Do some cats try to mimic human speech? My human says I say something that sounds like 'mama'.

Asked by Tika on May 1st 2008 in Socialization
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I don't know, but Mom says I "Baaa" like a sheep! Except, I go, "Maaaa,...Maaaa..." Go figure!

Member 491403 answered on 5/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

I believe it's not so much mimicking human speech as it is a language of their own. Izzie has a meow that sounds like "Oh, maaa!" in the morning when he gets his wet food. Ernie makes a noise that sounds like a chimpanzee. This is consistent each morning. Izzie also makes the same sound when he's looking for Ernie. To us, it sounds like "words" and I suppose our kitties, they are "talking", but it's a language of their own.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 5/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Oscar J. Cat

It's funny you should say that. Hubby and I swear that Oscar J. says "milk" every morning before he gets his spoonful. LOL

I wonder, are they learning our language, or is it the other way around? MOL!

Oscar J. Cat answered on 5/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Sophia Marie

Here's the "dirty" from a linguistic standpoint. (hey, i have to use this stupid degree somewhere, since i paid for it. ;-) who knew it would be on catster)

Cats have not shown the tendency to vocally mimic their surroundings; even their "chirp" is of excitement, not of an attempt to sound like squirrels.

Humans, on the otherhand, are biologically tuned to turn "noises" into words. Its how our brains manage to make sense out of the hubby who just came back from a tooth extraction, or a 2 year old just learning to talk. so when we hear any sound, our brain instinctively tries to relate noises we hear to words we know. The very first sound a baby makes is a sound like "mmaaa" or "na", so ofcurse, every culture world wide has a name for "mother" that is roughly "mama" "maaha" etc.

my kitties are boring, though. Horus "acks", Sophia "murphs", and Dulci never said anything...

Sophia Marie answered on 5/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I think most of the time when it sounds like a cat is "speaking" human they're really just talking normally without trying to speak human. It's just that us humans inturpet it as the cats trying to tell us they love us or they're calling us mama. On youtube.com there are some funny talking cat videos though


Garfield answered on 5/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I had a dog once named Matthew and he hated baths. I would have one of those groomers that make house calls come to my gift shop and give him a bath at least once a month and I would get him his weekly bath after that.

One day a lady came into the shop and said she heard something coming from the groomers van. I asked what - she swore she heard a male voice saying pittifuly - "help me."

We went out of the store together and stood by the van where a man had stopped when he heard - "help me - like a man's voice sobbing. I was ready to laugh at both of them when the groomer opened the door and told me she was not trying to kill the dog but he was moaning the words "help me".

I turned and looked at Matthew then back at the people and said, "this is a joke - right?" Before they could answer I heard Matthew say - "help me" clear as a bell ringing.

Spirit says, "Feed Me". JefferyAnna say, "out now." I'm either going crazy or they really are talking!

Member 629569 answered on 5/5/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer