Here on Catster, I’ve written about talking to your cat and singing to your cat. I do both, by the way — and based on the comments I received, so do you! Recently on Facebook there was a thread about specific phrases we say to our cats and so many of them are universal! Ha — and here we all thought we were being original.

I began paying attention to the things I say to my cats while we’re in “conversation” and I find I mostly use five phrases — and they are usually in response to their meowing at me. Cats are great at initiating conversation, aren’t they? Now I know that cats meow for specific reasons, and my aim isn’t to get to all scientific on you; I’ll leave that to our resident feline-science lover JaneA Kelley. I’m being completely silly (surprise), so just come along for the ride.

1. “Yes, yes, I know.”

I probably say this one more often than any other phrase. Sometimes when my cats meow at me, it sounds like they are kind of cranky venting. I feel it’s only appropriate and respectful to allow them to do it and offer a few compassionate words and nods. They seem to appreciate it. I like to think they do anyway. This convo usually comes with some petting and maybe a few kissies.

2. “And then what happened?”

Occasionally one of my cats will come at me with very excited meows. They sounds as if they are relaying some breaking news. Of course, I ask them to continue with the story so I can see how it ends. Phoebe is such a chatty gal and is the best participant in this kind of conversation. The endings are generally anticlimactic, but I always show great interest.

3. “Bless you!”

Who doesn’t bless their cat when she sneezes? That’s just plain rude! Phoebe has an upper respiratory issue right now and she’s sneezy and snotty so I feel like I’m saying, “Bless you!” to her all day long. Today I even held a tissue up to her little nose and pretended she was blowing it. You never know what you’re gonna get when you talk to me. Sometimes I help you blow your nose.

4. “It’s so hard to be a kitty.”

When I pitched this post idea to my editor and Catster’s own Cat Dandy, Keith Bowers, he told me he says this one to his cat Thomas. I realized I do the same thing! You know those meows that sound kind of whiny? Like a bunch of complaints? I always pet my kitties and console them with this comforting phrase. It is hard to be a cute little pampered pussycat! First-world problems, huh? Hey Cat Dandy, there’s a pitch for next week: First-World Cat Problems!

5. “I love you too!”

This is my favorite. When a kitty is weaving around my legs, meowing and looking up at me lovingly, what else can I say? “I love you, I love you, I love you!” See, I usually say it in threes, because I think that’s good luck. Plus, no one can hear “I love you” too many times, right?

Do you talk to your cat like this? What phrases do you use? What does your cat do? Tell us in the comments!

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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