What do cat sounds mean anyway?

Cat Sounds are a way for cats to interact with us. They use their sounds to greet us, demand for food, complain and protest. Different kinds of cat breed have different sounds. Some breeds tend to be quiet, while others chirp and of course the Oriental breeds which are known to be very vocal.

You’ve probably didn’t know that Scientists actually identified about 11 distinct cat sounds. There is probably more sounds since people seem to adapt and personalize the sounds their cats make. The usually fall into three types of sounds: Murmurs, vowels and high intensity sounds.

The sound of purring is formed by the cat’s vocal cords and the muscles of the their larynx. Purring is on of the most known of all cat sounds, experts are not sure why cats do this. We tend to think that purring is associated with contact with other cats or people.

Here is some situation that makes cat’s purr.

  • With their owners
  • Nursing kittens
  • Greeting familiar cat friends or people
  • When rubbing and rolling
  • Having cat nip
  • When they get sleepy
  • When they are content
  • When in extreme pain
  • Stressed

Chirp is a sound that is similar to a purring but does not involve vowels. It’s more like short purrs. It tends to sound like “brrrp” or “brrrm, “ and cats use this to show happiness.

The meowing cats make can mean different things in different situations. Owning a cat and with experience, you tend to recognize and be familiar with your cat’s meow. You then figure out the difference in the sounds they make when they want certain things. You begin to sort of understand what your cat is saying.
For example, your cat may meow once begging for food, and a louder longer meow, could mean he or she wants water from the faucet. Some cats even have a silent meowing. This is when their mouths open and go through the same actions as meowing but no sound is produced. My grey cat does this. I actually thought she was mute.

GROWLS and HOWLING This is a sound associated with sexual and aggressive activity. Usually when your cat is in heat she produces a specific sound or call. Male cats who are in competition for a female cat tends to produce an aggressive growl or howl.

HISSING This sound that your cat makes is a warning of imminent attack. Your cat is irritated and very upset. You will also tend to hear then make a sound of a defensive spit, while hissing.

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