Inter-specific communication:

We have studied how domestic cats make subtle use of one of their most characteristic vocalisations - purring - to solicit food from their human hosts, apparently exploiting inherent sensory biases that humans have for providing care.

This research “The cry embedded within the purr” by Karen McComb, Anna Taylor, Christian Wilson & Ben Charlton will appear in the 14th July issue of Current Biology (Cell Press)


Solicitation and non-solicitation purrs from some of our subjects:


Pepo:                                                                          Hippolythe:



Solicitation:                                                                 Solicitation:

Non Solicitation:                                                         Non Solicitation:

Video of solicitation purring routine:


School of Psychology