New British research shows that cats really do control humans with a certain type of high-pitched meow.
Researchers at the University of Sussex say the meow is actually a purr mixed with a cry, Listen here and by using this, cats appear to be exploiting the nurturing instinct in humans.
In this case, the cats subtly bury their "feed me" messages in an otherwise pleasant purr.
The study shows that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore, so kitty gets just want he or she wants: food.
But said researcher Karen McComb says not all cats use this form of purring. She said it seems to most often develop in cats that have a one-on-one relationship with their owners rather than those living in large households, where their purrs might get overlooked by poorly trained people.
In those instances, she said, cats seem to find it more effective to stick to the standard meow.