LEWISBURG, PA—Refuting one of the most fundamental assumptions about feline behavior, a new study published Wednesday by researchers at Bucknell University found that 90 percent of all meowing actually comes from owners trying to get their cats to meow back. “We observed that meowing was exceedingly rare among common house cats and that nine out of 10 of such vocalizations came from the animal’s owner kneeling down at eye level and repeating the word ‘meow’ in an effort to get the cat to respond in kind,” said lead researcher Gwynne LaRochelle, adding that while only 6 percent of cats meowed back, 20 percent jabbed a paw at its owner’s head, 37 percent got up and walked away, and the remainder simply sat impassively as if the meowing had not even occurred. “In fact, the marked discrepancy in the number of meows emitted by the two species raises the rather profound question of whether a meow is actually more of a human sound than a cat sound in the first place.” LaRochelle went on to say related research confirmed that 90 percent of barking came from dogs themselves and continued for several uninterrupted minutes once it started.

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