Professor at Leiden University

Emotion perception in domestic cats

For her project, PhD candidate Kiki Spoelstra focuses on social cognition in domestic and wild cats. In her first study, she aims to research how domestic cats react to positively and negatively valanced emotional stimuli from different modalities; visual, auditory and olfactory.

For this project, we are looking for visual and auditory stimuli collected in cats from different ages, sexes, and reproductive status. If you have a cat, perhaps you can help us!

What can you do to help?

1. Send us video recordings of the following situations:

  • Cat approaching with tail up
  • Cat rolling on ground, exposing belly
  • Cat crouching, tail-down and ears flat
  • Cat arching back with puffed tail and ears flat

2. Send us recordings (sounds or videos) of the following vocalisations:

  • Cat hissing
  • Cat yowling (see example here)
  • Cat “trilling” (see example here)

3. Enlist your cat as a participant for our behavioural study, starting soon in 2024.

How can you submit recordings or enlist a cat as a participant?

Please fill out this form. Here, you will also find the link to the Dropbox folder where you can upload your video and sound recordings. These will only be visible to the experimenter, not to any of the other participants.

If you enlist your cat as a participant, we will be in contact with you at the beginning of 2024.

Please read the following information before uploading recordings

For all videos it is important that:

  • The whole body of the cat(s) is visible, including the entire tail.
  • The video is no longer than one minute.

For all sound recordings it is important that:

  • There is no background noise (e.g. music, human voices, other animal sounds).
  • The sound made by the cat is clearly audible.

Thank you for your help!

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