// The Truth Comes Out: Cats 'exploit' humans by purring
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« on: Jul 13, 2009 10:18 PM »


Researchers were PAID to do this study! -  thobebro<-- UBAB

***

Cats 'exploit' humans by purring

By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News

Cat owners may have suspected as much, but it seems our feline friends have found a way to manipulate us humans.

Researchers at the University of Sussex have discovered that cats use a "soliciting purr" to overpower their owners and garner attention and food.

Unlike regular purring, this sound incorporates a "cry", with a similar frequency to a human baby's.

The team said cats have "tapped into" a human bias - producing a sound that humans find very difficult to ignore.

Dr Karen McComb, the lead author of the study that was published in the journal Current Biology, said the research was inspired by her own cat, Pepo.

"He would wake me up in the morning with this insistent purr that was really rather annoying," Dr McComb told BBC News.

"After a little bit of investigation, I discovered that there are other cat owners who are similarly bombarded early in the morning."

While meowing might get a cat expelled from the bedroom, Dr McComb said that this pestering purr often convinced beleaguered pet lovers to get up and fill their cat's bowl.

To find out why, her team had to train cat owners to make recordings of their own cats' vocal tactics - recording both their "soliciting purrs" and regular, "non-soliciting" purrs.

"When we played the recordings to human volunteers, even those people with no experience of cats found the soliciting purrs more urgent and less pleasant," said Dr McComb.

How annoying?

She and her team also asked the volunteers to rate the different purrs - giving them a score based on how urgent and pleasant they perceived them to be.

"We could then relate the scores back to the specific purrs," explained Dr McComb. "The key thing (that made the purrs more unpleasant and difficult to ignore) was the relative level of this embedded high-frequency sound."

"When an animal vocalises, the vocal folds (or cords) held across the stream of air snap shut at a particular frequency," explained Dr McComb. The perceived pitch of that sound depends on the size, length and tension of the vocal folds.

"But cats are able to produce a low frequency purr by activating the muscles of their vocal folds - stimulating them to vibrate," explained Dr McComb.

Since each of these sounds is produced by a different mechanism, cats are able to embed a high-pitched cry in an otherwise relaxing purr.

"How urgent and unpleasant the purr is seems to depend on how much energy the cat puts into producing that cry," said Dr McComb.

Previous studies have found similarities between a domestic cat's cry and the cry of a human baby - a sound that humans are highly sensitive to.

Dr McComb said that the cry occurs at a low level in cats' normal purring. "But we think that (they) learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans."

She added that the trait seemed to most often develop in cats that have a one-on-one relationship with their owners.

"Obviously we don't know what's going on inside their minds," said Dr McComb. "But they learn how to do this, and then they do it quite deliberately."

So how does Dr McComb feel about Pepo now she knows he has been manipulating her all these years?

"He's been the inspiration for this whole study, so I'll forgive him - credit where credit's due."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/8147566.stm

Published: 2009/07/13 16:54:44 GMT

© BBC MMIX

“ They learn how to do this, and then they do it quite deliberately ”
Karen McComb University of Sussex

Your heart will not truly open until you understand Surah 21 : Verse 92  (Al-Anbiya: The Prophets)

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« Reply #1 on: Jul 14, 2009 04:06 AM »

We are total cat lovers and there is no doubt these cats know how much we can't do without them!!!  :'(

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« Reply #2 on: Jul 14, 2009 07:18 PM »

Just wondering if any of these cat / kitten stories are true...

1.) The Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) had a tabby cat which fell asleep on the sleeve of his robe. Rather than disturb the cat, he cut off his sleeve when he answered the muezzin (call to prayer). This cat once warned Mohammed (Peace be upon him) of danger and to this day tabby cats have the 'M' mark on the foreheads in remembrance of his blessing and three dark lines on their backs where he stroked his cat.


2.) The cat receives much respect in Islam, because of tales that the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) was a cat lover. One story says a cat saved Mohammed (Peace be upon him) from being bitten by a deadly snake. In another, when Mohammed’s cat Muezza fell asleep on his sleeve, the Prophet cut off his sleeve rather than disturb his cat.


3.) CATS ON THE PRAYER MATS- Muessa: The name of the cat so loved by Mohammed that, according to tradition, he cut off his robe rather than disturb the cat, which was sleeping on it.

4.) Abu Haria was the father of kittens, and his kitty did save Muhammad from a snake that was in his shoe....plus a bird helped, ...but it was because of his kitty cat, that cats now, always land on their feet.   


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« Reply #3 on: Jul 15, 2009 12:58 AM »

Those are some weird stories??/ Never heard of any of them except about the cutting around a cat... I couldn't find the original hadith of it though.

Abu Hurairah radiahu loved cats and kittens and always had them around him and thus is named Abu Hurairah (Father of the kitten).


And here are some more good one's about Cats:

Volume 3, Book 40, Number 553:

    Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

    Allah's Apostle said, "A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger." Allah's Apostle further said, (Allah knows better) Allah said (to the woman), 'You neither fed it nor watered when you locked it up, nor did you set it free to eat the insects of the earth."

Book 1, Number 0076:

    Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

    Dawud ibn Salih ibn Dinar at-Tammar quoted his mother as saying that her mistress sent her with some pudding (harisah) to Aisha who was offering prayer. She made a sign to me to place it down. A cat came and ate some of it, but when Aisha finished her prayer, she ate from the place where the cat had eaten. She stated: The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: It is not unclean: it is one of those who go round among you. She added: I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) performing ablution from the water left over by the cat.


Thought this was interesting but not sure why>>? Were they wild and they didn't like the concept of capturing them and selling them?

Book 23, Number 3437:

    Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

    The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) forbade payment for cat.

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