Why Is Your Cat Chirping? A Guide to the Chirp

You might think only crickets or birds do all the chirping in the animal world, but the truth is, there are other animals that chirp, too. One animal that might surprise you, after always associating the infamous “meow” with it, is, yes, the cat. Cats can make many different kooky noises that they make in order to communicate with us, and other animals, expressing feelings and emotions. One sound that some cats make is the chirping sound. It’s also referred to as cat chatter, and it is definitely part of many felines’ communicative abilities.

What does a cat chirp sound like and why do they make the chirp sound?

The most likely situation in which you would hear your cat make the odd chirping, or funny clicking sound, might be when they are intently staring out a window watching the birds on the other side of the windowpane. It has been determined that most likely, this odd little noise that they make that sounds like a rhythmic click, is related to their hunting instincts and tactics.

There is a theory, and the theory is suggestive of cats developing this chirping at an early age, most likely during t heir kittenhood stage. Mothers will often make this little sound towards her kittens to corral them and keep them close. She will use this sound as a device to keep track of her babies, as her babies learn to reply to their mother using the same sound. Going forward, kittens will also begin to use this sound to let its mother know when they want something, such as food, or want to be played with. Maybe they’re in need of snuggle time with mom, so they will likely click to get her to listen.

Is a chirp a way of mimicking birds?

Although it does sound a bit like their arch enemy, the bird chirp, there is no relation to a cat trying to mimic a bird’s sound, and the reason we know is, cats also make this sound when in the potential hunt mode, which can be of anything; a mouse, a squirrel, a bunny, and of course, yes, the bird. This sound can also be transferred into their home life and often made when they are in a playing mood, chasing a toy or ball around the house.

A recap of why cats chirp

A wild cat can see their prey, get ready to stalk it, then go in for the hung. Domestic cats have to use their imaginations sitting behind a glass window and are unable to actually act on their instincts. Studying cats, it appears that the longer a cat sits and stares at a bird or squirrel beyond the glass, the more the chirping may increase.

According to Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat behavior consultant, also known as The Cat Coach, and has penned the book titled, Naughty No More! says that the chirping sound cats make is a reflexive noise. She believes that cats are chattering in anticipation of catching the bird or squirrel, and perhaps it is due to frustration of not being able to act on their drive, a surge of adrenaline builds and that is how it is released, in a chirp.

How should cat owners react to the chirp?

There is no right way to react to your cat’s chirp, mainly because this is not a medical problem. You may want to try to sympathize with your cat’s frustration of not being able to truly act as a cat wants to if he were in his ancestor’s wild environment, so maybe, try to engage with your feline and divert his attention to some cuddle time or playtime to help ease the frustration.


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