The Secret Language of Cats: How to Understand Your Cat for a Better, Happier Relationship

The Secret Language of Cats: How to Understand Your Cat for a Better, Happier Relationship


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Have you ever wondered what your cat is saying? Cats do not meow randomly, nor do they growl or hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds have a purpose, and they can carry important messages, whether for us or other cats.

Susanne Schštz is hard at work on breaking the cat code. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden, where a long-standing research program is proving that cats do actually use vocal communication—with each other and with their human caretakers. Understanding the vocal strategies used in human-cat communication will have profound implications for how we communicate with our pets, and has the potential to improve the relationship between animals and humans within several fields, including animal therapy, veterinary medicine and animal sheltering.

In The Secret Language of Cats, Schštz offers a crash course in cat phonetics. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations. And she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335013897
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Edition description: Original
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 265,685
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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The Secret Language of Cats: How to Understand Your Cat for a Better, Happier Relationship 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
diane92345 More than 1 year ago
With over 95.5 million domestic cats in the US alone, there is a real need for cat owners to learn the Secret Language of Cats. The author is a cat-lover with five cats of her own. She is also a phonetician at a Swedish university. This gives her the exact skills necessary to determine what cats are saying. There are three different types of cat sounds: murmurs like purrs and trilling, meows, and defensive sounds such as growling and snarling. The book provides a look at what each sound means by looking at when it is used by real cats. If you love and own cats, the Secret Language of Cats verifies what you already thought your cat was saying. It is a good weapon against a spouse or friend that doubts your interpretation of your cat’s sounds. The book would be a perfect gift for the cat fancier in your life. Though the phonetic symbols were somewhat confusing, the author provided a website,, that has videos of the author’s cats making the sounds. It is fun to see if the interpretations in the book match what you see with your own furry children. 3 stars. Thanks to Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for an advance copy.
357800 More than 1 year ago
Couldn't resist this one.....what is my Maggie telling me when she sits at my feet and stares, when she blinks when I tell her how pretty she is, when she says "raaaaaah" as I scratch her belly or when she chatters watching a bird outside? Well, supposedly, "Every cat has their own secret language." Susanne Schotz is a professor at Lund University in Sweden and a Phonetician by profession. She studies sounds of human speech, and in THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF CATS has analyzed cat sounds using the same phonetic methods as with humans. While informative, found scientific research a bit dry and repetitive, but thoroughly enjoyed the personal experiences of author with her own cats and tidbits of information relating to cat sound variations and meanings....and agree with the never again syndrome. Have felt the dread and despair of putting down an old beloved feline friend way too many times in my lifetime, but always end up adopting another one....or two after a while.
CRSK More than 1 year ago
”(Meow meow meow meow) (meow meow meow meow)” -- The Meow Mix Theme, lyrics by Shelley Palmer, music composed by Tom McFaul (Lucas / McFaul “jingle house”) If you’re interested in translating what your cat has been desperately trying to tell you since you brought him / her home from wherever you bought / found / obtained him / her, this may give you some answers. Most of us can tell when the message is “feed me” or (if your cat is allowed outside) “let me out,” beyond that, most of us are lost and clueless. ”Even if I think that I understand a cat sound correctly and can imitate it somewhat accurately, I can never be 100 percent sure that I have interpreted it correctly, whether I am using it in the right context and how I might interpret it or even try to translate it into a human language.“ And, because you can never be too careful, she adds: ”Cats do not have a language that works like a human language.” ”In this book, I present what I have learned from my past studies and my current research project, ‘Melody in Human-Cat Communication’ (Meowsic). I summarize the various kinds of sounds, the situations in which they occur and the existing variations. I also recount my personal experiences in dealing and communicating with cats. Additionally, the book contains a quick introduction to phonetics, so that my linguistic descriptions can be better understood.” ”The scientific investigation of cat sounds is, in itself, nothing new. Charles Darwin wrote about cat sounds. He recognized six or seven different vocalization (or sound) types and was especially interested in purring because it is produced during both inhalation and exhalation.” She includes a range of phonetically spelled out vocalizations, their potential meanings, but also includes other, more practical, tips to “read” and be aware of our cats feelings and needs. My cat, Paisley, is of mixed ancestry, like most shelter kitties. According to my last, and now my current vets, she is at least part Maine Coon, a longhaired calico who weighs more than both my dogs weights put together. She spent the first years of her life with me in the Bay Area and now on the East Coast where she can look out on all the birds and squirrels and chipmunks she dreams of catching, most likely. I’m pretty sure I can read her thoughts on that front. Surprisingly, she proved very adept at “discouraging” countless mice from living in our house (or anywhere else, for that matter) until one night when a bat managed to get in somehow, and she started twitching and ran from the room, terrified. It was as though she thought the mice had sprouted wings now, and it was just too, too much for her to handle. I would love to know what Paisley thinks (to a point, though I’m sure I’d grow tired of hearing her endless complaints about Roxy, or why I won’t just let the birds come inside…her demands to be fed now,etc.), but I was surprised how in depth this book was, so when I heard that this woman, Susanne Schötz, a professor at Lund University (Sweden), working on a long-standing research program in order to prove that cats do “use vocal communication—with each other and with their human caretakers,” I wanted to see what this was all about. I can’t say if Schötz has uncovered and phonetically transcribed and recorded every cat sound, but this study is actually quite fascinating for those who wish to really delve deep into trying to translate the various versions of meows they get from their cats. ARC from Hanover Press
Sunshine1006 More than 1 year ago
I have three cats and of course I want to know what they are saying. The author is a phonetician which is a study of the sounds of human language. She has applied this study to cats and what their sounds mean. Whether the cat is meowing for food, pain or to say hello. Different cat sounds like chirping, moaning and chattering are only a small amount of vocalizations that cats can produce.. I really enjoyed reading this book and maybe I can find out what my cats are saying. I received this book from Net Galley and Harlequin for a honest review and no compensation otherwise.