Tips on Understanding the Sounds Cats Make

The sounds cats make are pretty much the closest thing to a distinguishable language as felines can get. Apparently they have about 100 types of vocalizations, which they use to mix and match with us when we obviously cannot understand their body language and expressions. How do we distinguish something like a meow from a purr? The following are 10 sounds that give tips on understanding the sounds cats make.

– The Purr: Cats purr when they are happy and content, but also use it to calm and soothe themselves – like an internal massage.

– The Meow: Kittens are more likely to meow than adult cats. It’s a way for young kittens to make noise to alert their mom that they need attention.

– The Chatter: If a cat is sitting looking out the window and clearly focused at a bird or squirrel, it may make a chatter sound that indicates its frustration and/or excitement on not being able to go outside to chase the other animals.

– The Growl: Just as it sounds, the growl is used as a warning sound to cats, much like “Back off!”

– The Beep: Usually sounding like a “bip” or “eck” sound, this seems to indicate an expression, much like “Um, excuse me.”

– The Yowl: ¬†Watch out – this usually signals a female cat in heat, who uses this sound to attract a male tomcat. It’s in the similar vein of a scream, which often signals a serious cat fight.

– The Wail: You will most likely hear this one if a cat is cooped up in a room with the door closed, meaning “Let me out!”

– The Hiss: Cats hiss when they are afraid or angry, so beware.

– The Trill: Cats use this sound, which is a cross between a purr and a meow, as a friendly greeting.

– The Burble: The burble is like a purr, meow, and growl all at the same time. Despite including a growl, it’s not a negative meaning – it usually means “Thank you for your attention,” or something to that extent.

Photo by China Photos/Getty Images


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