Article Extract: If you've ever wondered who's in control, you or your cat, it's obvious. It's your cat. Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow. This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed.
Solicitation purring : Previous research has shown similarities between cat cries and human infant cries. McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound "less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to," she said.
Cry within a call : "The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response," said Karen McComb of the University of Sussex. "Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom."
Article Link: http://www.livescience.com/5556-cats-control-humans-study-finds.html
From : http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post/the-manipulative-meow-cats-learn-to-2009-07-13/?id=the-manipulative-meow-cats-learn-to-2009-07-13
From : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_communication
Research paper : http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2809%2901168-3
Related paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432807000897
Pics courtesy: from main article in on left and from http://goo.gl/cZuqm9 on right.
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