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April 25, 2008


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Michael F. Hall

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Fenesi Peter

A simple grammar and dictionary of the cat language

The cat language is very similar to the human language. Cats just like people use words with a definite meaning. They form sentences with words. Cats speak expecially much with their offspring, this means that a part of their education happens verbally. As I realised the meaning of some words and started to use them, my cats got more chatty.

Cats use these vowels:
á –(a) like in the word “what“
á: - (a:) like in the word “last“
e – (æ)] like in the word “bed“, “cat” , cats do not use long (æ)
é – (e) like in the word “get” , “ generation“
é: – this is a vocal similar to the previous, just longer
i – (i) like in the word “ship“, cats do not use long (i)
o – (o) like in the word “hot”, “box“, cats do not use long (o)
ö – (ə) like in the word “third“, cats do not use long (ə)
u – (u) like in the word “wood” , “took“
u: - (u:) like in the word “fool“

Cats use these consonants: b, h, j, m, ny, r, v.
b - like in the word “bird”
h - like in the word “hot”
j – like a first note in the word “young”
m - like in the word “man”
ny - like in word “new”
r - like in the word “red”
v - like in the word “vein”
Cats use two long consonants: r: and m:.
The b and h consonants are rare, but there.

The speed at which they are spoken, and whether they’re repeated or not, has an effect on the meaning of the words.

A short dictionary:

á: (a:) - an invitation to play
á é é (a e e) (staccato) – I want to go out
á é u, á á u (a e u, a au) (staccato) – I want to come in, come in
áu (au) – a protest, an expression of dislike
áe (aæ) – thanks
é (e) – yes
éé (ee) – I want to go out
éá (ea) – greeting, hello
éá á (ea a) – rejection of friendship
éá:r (ea:r)– expression of friendship, flattery
éu (eu) – I don’t want to go out
éáu (eau) – I’d like to come in
hmé: (hme:) - threatening with attack
ié (ie)– I want out (strong demand)
iju, iju: (iyu, iyu:) - help, mother
já: (ya:) - yes
má: (ma:) - I love you, love me
máá (maa) – milk
má é (ma e) – let me be
má:r (ma:r) – flattery
máu: (mau:) - call for help, cry out
meé (mæe) – water, thirst
me á é (mæ a e) – lack of water, asking for water
meéeé (mæeæe) – dry catfood
meme (mæmæ) (spoken fast) – sparrow, bird
meö (mæə) – meat, meaty food
mrá: (mra:) - come here
mráá: (mraa:) - protect me
miá (mia) - expression of content, expression of satisfaction
mijáu, mijáo, mijáou (miyau, miyao, miyaou) – expression of hunger, demanding food
mou: (mou:) - offering food, spoken hoarsely: boasting about a killed bird
mre (mræ) – call to attention
mrué (mrue) – follow me
mué (mue) – come
muer (muær) – what’s going on with you?
murá (mura) – fish
nyá, nyá: (nya, nya: ) – I’m here, listen to me
nyáé: á (nyae: a) – eat!
nyáu (nyau) – jealousy, expression of discontent
nyáu nyáu nyáu (spoken fast) – don’t come near my food
öe (əæ) – what are you doing? How are you?
öráu (ərau) – please come
rá:b (ra:b) – mother cat calls for her kittens
r:eö (r:æə) – kitten calls for it’s mother
rmá:, r:má: (rma:, r:ma: ) - don’t be afraid, everything’s OK
rmeö (rmæə) – mouse
rnyáo (rnyao) – dog, danger
rvá (rva) – accusation, blame
uá, uá: (ua, ua:) - stop it, you can’t do that, I do not like it
u:m: (u:m:) (with closed mouth) – threathening, less threathening as a growl
váo, váo-váo (vao, vao-vao) - no, I don’t want that

é: (e:) - out, outside
u: - inside

The meaning of some words might seem the same, but we can assume that there are nuances in their meaning. Their precise meaning is still to be discovered.
I use these words to communicate with my cats. They understand these, so they assume that I can understand their language. Because of this they often start speaking in long complicated sentences. When they notice that I don’t understand them they’re disappointed.
It’s hard to understand long sentences, because when they use them they stand still, so I can’t guess it’s meaning.
My tomcat is called Iju. When he want’s to come in he sais Iju á á u – Iju want’s to come in. This is a sentence of two words.
As Titi (my other cat) comes home and sees that the others already got food. She sais: Nyáu nyá – Since the others got food I want some too.
I hope that during a longer observation there will be situations that will allow me to uncover more of the cat language. It’s amasing how open and chatty cats become once you start talking to them in their language. Try it. If you uncover/discover the meaning of new words or phrases, please write me. This is the fastest way to complete the dictionary.
My cat dictionary already came out in 2002, as a part of my book „A probable story about Jack and Jill “. Since then I have expanded my cat dictionary and I have been spreading it among my friends. If you can please spread it among your friends too, so that you might help get cats and their owners closer together. This will make both your friends and their cats more happy. It’s worth it.

Peter Fenesi [email protected] mobile: 381642447252


That's awesome! I always wonder about things like this.... how much animals comprehend different types of languages, and which animals do.

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