Just like humans, cats communicate with all their friends — feline and human alike. But how do they do this if they can’t talk like we do? The answer is very simple. They produce different sounds depending on the situation, their mood and their goals.


How many sounds do cats make?

According to some researchers, cats can make more than a hundred noises. The craziest thing is that all of them carry different meanings! Although there are a lot of different cat noises, the most common ones are quite easy to decode and you don’t need to be a cat expert to know what your cat is trying to tell you.

After reading this article you should be well-versed in cat language. Just think of how well you’ll be able to understand your beloved cuddly kitten with all this knowledge!


Why do Cats meow?

Cat Meow

Meowing is the most common cat sound and pretty much everybody has heard it at least once in their lifetime. However, cats don’t meow to communicate with other cats; rather they have evolved their meowing to communicate with their human friends.

Kittens use meowing as a way to tell their mother where they are. This behavior fades away as they get older and don’t need motherly protection anymore. Domestic adult cats always meow to tell their owners something — whether it is a simple “welcome back” greeting at the door or because they need love, food, or access to a room.


Why do cats hiss?

Cat Hiss

Another sound popular among cats is the hiss. This is a much more clear and straight-to-the-point sound and is used to show discontentment and anger. While meowing is only aimed at humans, hissing can be directed at any living thing, for example a dog playing rough or a human petting them wrong. Commonly accompanied by an arched back and flat ears, a cat’s hiss is a warning sign to back off or be attacked.


Why do cats growl?

Cat Growl
flickr photo credit

A cat’s growl can sometimes be confused for a hiss, but there is a slight difference. The growl sound is part of a defensive strategy, a way to scare off potential predators without going all out and making an explicit threat. If not left alone, a growling cat can very well attack. The best thing to do is obey their order, “back off or I’ll scratch you to teach you a lesson!”


Why do cats purr?

Cat lying on bed purring

The purr is perhaps the sweetest sounding cat noise. After all, everybody loves a purring kitten! Purring is something that comes naturally to cats as they do it even when humans aren’t around. While in some rare situations it can mean that the cat is stressed or concerned about something, most of the time it denotes something positive and sweet. When in a stressful situation, cats purr to calm themselves down. When they are pet in their favorite spot, they purr to show they’re having a great time.


Why do cats chirp?

Cat Chirp

Chirps are noises cats make when they’re very excited about something. You might have heard your cat chirp while looking at a bird or squirrel through a window. That’s because cats get very excited and eager to hunt those animals due to their predatory nature.

These sounds are also a way to ask for your attention if you haven’t responded to their meows. Kittens learn this from their mothers, as they chirp in order to be firm and assertive with their offspring.


Why do cats yowl?

Cat Yowl

A cat’s yowl or howl is one of the least liked cat sounds by feline owners. Unlike the meow, the yowl is much more prolonged and very loud which makes for an unpleasant experience in the middle of the night.

This annoying sound can be translated into territorial concerns, discomfort, or mating issues.

Yowling is always a cat-to-cat message and female cats will make this sound for weeks until their heat cycle is over or they conceive. It’s a message sent to all male cats that says, “hey, I’m here and I want to have your babies.”

A cats howl can also mean that there is somebody invading their territory without consent. Think of it as an old neighbor yelling at people to get off their lawn.


Why do cats chatter?

Cat Chatter

A Cat’s chatter is a sound only now being studied in depth by the scientific community. Initially it was thought that cats chatter in the anticipation and thrill of catching prey. However, after investigators looked at Amazonian big felines, they found that the chatter could be linked to a mimicking of a prey’s call. The chatter could be a way of luring prey in, making the act of catching them much easier.


Why do some cats make more noises than others?

Cats are very complex creatures, and different breeds react to situations differently. This can also be applied to the sounds they make, the volume, and their frequency. Some breeds, such as those originating in Asia, are more chatty and vocal; while others such as the Persians and the Maine Coons prefer to keep on the down-low and go by undetected.


Learning the Meaning behind Your Cats Sounds Will Help You Become a Better Cat Whisperer

Cats have a complicated language; in fact, cats can make over 100 vocal sounds. Now, we’ve only covered the basic sounds you may have heard your kitty make! But, rest assured, this will be enough to help you to better understanding what your kitty is trying to tell you!

So do you have a question about cat sounds? Let us know in the comments below.



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