Cat Sounds and What They May Mean

Important clues such as the look in your cat’s eyes, the tone of their “voice,” the position of their ears and even the motion of their tail can reveal their feelings and intentions. You can learn to read these signals so you’ll get a good idea of what’s on your cat’s mind.

Cat Sounds – Vocalizing

Vocalizing is the sounds your cat makes when they’re, well, being vocal. It is the meows, the chirps, the purrs. When you can understand and interpret your cat’s huge range of noises you’ll be able to better care for them and make sure everyone is living their best cat life.


Meowing is an all purpose noise. Your cat may use it to greet, to command, to announce, some people even having cats that meow to themselves! The common thought is that cats will meow  as a way to communicate with their human.

Chirps and Trills

Chirps and trills are a noise that mother cats use to communicate with their kittens, usually to try and get across that the kittens need to follow. If your cat is chirping and trilling at you that probably means your furry feline wants you to follow them – usually to their food bowl. If you have multiple cats you may hear them chirping at each other. Note this is different from chattering or twittering which we’ll explain later.


The wonderful purr. Purring is almost exclusively a sign of contentment and comfort. Cats purr when they’re happy. Sometimes though cats may purr when they are sick or feeling anxious, using their purr as way to comfort themselves. So keep an eye on them and their body language.

Aggressive Noises

Aggresive noises are growling, hissing, or a spitting sound. All of these are the noises a cat will make when they are annoyed, angry, or frightened. If you cat is doing this to you, leave them alone. You can’t calm them down, only some time away on their own will do that. Pushing it any further in an attempt to help them can just leave you with scratches. If your cat is making these noises to another cat in the home, separate them. 


A yowl is the loud, drawn meow. That sound is made when your cat is having a bad time, some sort of distress or circumstance that they can’t get out of. Something like being stuck in a closet, in pain, or trying to find you int he house. If you hear your cat making this noise find them immediately, they might just want a glimpse of you!  There are some other variations in this.

If your cats are unaltered however these sounds are a part of mating behavior. If a cat is old they may yowl more as they are disoriented or suffering from dementia.

Chattering and Twittering

Chattering, chittering or twittering are those unique noises your cat makes when they are staring out the window watching the birds. It’s a sound of excitement.

It’s important to note that body language can tell you just as much, if not more, about what your cat is feeling and experiencing in those moments. It’s important that you take all of that together to understand and address the situation. In fact, look forward to our next blog when we go over the body language of cats and what their posture and movements mean, Until then, take care and listen to what your cat is telling you!

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