The Truth Behind Talking Cat Collars

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While you may have clicked on this link hoping to find proof positive that your cat’s meows are translatable into human speech, we’re sad to inform you that it simply isn’t possible. Yet.

But the Temptations treats company has done a bangup job of making it seem possible. And their hilarious ads featuring a fictional science lab and a “3D printed” cat translation collar are spot-on.

The Truth About “Catterbox – The Talking Cat Collar”

Catterbox isn’t real. But if a company were to invent talking cat collars, the Temptations ads are a pretty good approximation of what it would look like.

While translation talking cat collars a la the movie Up and the dog Doug isn’t possible yet. Getting an approximation of what your cat wants when they meow at you is possible.

Your cat talks to you all the time. Either with affection, annoyance, or delight. You can determine what your cat is trying to say by merely paying attention. And we’re here to help you learn how.


Why Do Cats Meow?

According to The Cat Behavior Answer Book, cats can make up to 30 sounds. This includes 19 variations on what we call the meow.

But, if you were to somehow follow a stray cat or a wild cat around without them noticing, you would never hear them meow.

Cats don’t meow in the wild. The only time a wild cat meows is when it’s a kitten and it needs to feed off the mother.

Then why do cats meow at us? Because they’ve recognized that we can’t understand normal cat communication.

Cats mainly communicate through scent, facial expression, and body language. Cats only make noises at each other when they are upset or in heat.

So a cat’s meow is distinctly meant for humans. And if we were to figure out how to accurately translate it to human via some sort of “talking cat collars,” then our lives with cats would probably get a lot easier.

Forget Talking Cat Collars, Here’s What Your Cat Is Saying

Studies show that humans mainly interpret cat meows through context. And if you spend enough time around cats, they tend to use the environment to tell you what they want. So, really talking cat collars would be a novelty anyways.

They might meow at you and run to their food dish, or stand by the door and meow. How many ways can a cat communicate? There is no real quantification. But we’ve written down a few we’ve noticed.

So, since your cat isn’t just singing to nobody, let’s look at the things your cat might be saying when they meow.

I Need Your Attention

Some cats are really affectionate while others are highly standoffish. It really can be a luck of the draw sort of situation.

But affectionate cats will meow when they want attention. It tends to be more of a mew if they are nearby, or a searching yowl if they are lost in another part of the house and can’t find you.

A cat who receives attention and affection will often “purr.” It’s thought that cats learn to purr when they are kittens. It signals to mom that everything is great.

But it’s also something the cat will use when it’s not happy or hurt. So don’t always assume that when your cat purrs it’s happy with what you are doing. If you’re doing something unusual, stop and observe the cat if they start to purr.

Purring comes from the laryngeal muscles of the cat. This is why the cat’s purr sounds like it’s coming from deep inside the throat.

Take Me Outside. Now.

Even indoor cats (if they even get a taste of the outdoors) will express this desire through their meow.

They usually walk around halfway between you and the door meowing at you with long insistent meows. Then they turn away from you and meow toward the door.

If you get up from what you are doing, they will run toward the door.

The reason your cat wants to go outside is their absolute love of exploration. If you live in a small space, their desire to explore will increase.

If you want to accommodate your cat’s need to explore, but can’t let them outside, provide climbable spaces. Cat towers aren’t too expensive and if you put one near a window, they can observe what little nature might be outside your window.

You’re Sleeping Too Long. Wake Up Now.

Cats are night creatures. They have these amazing eyes that can both see in the dark and track prey in the dark.

So, if they get bored in the night, they may look to you for entertainment.

If you keep your cats out of your room while you sleep with the door closed, your cat will probably come meowing at some point in the night. They don’t like you sleeping where they can’t find you and they don’t like closed doors either.

Your cat will be happier if you give them free reign to all the house. But if you have to keep them out of certain rooms, the one you shouldn’t shut is your bedroom.

I Want Food & You Can’t See My Fat or Remember That You Just Fed Me Five Minutes Ago.

While your cat’s Jedi mind tricks probably don’t work on you, his incessant pleading for food might.

Cats, especially the runts of the litter, can be pretty insistent when it comes to food. But this doesn’t mean you should freely feed your cat.

Cats are hunters and their bodies are made to be periodically fed. A cat who has an abundance of food constantly available will get fat. Very few cats don’t get fat when free-feeding.

Conclusion: You Don’t Need Talking Cat Collars To Hear Your Cat

There are plenty of other things your cat might meow at you for.

These are creatures that typically love their humans but prefer a little bit control in their lives. Cats will use their meows to communicate what they want.

They aren’t trying to pester you. They really do want something from you. Make the effort to listen.

What are some ways your cat communicates with you? Let us know in the comments below. And, as always, meow’s the word!

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