Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not News to Me

By MALCOLM RITTER , Associated Press

NEW YORK - A cat's purr normally says, "I'm happy." But a new study suggests some purrs send cat owners a much different message: "Feed me!"

Researchers found that purrs of hungry cats included a higher-pitched sound, somewhat like a cry or meow. They played recordings of these purrs from 10 cats to 50 human volunteers. Even people who'd never owned a cat found them to be more urgent and less pleasant than contented purrs from the same animals.

These food-seeking purrs may exploit the way humans naturally respond to a baby's cry, the researchers suggest. Not all cats use this strategy, but some apparently learn to turn it on when they see it's effective in getting a human to feed them, Karen McComb of the University of Sussex in England said in a statement.

She and co-authors present their work in Tuesday's issue of the journal Current Biology.


MoMo said...

Hunger purrs??? Can't say I have tried that. Mieowing loudly and angrily does the trick better, I'd say.

Parker said...

This is very interesting.

Daisy said...

This gives me an idea...