MeowTalk app translates your cats meows, and it doesn't suck

There are hopes this technology is one step closer to a smart-collar that instantly translates.


We all talk to our pets and we all wish we could understand what they’re saying. A developer that worked on Alexa has created MeowTalk, an app that uses AI-learning to do just that. The app, along with the owner’s help, builds a database that translates a cat’s individual meow.

Reported on by the BBC on November 19, MeowTalk is a new venture being developed by a former Amazon Alexa engineer. This app listens to your cat’s meow and then tries to work out what was said. It isn’t doing all the work by itself, though, as the user will assist in labelling what they believe their cat is saying. This helps build a database specifically for that cat.

meowtalk translate cats meows
MeowTalk hopes to help translate your cat's meows so you can better understand its needs.

According to Javier Sanchez, the long-term hope is that this technology will help engineers create a smart-collar that instantly translates a cat’s meow. Instead of owners reading text on a screen, the collar would emit a human-sounding voice, allowing humans to better understand the needs of their pets.

So far, the reviews have been mixed. Some users report problems with the app, which is still in beta, while others are enjoying it from a purely entertainment level. Shacknews Managing Editor Bill Lavoy has so far discovered that MeowTalk is working as intended.

For those of us that are staying home and avoiding social gatherings during 2020, being able to understand your cat a bit better, even if a little bit, could be a great boon to morale. This technology is still new, though, so expect there to be some inconsistencies and further updates as development continues.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 23, 2020 7:25 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, MeowTalk app translates your cats meows, and it doesn't suck

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      November 23, 2020 8:01 PM

      we’re using it! it’s definitely silly but it’s decently accurate. we’re feeding our kitten meow data to skynet and hoping it will be merciful once it figures out how to communicate with felines and stages a world takeover

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      November 23, 2020 11:59 PM

      needs a playback feature so you start an open dialogue and cessations of negative cat actions

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      November 24, 2020 2:36 AM

      This is dope. I always wanted to have a dog and teach it dog sign language.

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      November 24, 2020 3:48 AM

      My cat talks constantly so I'll have to check this out

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      October 1, 2022 8:22 PM

      I've tried this app. Apparently I can also speak Cat, because if I make certain sounds it will translate me into English! As near as I can tell, the app listens for a cat meow-- any cat meow-- and then randomly picks a meaningless translation like "Howdy" or "Hello" or "Hi." Which means it is a gimmick. Which is so very disappointing.

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