How do you call a cat? do you use that sibilant “sssppssss” sound? if so, why?
(to clarify, I mean how do you call a strange cat to you)
Works for me. Sometimes you have to crouch down to get on the cat’s level, so he’s not intimidated by your size, but some cats are more fearful than others. Wiggling your fingers also helps.
I never heard of hissing to call a cat; IME most cats are frightened by that sound.
I’ve always used a high-pitched “Herrre, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty”!, repeated until either effective, or proven ineffective.
Once the cat’s in range, be sure not to look it in the eyes for more than a few seconds, and blink forcefully, twice, each time you look at it.
Also, a laser pointer can be used to move cats around.
A clicking or kissing noise seem to work for me.
Cats aren’t particularly linguistic creatures. So unless their owner uses the “herrre kitty-kitty” call, I doubt it will be very effective. Most cats I’ve tried it on have just run. What does seem to work moderately well is the already referenced “blink once or twice then deliberately look away” technique. This seems to be the cat version of “hi there”. Staring at a cat is threatening. Blinking and glancing away is non-threatening.
This seems more IMHO, but I like to crouch down (I’m very tall), then extend my hand out down low. (A raised hand implies you’re going to smack it - if you know a cat well they’ll play that game, but not right off) which they’re more willing to approach.
Cats will blink at each other if they’re relaxed, which is why that may help.
I echew hissing, but occasionally use some baby/sucking noises (whatever you call them), for no scientific reason really.
I’m a pss-pss-pss gal, myself.
It works on friendly strange cats – not so well on not-friendly strange cats.
My cat recognizes my voice and will come when I call him (well, unless he has urgent business elsewhere, of course) – the kids next door used to try calling him but it never worked.
We’re “clickers” at the Butler household.
I call unknown kitties whenever I see them and don’t usually use the sspppsss sound, although I do sometimes. Mostly I either make kissy noises or click my tongue. Both of those seem to work very well for me.
It also helps to kneel down to their level and talk in a soothing tone.
I crouch down with my hands close to the ground, and rub my dry fingers together to make a faint sort of sound. That seems to work as often as anything does for attracting cats.
I crouch down, hold out a hand with the palm down, and do a kind of reverse rasberry (suck air in through pursed lips) and talk to them in a low soft voice (how’s your day going, aren’t you pretty…), that usually gets them to come and talk to me.
I do that finger-rubbing thing too, while clicking or making kissy noises.
Speak softly and carry a big fish.
I make clicking kissy noises, too-just to attract the kitty’s attention. Then they usually trot on over, or talk for a few minutes while deciding if I’m kitty-cool.
In a recent dog training class we were told that the reason dogs get all excited and run to you when you talk in a high voice, whistle or make squealy sounds is their natural prey are thinks like mice, squirrels, cats and other small animals that make high pitched sounds. I would think the same would be true about cats.
I hate [vocal] clicking kissy noises. My Grandpa does them to his pets.
Just clicking my fingers beckons a dog. I learned that from my mother. She responds to nothing else (the dog I mean. My mother responds to shouting)
I have never come across a cat that didn’t respond to pssspss. Whether they come to you or not is a different story. They’ll turn and look, and I always say: Made you Look!!!
Even when they don’t turn around, you can see their ears twitch, and you know you got 'em.
This one will probably work best in IMHO.
Moved from GQ. samclem