Communication is important to all species of animal. It lets others around them know how they’re feeling, warns them of danger and is used to threaten or intimidate predators or aggressors.
Meowing is the sound most cat owners know best. It’s reserved for humans, cats don’t meow at each other. There are a number of different meows depending on what your cat is telling you and the situation.
We can generally get a gist of what our cat is trying to tell us from the context. For example, if he’s sitting at the back door meowing, he wants to come inside, if he’s sitting next to you as you’re chopping up steak, he wants you to share it with him. You may be welcomed home by a cat running towards you making a cute little chirrup sound.
Some cats will meow out of boredom, wanting attention from you (Siamese are notorious for this), and some cats will meow when they are stressed. Look at the situation and other clues your cat may be giving you and you should be able to decipher exactly what your cat is trying to tell you.
Have you noticed how a cat hissing sounds exactly the same as a snake’s hiss? It is believed that this is deliberate. A snake’s hiss is almost universally feared by all creatures.
Image Greg Keene, Flickr
The lovely sound of a cat chirping. The chirp sounds like a brrrrrupp. This is definitely a sign of a happy and friendly cat.
Another sign of a contented cat, but purring is much more than that. Cats who are in pain or dying also purr. It is thought that is a way to self soothe. A purr sounds almost like a motor vehicle idling to me, but much more pleasant.
This is the familiar sound we hear on a night that keeps us awake. The word caterwaul literally means cat wailing, which is exactly what it sounds like. Most often caterwauling occurs during territorial disputes between cats. That may be between toms fighting over a female in heat or cats disputing physical territories.