So, all those noises your feline makes, ya know the meows, chirps, howls, hisses, purrs….they are just random signs of boredom right? Wrong…cats are “meowing” their language and it truly means something.
Are you hearing what they are saying? These sounds are communicating their feelings.
Next to birds, cats possess the widest range of vocalizations of any domestic pet. Though best known for their meows, purrs, hisses, and growls, the list of sounds they regularly make is more comprehensive than this. Depending on the situation, your cat is capable of making many distinct utterances, it just depends on how they are feeling and what they are trying to convey to you.
Did you Know? Perhaps the most commonly heard cat sound, the meow of an adult cat, is almost exclusively used to communicate with humans, and not other cats? Of course, as kittens they meow when hungry and relating to attention they want from their mamma kitty. That meow tends to fade away as a cat matures into the wild–however for our sweetly domesticated fur babies, they think of themselves as our eternal offspring, so they will often continue this wide variety of meows to continue communicating with their fur parent.
The relaxing and hypnotic sounds of a cat’s purr….probably one of the most relaxing sounds to have close to your ear. That throaty rumble that typically follows a happy meal, sweet talk from mamma, or a lovely belly rub and some scrunchies behind the ear!
One often can relate a purr to tranquility and satisfaction for your feline. If ever the “body language” varies from the normal with a purr, like pacing or seemingly agitated, it can be a nervous and anxious purr.
The chatter is thought to be an indicator of a cat’s predatory excitement and of her stress at not being able to get to the prize. Imagine your cat seeing that little bird outside on the perch of the window. She wants it and she can’t get it…..you will more than likely hear her excitement and maybe a little frustration at not being able to get it.
Sounds like of a steak sizzling on the grill, it means your cat feels threatened and is ready to fight if need be. A change in the body language also shows the intent of your cat: arched back, fur on end, flattened ears, open mouth and fangs galore show the true spirit of the defensive cat.
Unlike the reasonably happy, searching sound of a meow, the yowl is a longer, more drawn-out moan that denotes, worry, discomfort, territorial concern or mating issues. This is usually a cat-to-cat communicative sound. It can mean “let’s mate” or “back off this is my space and home”. Incessant yowls can mean your cat is in pain or ill, make sure to be alert and check out your fur baby.
Well, I myself get made fun of when I say this word….but it is a legit word. Uttered by females in heat when calling out to prospective mates, this abbreviated, plaintive, hollow-sounding version of a yowl has an almost “ahh-roo-ugh? The boys come from all over the place, yowling, milling about, and fighting for the honor to mate with the female.
There are of course more sounds that cats make, we find our feline furiends to be some of the neatest and most communicative furiends around!
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As Always many purrs and paws,