(Cumberland, MD USA)
Cassie having a conversation with me.
Some cat owners will talk to their pets in their natural human voice. Others talk to cats using a high falsetto range. Which is better?
My opinion is we should address cats in the auditory range most closely similar to their own. Cat's have a broad range to their vocalizations. But their range is a much higher pitch than human's normal range. We humans can use what's called falsetto to reach the range of cats and we should use it.
Cats can adapt to us whatever the range we use. But speaking to them in a special falsetto range means the cat will immediately know that, when you use a falsetto voice range, you're speaking to them and only them. They will not be confused when you speak to another human in their presence.
Since I speak to my cats using a special falsetto range meant only for them, they can sometimes be surprised when I speak in my normal human voice. My natural human voice is a very deep bass.
When there is danger or when I am angry at my cats, my initial speaking voice will be my natural voice. And this is okay because now my cats realize that if I speak to them in my bass voice, I am intending to surprise them, make them alert to a danger or because they are doing something they shouldn't be doing. My natural voice becomes a means of disciplining them.
This is all well and good. The only time this presents a problem is when I talk on the telephone. The cats cannot know that I am talking to another human on the other end of the line. And because I am using my natural human voice, the cats seem to think I am angry at them. They both will nervously walk around me and on my desk. Concern is written on their expressions. After I hang up the phone I always make a point of talking to my cats in the familiar falsetto and it calms them down.
P.S. From Michael (Admin): Please check out the comments. This page was written by a guest as you can see. Personally I don't employ a high pitched voice. I think that comes from an instinctive desire to relate to your cat as a human child which is not necessarily a good thing. I think a melodoius, gentle and quiet voice is the best as it is reassuring and friendly.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.