Scientists in Sweden have launched a study to answer the pressing question of whether pet cats adopt their owner’s accent.
From recordings of animals across the country, the researchers hope to work out whether a miaow in Stockholm sounds the same as one south of the Swedish capital.
The work is part of a broader effort to understand feline communication and whether the animals respond differently depending on how they are spoken to.
Susanne Schötz, who studies phonetics at Lund University and owns three cats herself, said while cats used visual and vocal signals to communicate with humans, they needed to make sounds – miaows – to get our attention. But when a pet and a human have been together for a long time, the way they converse may become more complex.