which will be particularly effective with humans.”
These guys could have saved a lot of money if they had just asked me. After all, I live with a lot of cats. When my cats want something, they already know that loud meowing, pawing at my head, and bounding on and off the bed will get the most attention. They use these techniques relentlessly until I trudge from my warm bed so I can feed the ungrateful beasts.
And so, the real question remains – how do I get one of those high-paying jobs where I just sit around listening to cats purr and call it science?
Scientists really aren’t telling us anything we don’t already know. Have you identified and interpreted your cat’s language? Leave us a comment and let us know your story!