Melody in human-cat communication (Meowsic)

Organisational unit: Research group

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Medical and Health Sciences


  • Human–cat communication, cat vocalizations, cat intonation, cat melody, cat talk


Cats are very popular pets, and they are increasingly being used in therapy, and as companions in institutions such as retirement homes. Therefore, it is important to gain a better understanding of the human–cat relationship, including the vocal signals used to communicate. Cats have learned to communicate with humans using visual and vocal signals. However, many aspects of the cat's vocal communication are not well understood. We do know, for instance, that cats vary the melody of their sounds extensively, perhaps using intonation patterns similar to those used in human speech, but we do not know how to interpret these variations. One goal of the project is to find out more about that. Another goal is to study whether cats react differently to various aspects of human speech, such as different voices, speaking styles, and intonation patterns. The project is funded the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg foundation, and represents pioneering work within human–cat communication.

Recent research outputs

Susanne Schötz, 2020 Jan 1, Pets as Sentinels, Forecasters and Promoters of Human Health. Springer International Publishing, p. 319-347

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Susanne Schötz, 2019 Jun 10, Proceedings from FONETIK 2019 Stockholm, June 10–12, 2019. Heldner, M. (ed.). Stockholm, p. 67 6 p. 12

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

Susanne Schötz, 2019 Jan 15, 1 ed. Stockholm: Forum. 264 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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