How to Teach a Cat to Talk
Cats have very different and unique personalities. Some are quiet and reserved while others are naturally talkative. Surely, you’ve wondered at least once, could I train my kitty to speak on command?
Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s move on to the how. Just how do you train your kitty to speak on command?
Steps to Train a Cat to Talk
The first step, and arguably the most difficult one, is getting your cat to meow in the first place. But, don’t worry, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help! Encouraging your kitty to meow at mealtime is probably the quickest approach. All you have to do is hold your cat’s bowl and wait until they meow. Once they do, give them their food immediately tell them they’re a good boy/girl!
After a few days, your cat will meow every time you get their food ready. But, be warned! Your feline is extremely smart and once they figure this trick out, they may start meowing earlier and earlier for their breakfast.
For cats that are natural talkers, you can probably encourage them to meow just by speaking to them. If you’re the proud owner of a loud kitty, you probably already know how to make your cat meow. Noises that interest your cat, like a shaking bag or a rattling toy, could also encourage them to speak. Try out a few different things and see what works for your cat.
Once you have figured out how to make your feline talk, make sure to reward them every time they do. This reward can be anything from a treat, a scratch behind the ear, or some playtime. Whatever your cat enjoys best! If you’re using mealtime as an incentive to meow, giving your kitty their meal is the reward for meowing.
Over time, your cat will start to meow more regularly. Now you can start to add a vocal cue. This can be whatever you choose, just make sure it’s a word that’s distinct from any other commands your cat may know. For example, you could say “speak” every time you want your cat to meow.
To add this vocal cue, all you have to do is say “speak” as you’re encouraging your cat to talk. Give them a big reward every time they do as you ask. They will start to associate the word “speak” with getting praise for meowing. Eventually, you won’t have to encourage them to meow and will only need to say the word “speak” for them to respond.
How Long Does It Take to Train a Cat to Talk?
Younger cats and kittens will generally learn more quickly than older cats. They are more open to training and learning new tricks, while older felines might be more set in their ways. However, for the right treat, even the most aloof elderly cat can be taught a trick or two!
What Can I Teach My Cat to Say?
The difficult part of all this is getting your cat to make these different sounds in the first place. Most owners know how to get their kitty to meow or purr. But hearing your cat chirp and trill happens rarely.
All you can do is be ready to reward them when they do! If you want to train your kitty to chirp, the best way to encourage them is to let them look out a window. As birds fly by, your cat may trill at them as they long to chase them down in a hunt.
Sit beside your kitty and give them a treat every time they make the noise you’re looking for. This training session might be quite short, as your cat will end up giving all his/her attention to either the birds or the treats. But with daily practice, your feline will start to chirp at you for treats.
If your kitty only meows and doesn’t make any other noises, not to worry. You can still teach them to do different meows for different situations. Your cat might even be doing this already! Many owners will recognize what their feline needs just by hearing them meow. For example, meowing in one tone might mean, “Help, my food bowl is half empty and I’m starving,” while another means, “Open this door for a second, I need to look inside and then walk away!”
Joking aside, teaching your cat to meow in different tones can be very helpful. It will help you be a better kitty parent as you can respond quickly to your cat’s needs. It can also lower their stress levels because they know they can communicate to you exactly what they want instead of randomly crying, hoping you can figure it out.
Can All Cats be Trained to Talk?
Having a cat that doesn’t meow isn’t a bad thing, but it makes it very difficult to teach them to speak. If you’ve never heard your kitty meow, you may need to try really, really hard to encourage them to make a sound. But don’t feel disheartened if it doesn’t work, maybe learning to speak just isn’t right for them. There are always plenty of other fun and exciting tricks you can learn together!