(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.
Talking to cats, high voice or natural voice? to Forum
I have done pedegree cat rescue for over 30 years. High pitched voices are hard for humans to listen to. The same is true for babies and pets. Harsh! It is the word choice that attracts their eyes & causes their ears to rotate to yhe speaker “Hey gang, did you miss me?Sweeties come here!” It gets their attenton. Word choice, not pitch Loving words cause them to turn and follow. Squeeky sounds make them turn their ears away from the speaker, narrow their eyes, and wonder what comes next. They hate it when new people come in and start speaking to them in that loud high pitched manner. When a person addresses them directly,at their level, with loving words, they look at the speaker & will come over and meet the speaker. They seem to act less threatened. The “pitch” idea would be the same as lowering your voice a far as possible you can when speaking to a horse? Dumb idea. It is what you say,tone,word choice, not pitch.
Thanks Patricia for your valued input.