Do you ever catch yourself telling your cat all about your day? You prattle on about your boss at work and the sandwich you had for lunch. You think that if anyone heard you talk to your cat, they’d call you crazy.
But I have good news, cat people. Talking to your cat doesn’t make you crazy, it makes you a good cat owner. Our cats might not talk back (besides the occasional meow), but animal behaviorists say there are real benefits associated with talking to our pets. If you already talk to your cat, keep it up! And if you don’t, here are a few good reasons to start.
1. Talking gives you the opportunity to connect with your cat on a daily basis.
Between work, family, friends, and all your other responsibilities, life gets busy. As much as you love your cat, it’s no surprise that you can’t always spend as much quality time with them as you like. You don’t always get the chance to play with the feather toy or spend an hour cuddling together on the couch.
It’s a lot easier, however, to talk to your cat while you’re doing other things. When you’re making dinner, you can involve your cat by talking about what’s on your mind. You might not be engaging in super fun playtime, but you’re still making a connection. The sound of your voice directed toward them will likely keep your cat at least mildly interested, and it gives you a chance to spend time together you otherwise wouldn’t have had.
2. It shows your cat they’re an important part of your life.
Most cats don’t crave human attention as much as dogs do, but they still enjoy spending time with their favorite humans. And if you work during the day or spend long hours away from home, you better believe your cat misses you. They need to feel like they’re an important part of your life.
When you talk to your cat on a regular basis, it lets them know you think about them and care about them. Your feline is a major part of your family, and they’re not ignored or overlooked. When your cat feels like part of the family, they’re more likely to interact with confidence.
3. Talking to your cat will strengthen your bond.
Dr. Danielle Forshee, a doctor of psychology, talked to Elite Daily about how you can talk to your cat and strengthen your bond. While human relationships are based on a give and take of emotions, the same is true for the relationship you share with your cat. If you want your cat to love you as much as you love them, you need to give love as much as you take. You can do that through pets and playtime, but talking during calm moments is a great way to strengthen an ongoing bond.
Cats are surprisingly perceptive, and the more you talk, the better your cat will understand you. They will learn to recognize your moods, and that will bring you closer together.
4. You can help your cat learn and understand human words.
While your cat won’t understand every word you say, it is possible for pets to recognize and understand certain words. For example, does your cat instantly run to their dish when you say the word “dinner?” What about “treat?” Cats learn what these words mean through associations and repetition.
You can’t expect your cat to have an expansive vocabulary, but talking can help them pick up on certain words. This is especially helpful if you’re interested in teaching your cat tricks and cues. You can teach your cat to come when called, sit on command, or even roll over. The more you talk to them, the better they’ll understand you.
5. Talking out loud is good for your mental health.
Your cat can’t hold up their side of the conversation, but cats are great listeners. When you talk to your cat, treat them like any other good friend or family member. Your cat honestly doesn’t care what you have to say. There’s absolutely no judgment or worry. You’re free to rant about whatever you want, and that kind of catharsis can be great for your mental health.
Talking to your cat can also relieve feelings of loneliness and depression. You have a friend that loves you unconditionally even when you confess your most embarrassing secrets. When you talk to your cat, you have a supportive best friend and a trustworthy confidant all rolled into one adorable package.
Did you learn anything new and interesting about our feline friends? Share this article with other cat lovers you know so that they can learn something, too.