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Monday, November 20, 2006

All About The Sounds Cats Make

Cats meow at people when they want something. So the
vocalizations your cat makes are designed to get some attention
from you, or food, or playtime, whatever. Same thing goes for any
kind of disturbance calculated to get your attention. Any kind of
response other than ignoring your cat will actually reinforce the

The meow can mean many things. They can be demanding and very
loud. Perhaps dinner is late, or their litter pan needs changing.
Meows can also be soft and sweet and affectionate, saying,
"Thanks for being my friend". Tiny "mews" are the cat's way of
manipulating the situation to get what they want. Most of us
cannot ignore the little innocent "mew" that pleads with our
emotions for a treat or petting session.

Some cats learn that if they meow and make a fuss, they’ll get a
smorgasbord offered to them. Of course, as long as the diet is
complete and balanced, your cat doesn’t need variety to satisfy
her normal nutritional requirements. But if Kitty is offered a
variety of choices, she can quickly turn into a finicky feline.
And if the choice in her bowl doesn’t satisfy her cravings, she
may meow for something else.

There could be another reason for the behavior, though. It may be
that the food is fine, she eats it willingly, and she knows the
bowl is full. But she wants your attention, and she has figured
out if she meows and runs for the bowl, you’ll get up and follow
her and talk to her, and pet or otherwise interact with her.

Maybe she associates dinnertime with the most rewarding
interaction with you. Spending some quality time with her, other
than at dinnertime, might help curb this behavior.

If the cat is upset, it will produce a variety of meowing calls
that actually sound different from one another. These sounds
convey different emotions which are:


This high intensive sound made when the cat is extremely angry is
called "caterwauling." The sound can vary but it is usually very
high and extremely intense.

If a cat is cornered and cannot run away or hide, it may make a
throaty yowling noise. The cat may also spit and hiss.

If a cat is in agony it will scream or screech according to the
intensity of the pain. If it is a kitten, the sound will be that
of a squeal.

The sound that a cat owner will hear when its kitty wants
attention is a meowing noise. The meow can be of a begging or
demanding nature. Or the meow can be of a complaining or even an
anxious kind of sound. The feline has refined its meow to such an
extent, that the cat owner knows by the way the meow sounds
exactly what its feline companion is trying to convey.

Hisses and Growls
These sounds are reserved for a cat who is threatened, angry, or
both. Generally, a hiss or growl means "be careful, I mean
business," "there's trouble ahead for you," often accompanied by spitting,
if its warning is ignored.

When cats stalk a prey or pretend they are stalking a prey, such
as watching a bird from a window perch, oftentimes you will hear
your kitty "chatter". This is their way of trying to get it's
prey to trust him or her and is used in an offensive manner. Cats
will chatter when they are not in pursuit of a prey. Cats have
been known to chatter back at their human when they are caught
off guard or disagree with the human's tone of voice toward them.
If your cat gets in trouble, sometimes, he will chatter back at
you, as if in defense of themselves, saying, "Whatever it is, I
didn't do it!" Chattering, therefore, can be used in offensive or
defensive situations.

Within the cat's vocal range is the YOWL that grates on the ears
and the nerves. This sound gives a whole new meaning to, "Give it
to me NOW!" Oftentimes, the YOWL is your cat's way of letting you
know that he/she wants out or in NOW, for example. The cat uses
this yowl to distract his owner and will use it often just to get
a response from his owner, when nothing else seems to be doing
the trick. Running the can opener will often elicit this yowling,
saying, "You're not giving me the food fast enough."

Different from the yowl, the screech is the sound that will
pierce your very soul, like a banshee wail that can startle you
and awake you in the middle of the night. Cats often use this
sound when they feel threatened by another cat or animal, or even
by a human. During a fight, if one cat does not retreat, this
screeching, also known as caterwauling, can go on for hours.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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January 11, 2012 at 11:25:00 AM PST  

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