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True or false: dogs can make about ten sounds, cats make about 100.
I apologize for making such a simple and dumb thread among the more important ones.
This thread is based on the underside of my Snapple cap. The "fun fact" is written just is it is in the thread title: Dogs can make about ten sounds, cats make about 100.
For some reason, this just doesn't ring true to me. How do you define a sound as being discretely different from another, especially in the context of animal noises? Is it like, dogs can only bark/whine/pant, but cats can meow/mew/slightly longer meow/yowl/growl/hiss? Is it defined as an intentionally different-sounding noise coming from the animal - dogs make a generic "bark" all the time, but cats have different growls for being scared or playful or annoyed? Species-wide, or any given dog or cat? Is it vocalized sounds only, or does it count the sound they make when they flop over? It's a very poorly written fact.
I've googled it. Much of the internet has no idea either way, but is content to parrot the fact around with no source. Some people write the fact as dogs having 100 sounds and cats having 10,000, or anything in between. Chacha.com (answers from random people online) says this:
Cats can make over 100 different vocal sounds, dogs can only make 10. These sounds encompasses a variety of meows, purrs, gurgles, and eeps which occur in a variety of tones and octaves and can mean a plethora of things.
That still doesn't seem to put it to rest. Dogs seem to be able to growl at different tones and lengths depending on their mood or how threatened they feel. Barks do not sound exactly the same every time they come out any more than meows sound exactly the same. Furthermore, I've seen those videos where it sounds vaguely like a dog is saying "I love you" or "mama" or whatever. Is that just a dog putting its ten sounds to good use, or do those count as new sounds?
Got any idea on this one, H/A? Biologist in the house?