A cat that responds to a rather particular call has delighted the internet after gaining viral attention on the video-sharing app TikTok.
First shared on March 26, the video now has over 490,000 views and thousands of likes. Posted by Jono from Calgary, Canada—who uses the TikTok handle jonotendler—the video shows how his 8-year-old cat named Galbatorix responds to his one-of-a-kind demonic call.
In the video, he explains: “So this cat is so trained to come to me when I call him in the demonic growl that even when he’s on my daughter’s lap, he’ll do it.” He then calls out in his distinctive sound before the cat jumps straight over to greet him.
Jono told Newsweek: “With my interest in humor, I thought it would be funny to call my pets in like a really loud metal scream to make my kids and friends laugh. I just kind of attached myself to doing it to Galb particularly when he was a kitten . I remember thinking ‘If I pet him and cuddle him after I scream at him every time, maybe he will train him to come to me whenever I do that voice?'”
Certified pet behaviorist at SeniorTailWaggers.com Crista Coppola Ph.D. told Newsweek: “Cats’ hearing is an advanced sense—they can hear better than both dogs and humans. They can also hear a greater range of sound and pitches at both high frequencies and lower frequencies. Humans can not hear sounds at this higher pitch. Their superior hearing sense is facilitated by the erect ears that help funnel sound and ear tufts that help capture sound. Cats can also rotate their ears independently to help locate a sound’s origin.”
Alongside superior hearing skills, a 2019 study by researchers at the University of Tokyo found that cats really do understand their owner’s voices—at least to an extent.
The study compared cats living in houses and in cat cafés to assess the potential effect of postnatal experience. Cats were presented with the face of either their owner or a stranger on a monitor after playing back the voice of a person calling the cat’s name. Researchers found that cats can learn to understand their names and come when called, but noted that speaking to cats is more about the action associated with the sound than the sound itself.
TikTok users were left in stitches at the cat’s reaction to the noise. One commenter wrote: “This cat speaks anger,” while another said: “Even you looked shocked at how fast he came over.”
“After about a year of screaming ‘GALB’ and petting him immediately after, he started running towards me,” explained Jono. “8 years later, he still does it. It’s so fun and hilarious. People love seeing it when they come over. It still entertains us a lot.”
Other TikTok users noted that the noise had even summoned their own pets. One commenter said: “Ok but why did my cat come to the phone when you did that,” while another wrote: “Dude my dog just hopped up and come to my phone… what sorcery is this?”
When it comes to training your own pets to come to the scream, Jono thinks it’s possible for any owner: “I feel anyone can do it. It just takes a lot of repetition over a lengthy period of time.”
UPDATE 04/27/2022, 3:50 am ET: This article was updated to include video, images and comment from Jono the original poster.