Arkansas professor publishes study on communication between cats

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 5:58 PM CST
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Have you ever thought your feline friends might be trying to communicate with each other?

A recent study by an Arkansas professor says you might be right.

Dr. Brittany Florkiewicz is an assistant professor of psychology at Lyon College in Batesville. She and undergraduate student Lauren Scott published a study looking at the way cats communicate through expressions.

Their study included observing 53 adult cats at the CatCafe Lounge, a non-profit rescue organization in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Florkiewicz explained the duo pursued the study due to the lack of information surrounding the topic.

“Other animals, such as cats, didn’t have much published on their facial expressions, and the studies out there were very much focused on how cats associated with humans,” Dr. Florkiewicz said.

The two watched cats interact with each other during play and while fighting.

“We were interested in what the facial expressions looked like during affiliative interactions, which can be play interactions, grooming, and so forth, but also during non-affiliative interactions such as fighting and aggression,” Dr. Florkiewicz added.

According to their study, they coded 688 facial signals. Of those, 413 were made by males, and 275 were produced by females.

They determined that domestication “has led to a greater variety of intraspecific social interactions among cats.”

Visit the study’s web page to read it in its entirety.