Cover image for The secret language of cats : how to understand your cat for a better, happier relationship / Susanne Schötz ; translated by Peter Kuras.
The secret language of cats : how to understand your cat for a better, happier relationship / Susanne Schötz ; translated by Peter Kuras.
Publication Information:
Toronto, Ontario : Hanover Square Press, 2018.

Physical Description:
265 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
636.8 SCH Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Have you ever wondered what your cat is saying?

Cats do not meow randomly, nor do they growl or hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds have a purpose, and they can carry important messages, whether for us or other cats.

Susanne Schötz is hard at work on breaking the cat code. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden, where a long-standing research program is proving that cats do actually use vocal communication--with each other and with their human caretakers. Understanding the vocal strategies used in human-cat communication will have profound implications for how we communicate with our pets, and has the potential to improve the relationship between animals and humans within several fields, including animal therapy, veterinary medicine and animal sheltering.

In The Secret Language of Cats, Schötz offers a crash course in the phonetic study of cat sounds. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations, and she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Those who love cats will also adore this book from phonetics professor Schötz. She insists that cats possess their own language (of sorts) and that, with self-awareness and patience, owners can discern some of what their pets are "saying." For example, her cat Vimsan, after receiving a bowl of food, responds "brrrt," for "thank you." Her cat Rocky, also during food prep, "lifts himself up with his front paws against my knees, where he drawls a me-aw, which I take to mean, 'Oh that smells good, I want some too!'" Shötz shares a serious discussion of her academic specialty, dispelling any notion that the book's premise is sheer fancy. To that end, she provides a chart of the various consonants she's observed cats making-approximants, fricatives, and laterals, for example-while readily conceding the inherent limits to human comprehension; "cats do not have a language that works like a human language" and "we cannot look something up in Cat." Still, chances are good that this lively title will help cat lovers achieve a surprising and animating level of understanding with their house pet. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.