Singing Cats

Singing Cats

by Michael

Singing at an opera - photo by fofurasfelinas, the best cat photographer on Flickr.

Singing at an opera - photo by fofurasfelinas, the best cat photographer on Flickr.

Singing cats are a YouTube invention. I'll be a bit of a prude and say that I find the videos of "cats singing" a bit demeaning for the cat and I don't really like them. They are just another example of how we use or take from the cat to entertain us so I'd like to talk about that fairly briefly before discussing something more interesting and something that might give something to the cat or entertain the cat instead, namely Singing to Cats. Singing cats come in two basic flavors, the sounds that cats make that can be interpreted as human speech (with a bit of imagination), which is not singing quite obviously, or cats at windows chattering. Cats at windows chattering are quite a common sight. A lot of us have seen it. It is in fact the wildcat side of a domestic cat showing itself to our world.

When a cat sees a bird through the window, while perhaps sitting on a cat window seat, it might become excited enough to practice its bite into the nape of the neck1 of the bird to severe the spinal cord to kill the bird (in anticipation of doing it). A cat can feel the exact position with its mouth and whiskers (vibrissae). While practicing this precise action the cat makes a chattering sound. On the right is a classic and well viewed video of this in small format.

Now what about singing to cats? Ruth gave me the idea. There is nothing or almost nothing on the internet about it so this is a new concept. But there is a Music CD that is specifically for cats to enjoy.

Who sings to cats and why and is it useful? Ruth does. And I do sometimes. I did it this morning. I think it might well be useful as a means to reassure a cat and make it calm. When we stroke a cat we replicate the licking action of a mother cat grooming her young. Domestic cats are perpetual kittens and we are the Mum. So when we stroke we lick.

When a mother cat is nursing her young the young might purr while actually nursing (purring can be done at the same time as drinking - how do cats purr) and the mother will purr back as a reassurance. Purring also takes place at many other times not just as a sign of contentment. It has even taken place when a cat is about to die2. This I think is a cat looking for reassurance. But if we sing to cats we are getting pretty close to purring to them if (as I expect) the song is a lullaby of sorts.

So, if we sing to cats quietly and softly it may replicate the soft reassuring purr of the mother. It also makes us feel good! After all we sing to our babies to put them to sleep and as I have said our cats are our little fur babies to use an American expression. Do you sing to your cat and if so I'd like to hear why.From Singing Cats to PoC Forum

notes

1 Cat Watching, The Essential Guide to Cat Behavior by Desmond Morris

2 Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook by Drs Carlson and Giffin, page 211.

Comments for
Singing Cats

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Apr 24, 2012 My Bengal Cats are trained to sing in harmony NEW
by: Oxford Moron

You got to see this video showing my twin Bengal cats, Kiko and Razi singing in harmony on command. Its real and not dubbed. The ONLY video ONline with cats harmonizing. Bengal cats are so intelligent. There are lots of other tricks I taught them that are in the many videos on their youtube channel kikoandrazi.

http://www.youtube.com/user/KikoandRazi?feature=guide


Apr 24, 2012 My Bengal Cats are trained to sing in harmony NEW
by: Oxford Moron

You got to see this video showing my twin Bengal cats, Kiko and Razi singing in harmony on command. Its real and not dubbed. The ONLY video ONline with cats harmonizing. Bengal cats are so intelligent. There are lots of other tricks I taught them that are in the many videos on their youtube channel kikoandrazi.

http://www.youtube.com/user/KikoandRazi?feature=guide


Nov 21, 2011 Singing mamas cat ii NEW
by: Joy-Oni

I have actually listened to a ferral mama cat singing the sweetest lullaby to her babies that our just melted my heart. She would dying top hey babies every night. It was one of the most enchanting experiences of my life.


Sep 27, 2010 The Monty Song
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

I sing to Monty. Once when he was a kitten I sang goodnight to him to the tune of "Goodnight Ladies.". I sang, "Goodnight Monty, we're glad you came to stay". Now I sing it when I feed him, (varying the words) so he comes running if he hears that tune. I can be singing a different song and he won't appear, but a few bars of the Monty song and there he is. I can sing it when it's time to come in from outside and he follows me right in. What must the neighbors think?
Prior to Monty coming into my life I used to cat sit in my home for a friend's cat, Zach. Zach liked it when I played my digital piano. He'd lay on the floor behind me and purr while I was practcing. He seemed also to have a preference for certain songs over others. Certain songs would cause him to leave the room, but others would bring him in.
I am not making this up-- one of his favorites was the piano accompaniment for a choral arrangement of "His Eye is on
the Sparrow". The piece was very idiomatic for piano, lots of rolling chords. It had a lot of flats toward the end, but I think it started in the key of C. I wish now that I had experimented more to see if there was a pattern to his music preferences. But he was consistent with his purring presence during that song and with what songs didn't hold his interest.


Dec 11, 2009 singing cats
by: kathy

I loved that video, I had a Bengal that would bark when she saw birds outside. People would freak out when they heard her.


Dec 10, 2009 LOL
by: Michael

Ruth, your last comment made me laugh. Keep it up Ruth.


Dec 10, 2009 To Finn
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

How can your cats NOT like the Beatles ! The greatest singers/songwriters/musicians ever.
I must dig some of our old Beatles stuff out and see if ours do,will let you know if they cover their ears in disgust too ha ha


Dec 09, 2009 My Cats Sing to Me!
by: Jo Singer

Our two cats sing to me all the time, especially when we are out on a car-ride! My poor husband was serenaded all the way from New York to Florida, by two very vocal Oriental Shorthairs.

I thought the video was cute! Since the chirping shows lots of interest in something.

But I do sing a "lullaby" to our cats, especially if they are not feeling well, as they are cuddled up in my arms.


Dec 09, 2009 Yap yap
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

It's a fine little video. Our old Milly speaks exactly the same language when a bird lands outside on _her_ balcony, but she has also learned to use the 'Yap yap' for communicating with humans and does so, when she wants to direct our attention to something that is out of it's usual routine or order. After many years she must have realised that humans are not smart enough to learn cat language, so she has found her own adaptation of our language. And it works - in fact it sounds very much like human chatter.

As to musicĀ“: I've tried singing, but none of our cats enjoy it - even though I do sing in tune. I'll give it another try though, and maybe in a lower key more close to purring.
Also much to my disappointment the cats don't dig The Beatles. They sat through the early records although much of it seemed a bit too noisy for them. Then when I played the later stuff, there were just too many weird noises and the cats left the room - as if the vacuum cleaner had been turned on. ;-)


Dec 09, 2009 Singing to cats
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

I don't like to see cats used to make 'funny' videos either,some are even edited to make you think the cat is enjoying it.The wide eyes and glancing over the shoulder or struggling,say differently ! But I laughed at that little clip as it was obviously genuine and exactly what cats do. The sound was loud on that, when we hear our cats doing it,it's quieter, we call it 'playing the castanets'
It's fascinating !
Yes I sing to our cats, next door's cats and the cats who come to be fed, and they do love it. Maybe we do sound like their mothers purring.
I hope lots of your readers comment, I'd love to hear what they all think.



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