Spanish phrases to say to a cat?
February 21, 2023 9:23 PM   Subscribe

I am an Anglophone and a Cat Person. I cat-sit on a semi-regular basis for a cat whose humans speak Spanish at home. My own Spanish is conversational at best (three years in secondary school plus some idle DuoLingo since), and I’d like to expand my vocabulary a little.

This cat is her people’s UNIVERSE, and I want to help put her at ease when we’re here substituting for them.

I have some vocabulary; for instance, I know how to say,

“What do you want?”
“Tell me what you need.”
“You should eat.”
“You are the prettiest cat in the house.”
“See you soon.”
…and so on.

But I’d like to expand my phrasebook using other things a human might typically say to a cat.

If you speak Spanish to your pets, what are some of your go-to phrases?

To my own English-at-home cats, I say things like “Nooooo. Think about another thing” and “give nuzzles” and “this is not for kitties” and “some kisses?”

…And the overall wit level declines further from there. Are there Spanish equivalents to ditzy baby-talk? Should I be more dignified?

I realize this is small-stakes, but I don’t want to Peggy Hill the poor bean.

(Sorry, no Pet Tax because I'm trying to respect the privacy of her Real Family. Imagine — or ask an AI to draw — a grey-and-white piebald with a big butt, small head, missing one eye.)
posted by armeowda to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Tangentially, if you sing to your pets you might try Señor Don Gato.
posted by bendy at 10:21 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]

Each cat family tend to have their own in-group phrases, so you can ask them as well? E.g. with mine, the magic phrase is "no scratchy no bitey" to reduce their bite and claw strength and i don't expect a non-fluent speaker to even chance on that.
posted by cendawanita at 12:33 AM on February 22

There's a book Teach Your Dog Spanish, if that's any good. I haven't read it though have looked at two of the other Teach Your Cat books.
posted by paduasoy at 8:09 AM on February 22

My kitties get an "Ay, pobrecitas!" when they're upset about an empty food bowl.

But since cats don't speak any human language (alas), I really think your body language and calm presence will be the most important experience for her. And significant playtime if she's into that.
posted by scrubjay at 10:55 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]

(this question made my heart scrunch up with happiness)
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 11:23 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]

"te amo mi gatito!" Accompanied with hugs and kisses, of course. Because it's important my cat knows he's loved in as many forms of communication as possible.
posted by carlypennylane at 12:55 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]

Acknowledging that it was human-and-cat specific, a friend’s mother used to ask, “A la cama?” To which cat would run eagerly to her bed for cuddles.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 2:54 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

Hola gatito! said in the smoochiest, happiest to see you ever tone of voice.
posted by mcbeth at 2:59 PM on February 23

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