Interpret Cat Sounds
Cats are majestic, yet mysterious creatures. From being considered bad omens to having ascribed to the rank of gods in many cultures, cats are some of the most adorable, intelligent, and playful creatures ever.
It is no surprise that cats would have a language of their own, used for communicating not just among themselves but with humans as well! In fact, cats language includes a variety of sounds and body language. For instance, when your fur baby looks into your eyes and blinks slowly, they are actually saying ‘I love you’. How adorable is that!
So, if you are a cat parent, here are some of the common cat languages that would help you in understanding cats language better.
Meaning of different types of cat sounds
While cats may often appear mysterious and enigmatic, decoding cat language is not that difficult! Cats produce a wide range of sounds, some of the most prominent ones that will have you understanding cats language in no time are as follows:
Meow in cat language is probably the most common sound made by a cat. But believe it or not, the meowing sound made by adult cats serves the only purpose of communicating with humans! Kittens do meow from time to time, generally to seek their mother’s attention, or when they are cold or hungry. It is unlike adult cats to meow at one another. So, the next time you hear your cat meow, just remember how much your fluffy feline enjoys ‘chatting’ with you!
Purring is undoubtedly one of the most prominent and yet most mysterious cat sounds in the cats language. The purr is a low, rumbling sound that is not made vocally but is emanated from the throat. But the first thing you should note when your cat purrs is that it is a sound made when your little furball is happy, or content. Mother cats use the purring sound to call their kittens, and the vibrations from the purr help kittens feel relaxed and composed. Cats often retain this nature into their adulthood and are known to purr when they are happy and enjoying the presence of their favourite humans. Purring is also known to help cats soothe themselves during ailments.
Cats are known for their ability to creep up behind their prey. So, it is normal for cats to let out a low, chattering sound to mimic a bird’s call when they are spying on a bird outside. The distinct chattering sound made by rapid vibrations of the lower jaw is also a sign of frustration or excitement, suggesting your ball of fur is preparing for its next hunt. The chattering sound, however, is very different from the high-pitched trill, a noise made by cats to greet other cats or their parents. The chirp-like trilling sound is your cat’s way of waving you good morning or giving you a crisp handshake.
A hiss is an unlikely sound to be made by a domestic cat, but if you ever hear the unmistakable hiss of a cat, you should approach it with caution. A low hiss is generally not considered a friendly tone but implies aggression or anger. It is made as a warning sign by a cat that is upset or frightened. A hiss is usually a warning a cat gives before striking, so if your cat ever hisses at you, it is a wise choice to leave it alone till it has calmed down. It is important to know the hiss of a cat when it comes to how to communicate with cats.
The yowl is a long, wailing noise made by cats which often resembles the human cry in its sound and purpose. Cats generally make the yowling sound to express distress and pain. A drawn-out yowl can mean physical discomfort, pain, disorientation or fear, suggesting your cat might be upset with something. If your cat is yowling for a long time, it is better to get your cat checked by a veterinarian for underlying health complications rather than ignoring it.
How to communicate with cats?
If you are wondering how to communicate with cats, here’s how! As affectionate and meow-dorable cats are, adult cats usually meow to communicate with their humans, either to ask for food or affection or simply to make themselves heard.
Remember cats are royalty, so if your cat is meowing at you as a genuine display of friendly nature, insisting you to give them a quick scratch behind the ears or a back rub, don’t disappoint them!
However, if your cat is meowing too often, you can train them to be less vocal by rewarding them when they are quiet, or petting them once they have stopped meowing.
In addition to meowing, cats often rely on other non-verbal forms to communicate with cats and humans, such as blinking their eyes, movement of their tails, and more. Slow blinking is usually indicative that your furry friend is relaxed in your presence, and is lowering its guards. A raised tail is also a friendly sign, meaning your feline friend is excited to see you, and you may immediately respond with a quick scratch behind its ears. A fixed stare, arched back, or tail tucked between its legs is interpreted as a hostile sign - your cat is upset or frightened with something, and it's better not to approach it right away.
How to comfort a distressed/crying cat?
Comforting a distressed cat requires special attention, as stressful environments or behaviour can easily spook your furry feline. But they can always come around with sufficient love and affection.
Usually, a distressed cat is better left alone so that it can calm itself down over time. But if the cats show no sign of hostility to your presence and appreciate you being near to them, you can always communicate with cats or cuddle with them to give them the attention and love they deserve.
Domesticated cats also appreciate some alone time during times of stress, so you can leave your cat in its favourite corner for some time. However, remember to keep it well-fed and hydrated, and change its litter tray to help them calm down. Specially composed cat music can also have a calming effect on your cat.
One of the best ways to comfort a distressed feline king or queen is by giving them delicious treats. And when it comes to comfort food, there is nothing better than premium cat food from Sheba. Sheba offers a wide range of delicious, nutrient-rich cat food to suit your feline friend in all their moods. From wet cat food like Sheba Chicken Premium Loaf to everyday treats like Sheba Melty Tuna Flavour & Tuna and Seafood Flavour, your cat is going to lick their food bowls clean!
Why is my cat making strange noises?
If your cat is making strange noises like yowling, or a long, drawn-out cry, it might indicate that your kitty is upset or distressed. Since it can mean distress caused by a change in its environment, or physical discomfort, it is always a wise idea to visit a veterinarian if your cat yowls for a long period.
What does a cat chirrup mean?
A cat chirrup is low noise and is a common way of greeting their favourite human or another cat. If your cat chirps upon seeing you, it is simply saying 'hello' in cats language. You can return the courtesy by giving them a scratch behind the ears. Cats also use this sound to communicate with cats.
What does a cat in distress sound like?
A cat in distress would often give out a long, drawn-out cat cry known as a yowl. Cats would yowl to express their pain and physical discomfort, as well as to show that they are upset, disoriented, stressed, or anxious.
Is it possible to understand what a cat meows?
The meow in adult cats is a specific way of communicating with humans. Though meows are not ascribed to a particular meaning, they are generally a cats language of seeking attention from their loved humans, to indicate a need for food, cuddles or simply a way of engaging you in feline communication!
What does it mean if a cat licks you?
Cats often lick themselves clean, and mother cats groom their kitten by licking them. If your fur baby licks you, consider it to be an honour of the highest ranking, equivalent to a human kiss. If your cat is trying to groom you by licking you, it means your feline friend considers you as one of its own and is grooming you the way it would its own children.