/ 04 March 2024

Missing cues from our feline overlords…


If you’ve been working off the assumption that a cat’s purring hints at feelings of contentment, think again… A French study reckons humans aren’t good at reading the signs from our furry friends, with nearly a third of people missing communication cues from a cat that’s not feline fine… Don’t despair – Monique Udell, a human-animal interaction researcher, says it comes from a good place of people wanting to see their pets happy, and that “our positive emotional state in response to the animals gives us these rose-coloured glasses”. The study says cat owners should observe both vocal cues – aka meowing, purring, growling or hissing – and visual cues – like tail swishing, rubbing around our legs, flattening ears or widening eyes – to better understand their pet’s mood. And bonus – you might avoid a few scratches in the process…

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