Cat 'Aghast' After Hearing a Human Meowing Has Internet in Stitches

Ever wish you could speak in a language your pet could truly understand? One man seems to have cracked cat communication in a viral video shared online on Thursday.

Shared on Reddit's popular r/aww forum, the video was reposted by u/MorgrainX but the original poster has not so far been discovered.

With over 85,000 upvotes and thousands of comments, the jaw-dropping video was posted with the caption: "When you manage to speak cat."

A man looks at the camera while a nearby black and white cat sits in the background. In a stunning twist, the man starts to produce incredibly accurate meows and yowls—even, it seems, fooling the cat.

The 32-second clip shows the man making various cat sounds as the black and white cat behind looks increasingly shocked and confused.

While we might think of meows as a "cat language," it is in fact not the way that felines communicate with each other.

"Cats primarily communicate with each other with scent and with body language," editor of Cat Talk magazine Teresa Keiger told Newsweek previously: "[They] have very little to verbally communicate with each other."

In fact, the well-known meow is thought to be a behavior that our feline friends have learned since being domesticated in order to better express their feelings with their new human friends.

While cats have learned that we respond well to meows, it does not mean that you have to develop a similar tactic to talk to your feline friend. In fact, research shows that cats cannot really decipher our attempts at meowing—mostly because it is almost impossible for us to accurately create the correct pitch and noise they can.

However, copying a cat's tone and sounds can make a pretty convincing noise that will grab some attention—as many people who played the viral video out loud to their own pet's horror attested online.

Shorthair cat looks at camera and meows
A stock image of a shorthair cat looking directly at the camera and meowing. Евгений Харитонов/Getty Images

"My cat heard this and woke up and came right to the iPad. He really is speaking cat," said one Redditor, while another pet owner wrote: "I had my cat sleeping on my chest when I played this and she woke up and was very concerned."

When cats do vocalize to each other, they will occasionally use sounds such as purrs, meows, chirps, and trills. Meowing has also been recorded as a way that cat mothers will comfort their kittens, while a more stand-out guttural yowl is preferred when cats are attempting to attract a mate. But generally, older and neutered pets will make little to no noise and save their vocalizations for telling us when they want something.

Speaking about the video, cat behavior consultant Alice Chau-Ginguene told Newsweek: "The meow sound the human makes here is not just 'meow,' he is imitating an aggression sound made by cats when they are about to fight. It's not a 'meow' (hello) sound. So yes he did a good imitation here but very stressful for the cat as it is a pre-fighting sound."

Impressed by the man's apparent talent for cat-talk, other Redditors shared their thoughts below the viral video.

"Cat was mind blown," said one commenter, while another wrote: "Whatever you're saying is horrifying! The poor 'lil guy is aghast!"

"That cat thinks you're possessed by a cat demon," joked one reply.

"The cat's body language here tell us he is stressed, big marble eyes, ears back, couching down, backing off at some points," said Chau-Ginguene. "He is confused and checked where the sound came from several times."

"This particular sound is for fighting, and it's not a nice thing to do to a cat."

"My cat basically never reacts to videos but she came running from the other side of the house," said another Redditor who played the video out loud. "This dude unlocked cat. He's fluent in cat. I'd ask my cat what he was saying, but I don't speak cat."

Newsweek reached out to u/MorgrainX for comment.

Update 10/10/22, 03:17 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from cat behavior consultant Alice Chau-Ginguene.

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