I have been told by horsemen that when you speak, in whatever language, your thoughts are clarified & that's what cats are really responding too. Supposedly, horses and cats communicate that way and some race horses have a companion cat that travels with them because cats are small to truck along with a horse.
My mom can talk to my cats in Spanish & they understand
The first time she told JC, "You stay out of my kitchen!" he stopped at the kitchen entrance, looked at her, swished his tail, looked at the kitchen, then made a hard left and sauntered down the hall