As cat lovers, we understand a lot of what our cats tell us.
We know the subtle nuances of our cat’s meows, chirps, and trills, but no matter how fluent we might be in the feline language, humans will never quite master the tongue. If we were to ask our cats, they’d probably tell us their language is beyond us mere human peasants, yet still we try!
Anything to please the feline overlords!
And now, Javier Sanchez and his team are helping us understand our cats even more thanks to MeowTalk, an app designed to translate the meow.
As a former Amazon engineer working on Alexa, Sanchez knows something about speech recognition. But he’s turned his sights on decoding the meow with his position as a project manager at Akvelon. With the tech company, Sanchez has given cat lovers of the world the power of translation with MeowTalk.
Motivated by the NPR series, “The Secret Language of Cats,” Sanchez and team researched cat speak and found feline’s have roughly nine different intentions in their vocal communications with us. Sanchez feels cats don’t really speak a language with these nine intents per say, explaining cats meow to interact with humans vocally. “They don’t share words or communicate with each other. Cats never meow at each other out in nature.”
In the meow, cats can signal such feelings like “I’m hungry” or “I’m in pain”. And the MeowTalk app has been coded to recognize the subtle differences in meows. All users have to do is record their cat’s meows and the app goes to work analyzing tones. Using Sanchez and team’s research and coding, MeowTalk translates the meow and then reports what your cat is saying.
But it gets better!
According to the app description, MeowTalk can learn your cat’s specific dialect!
“You can train the MeowTalk app to learn your cat’s unique vocabulary of meows (cat talk) by telling the app what each meow means when your cat makes it. When you give the app 5 to 10 examples of a specific meow for your cat (e.g. “food”, “let me out”) the app can start to recognize that meow (be your cat translator) when it hears it.”
Where Can You Download?
MeowTalk is available now, but still an ongoing development project. Sanchez and team are still working on creating the purrfect translator so you can expect regular updates. The ultimate goal is the production of a collar, but for now, start translating by downloading MeowTalk for iOS and Android.
Then, find out exactly what your cat means when they sing their meow songs!