Teaching Cats to “Talk” – Catster

Monesia McKnight felt so sad for Ripley, a young tabby she fostered, whose shyness was preventing her from attracting local adopters. But Monesia knew Ripley was a sweet kitty who would warm up quickly once someone gave her a chance. “We just had to care for her and love her,” says Monesia, who has lived in the Atlanta area since 2019 and volunteers for Best Friends Lifesaving Center. “That made her attached to us.”

Button training cats

When Monesia watched a TikTok video showing dogs trained to press color-coded, voice-recording buttons that each sent a specific message to their humans, she thought: Why not try this with her shy foster kitty?

Perhaps learning to “talk” via pushing buttons would give Ripley a fun way to communicate with humans and attract potential adopters’ attention. Ripley wasn’t adopted locally through Best Friends, and she would soon be sent to the rescue’s shelter in New York for another try in a different region.