|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Hello April, Your question has been sitting there unanswered for a while, so I'll take a stab at it, although I can't claim animal psych as a special area of mine. I'm approaching this issue in a very practical way, by analogy to my own experience and people I've known. I know that cats have a rather large number of different vocalizations according to some researchers, many times more than dogs, even though dogs are instinctively more social animals. Perhaps dogs get by on body language as much as "talk". But, although cats are capable of many sounds, scientists frankly don't understand what most of them mean- beyond the obvious, like purr for content, certain kinds of meows for "give me your attention and feed me" or "let me out", etc, and some sounds mothers make to their kittens. But yawns? Nowhere do I find even a hint that anyone has studied this one. I strongly suspect it may simply be a case of individual variation. I have an old aunt who always practically shouts when she yawns, like a big, "AAAOW!" Not too common, but there it is. I suspect scruffy may just be a bit like my aunt! Here are the Mad Scientist answers to two related questions: Re: How can cats purr and eat at the same time? Re: How Does A Cat Purr, Which Cats Purr, and What Does It Mean? Paul Odgren Cell Biology University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester Massachusetts USA
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