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How To Get Your Cat To Talk To You!

I have successfully gotten 3 of my 3 lifetime cats to be chatterboxes and I can help you get your little furry friend to talk to you too! Tips and ideas for how to get your cat to talk!

How To Get Your Cat To Talk To You!

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My Talking Cats Story

My first cat, Nick the Cat, was the kitten of my parents cat. They lived out in the country and I lived in the big city of Sharon, PA (current population 13,227).

Nick the Cat loved to go back to visit his parents and eat ice cream on the trip (NEVER feed your cat ice cream in their carrier …. the mess when they get sick is epic!)

He lived to be about 20 and when he passed I took a little cat time off.

My next kitty was with my husband… he asked if he could get a cat, I said wait a week and promptly forgot about it. The next week he got up all bright and early and went to get Pepper the cat!

Pepper the Talking Cat

She was a super pretty Maine Coon who was super chatty and wasn't afraid to let you know her feelings!

Our current Chatty Cathy is Betty! Betty is our daughter's cat that we got her just after we adopted the kids and then she left her when she grew up and moved out… ha!

Betty The Talking Cat

She was mostly feral when we got her, but with time and lots of attention she has become super needy and wants to talk to us all the time!

So now I am going to use my years of experience to show you how to get your get your cats to talk to you too!

Talking Cats Video

Just in case you need some proof, here is Betty chatting away about all the things!

Tips and Ideas For Getting A Talking Cat!

Alright, now that you have my bona-fides, here are my best tips and ideas for how to get your cat to talk to you!

1. Have A Routine

Cats are pretty nervous most of the time, especially if you have stupid dogs around. They also sleep A LOT, like up to 18 HOURS a day! source Sleep Foundation

So you have to find a way to interact with them on a regular basis.

We do this by feeding the girls in the morning when I get up and then at 5 when my son feeds them. Since my son is a teenager, he barely talks, so most of the catty-chattys go on with me in the morning.

I talk to Betty the most, asking her how she slept and encouraging her if she ever answers…. more about this later!

2. Meet Them Where They Are Comfortable

The next thing you want to do to make talking more possible is to go where they feel comfortable. Our old dear cat liked to lay on the cat tree, Elsa (my mom's cat) likes to lay on the dining room table and Betty lives in the bathroom by the bathtub.

You are much more likely to get a response from your cat if you talk to them WHERE they feel the safest!

Betty is super handy to get to, I just talk to her every time I have to go to the restroom… she is right there by the tub!

3. Talk To Them When They Talk To You First

Okay, if you aren't in the habit of talking to your cat yet, this might feel weird! Especially since you probably have no idea what your cat is saying to you.

BUT here is the thing, if they took the time to look at you and talk, then they know that communication is possible!

It is your responsibility to answer them… talk back, pet them, give them a treat for talking… acknowledge that they have spoken and let them know you appreciate their effort.

My baby Granddaughter reminds me that you don't have to know what they are saying to have a meaningful connection!

Emmy is just one year old and at that stage where she will babble a whole sentence to me. I am not sure what she is saying, but I always answer her to encourage her to keep on talking… it works the same with kittys!

4. Do Things For Them When They Talk To You

If your cat does start talking to you, try and start paying attention to what they are “saying”.

For example, Betty will run in the bathroom, jump on the counter and talk to me. When I go over the food bowl will be down or her water dish will be dry.

Functionally she is saying she is about to starve and that she is parched, so this is a great time to talk to her and say what a smart girl she is to tell me what she needs.

I think a lot of training your cat to talk is about letting them know there is a benefit to them saying something!

5. Repeat Back What They Are Saying

Betty will say MA a lot. She also says MA, MA in the bathtub when she wants me to turn the water on.

I have no idea what MA means, but I say it back to her any time I can. She seems to like it when I “speak her language” to her.

I haven't really had any cats that say ME-OW or any of the “human designed cats meowing” words that we attribute to cats.

Functionally, just try to “human-speak” whatever they are saying to you!

6. Talk To Them Even When They Don't Talk Back (Yet)

If you don't talk to your cat, why would they ever think to talk to you?

I talk to my cats and dogs all the time (the dogs don't talk back, but they do wag their tails!)

I think there is something super magical about the fact that I can have “conversations” with my cats where they feel seen and heard.

7. It Takes Time To Get Your Cat To Talk

Alrighty then, there are my best tips and ideas for how to get your cat to talk to you!

One thing to know is that this is not a two day process. It took a few YEARS to get Betty to talk. She really had to feel confident in her own skin and then to know that I cared what she had to say.

If she is at all excited or anxious, communication is the first thing to go because she hides under the bed or in the closet and isn't available to chat!

8. Some Cats Talk More Than Others

One last thing…. my Maine Coon talked from day one. Maine Coons are known to be talkers and I didn't have to teach her how.

I understand that some other breeds like Siamese cats are also more intrinsically inclined to be chatty cathys.

That said, Betty is a rescued street cat who was probably feral when we got her. She is super nervous all the time and took a while to teach to talk, but now you can't get her to shut up… ha!

Getting Your Cat To Talk FAQs

I had so many questions about talking cats, and you might too! Here are some things that I get asked all the tim!

Can You Teach Your Cat To Talk?

I think that you can “teach” your dog to talk by giving them treats, but cat behavior doesn't work like that.

You cat just learns over time that “talking” produces a result. It could be you showing affection to them, getting a full bowl or just having your attention that makes them “talk”.

How Can You Speed Up The Process?

I spend A LOT of time with my pets. I am a work from home blogger and artist, so a lot of my time is spent sitting in a chair where all my animals can track me down!

I do think your tone of voice, facial expression and body language matter a lot when encouraging cat vocalization.

You need to be content and patient when you are trying to communicate with your cat… they will know if you are stressed at all and not be as open to chatting!

The Difference Between Purring and Talking

Maybe I should have started with this, but instead I will end with it… a cats purr is different than what I call “talking”.

My Maine Coon hardly ever purred… she was a grumpy gus who was rarely ever content. Betty purrs a LOT and makes biscuits if you rub her back.

When I think about talking, I am more considering that they have something to say, rather than a reaction to pets, if that makes sense!