Have you ever wondered if this meow is any different from the last one your cat threw your way? Most cat owners can brag that their pets make so many different sounds depending on occasion and meaning that they could write a book about it. And, while some cats are more vocal than others, it’s a certifiable fact that they have a rich and versatile “manner of speech”. Out of all domestic animals, cats possess the widest range of vocalizations, second only to birds in this regard! So, next time you hear your cat making noises, pay better attention to the nuances of the sounds, because they are not simple noises, but actually clear indications of your cat’s emotional state of mind.
Meows – The most common of all cat sounds, meows are a particularity reserved for humans as they are not used by felines to communicate between themselves. Generally used by cats when they desire their owners’ attention, food or for people to open a door for them, meows can also be a sign of loneliness or illness in some cases. It’s very important to observe the tonality and frequency of these sounds. It might be a simple “Hello! Welcome home!”, but it can just as well be a sign of something more serious which would require a trip to the vet.
Purr – Rarely will you hear this sound in a conjuncture other than the instances cats are blissful and content. Purring is their way of showing that they are pleased and happy. Every once in a while the reasons might differ and purring is used by cats to comfort themselves when they are lonely or distressed. As long as you pay attention to their posture, you can clearly differentiate between a normal purr and a warning sign.
Hiss – Most commonly produced when a cat feels threatened or unhappy with something, hissing is the clear signal that your cat is upset! Whether directed towards your or another animal, your cat is clearly stating his displeasure.
Chirps, Trills, and Chirrups – These birdlike sounds are produced by cats when they are excited about something or happy. They can direct them towards you if they want your attention or if they want to show you something they consider important.
Chatter – If you hear your cat chattering its teeth while longingly staring out a window at a bird then you can be sure of the fact that your pet is trying to show both its predatory excitement and frustration due to its inability to get to the prize.
Scream – People often make terribly loud noises when they fight and cats are no exception to the rule! Usually punctuating a brutal bite or a paw scratch, cats deliberately scream when facing off their foes.
All these sounds are essential to better understanding how your cat feels, what it wants or what it intends to do. Body language is important, but cat owners should familiarize themselves with their pets’ “language” if they wish to live in harmony with their furry companions.
My old cat had a very specific meow for when she was trying to find us in the house. she would make an “oh-owwww” sound which progressively became louder and louder as she grew deaf. She would then switch to a more ‘conventional’ meow sound when she found us.
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Yes! There is a forlorn, woeful calling type of meow. I call it his Lonely Voice. We’ll be in the living room, but he’ll go into the hallway by the bedrooms and “Mr-owwwwwww” over and over. It’s like he’s saying “come and find me and show I matter to you.” If I go to him or call out to him, his voice changes to his regular meows.
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