Date of Award

Spring 2020


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Communications


Communication Studies


This study focuses on cat to human communication with an emphasis on the way humans perceive cats' communicative signals. Compared to other animals, the domestication of cats has been a slow process and humans have begun to recognize the communicative signals from cats and vice versa. Based on the results of this survey research, humans have started to notice different forms of communication from cats, and are able to decipher their cat’s needs, most of the time. Owners of cats in this study appear to be projecting human values of communication onto their cats. Cats have begun to adjust their behavior according to our extreme emotional states (e.g., happiness, anger). As cats become a more common and popular domesticated pet, researchers need to better understand whether humans are reinforcing behavior or if humans have developed their comprehension of cat communication to a similar degree of understanding between human and dog communication. Further studies that focus on the communicative relationship between cats and humans would allow researchers to narrow down and understand the true communicative cues of our cats and help us to differentiate these cues from our perceived cues that we have assigned them.