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Is your pet cat trying to 'speak' to you?

Wednesday May 6th 2015

Cats are often perceived as being more aloof, less expressive and a bit more mysterious than dogs.

But many pet owners insist their cats can communicate with them and new research suggests that may indeed be true.

In fact, claim the US researchers, felines are just as expressive as their canine counterparts.

The research has been presented to the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants' annual cat behaviour conference.

Veterinary behaviour professor Dr Sharon Crowell-Davis, of the University of Georgia, suggests the myth about cats being uncommunicative has arisen because people do not understand what they are "saying".

Cats will often approach people when they arrive back home, rubbing themselves against them and partially wrapping their tails around their owners' legs. That, says Dr Crowell-Davis, is a sociable greeting gesture normally used by cats within their own species.

The researchers say that although there is no universal feline language, pets and their owners can build up an understanding of each other.

Copyright Press Association 2015