Cat Sounds and What They Mean
When your cat speaks, do you know what its saying? Can you tell the difference between a plaintive meow and a friendly chirrup? Not all cat sounds are the same, so even if you've gotten to know your cat quite well, you may not always know what they're trying to communicate to you. Here's a guide to the different ways in which cats express themselves, according to the Mother Nature Network.
Generally speaking, meows are how kittens seek attention from their mothers. Adult cats don't normally meow to each other, but revert to its use to talk to the humans who take care of them.
We generally think a purring cat is content, but that's not always the case. A cat may also purr if it's frightened, threatened or hurt.
You'll know a cat's not happy when it growls. The sound is usually accompanied by a defensive position and the cat's ears pressed down flat. A growling cat is probably afraid, angry or a combination of both.
Chattering sounds like a cross between a meow and a small, timid bark. Cats tend to chatter when they see some prey they can't get. House cats often chatter at windows because they can't chase the bird or squirrel outside taunting them.
Hisses are the lightning to the thunder of a growl. A hissing cat is markedly alarmed and probably frightened, and it wants whatever is threatening it to back off now. The next step is the claws coming out.
The caterwaul is the specific and distinct cry of a cat in heat. Some cats also make this sound to express frustration. It sounds like a long meow crossed with a moan of complaint.