Grimaldi’s “Discovery of the Cat Language”

A theory in need of revival (or perhaps not?)


  • Robert Eklund


Recent years have seen a growing number of studies on both felid vocalizations in general and human–felid communication in particular. Frequently considered as the starting point for this line of research is Mildred Moelk’s seminal paper from 1944, in which she provides a taxonomy of basic felid vocalizations, complete with phonetic transcriptions. Less known is the fact that Cat Language was decoded in far more detail half a century earlier, by one “Prof. Grimaldi”, who sadly never published his findings. However, an English translation of Grimaldi’s findings was published by Marvin Clark in 1895, so the astonishing observations made by Grimaldi are not lost to the world. In the present paper a summary of Grimaldi’s results will be provided, in the hope that this research will serve as a source of inspiration to present and future researchers of Cat Language.