What Do Meows Mean?

What Do Meows Mean?

Ever wonder what your cat is trying to convey to you by the different sounds they make? Despite the title of this blog, we will discuss all the different types of noises your cat makes and what they mean.

Now frankly, before writing this blog, I had no idea what most sounds a cat made meant (despite owning multiple cats). Some are easy to realize, like hissing or purring. However there are many differences in what I thought I knew and what is actually happening in the cat’s mind.

First, is the basic “meow.” We hear this sound all the time and is usually used exclusively by adult cats to communicate with humans. This generally means that your cat may want something. This could be attention, food, or numerous other things. Occasionally, meows may mean that your cat is lonely or ill. Try to note the frequency; quick-succession meows want to call attention as longer meows may mean they are annoyed or displeased about something. Incessant meows may mean that there is an issue with your cat’s health.

Purrs are a great sound to hear and feel as a cat parent. This usually is a tell-tale sign that your cat is happy. There are times that cats purr when they are upset. However, if your cat is sleeping peacefully on your lap, purring, this is a good indicator that they are very content. Along the same lines, any chirps, trills, and chirrups are signs that your cat is excited and happy.

Cats tend to chatter when they are staring at usual prey, for example a squirrel or birds. Such chatter can be followed by a faint cry or chirp. The best leading theory behind this behavior is predatory excitement. Although this makes sense, situationally, cats’ hunting strategies are based on silence. Whatever the cause, it is usually harmless.

Hissing is an easy sign to notice. This usually means that your cat feels threatened and is preparing to fight. A change in your cat’s body language is usually witnessed after a cat has hissed. It is a good idea to back away from your cat when they appear like this. The temperament and upbringing of the cat will determine how easily they get upset, so it is wise to take your time when getting to know a cat.

Yowls are drawn-out moans that signals their natural instinct to mate or territorial concerns. A good example of cat yowls is when you move them to an unfamiliar location. Some other yowls make be a sign that your cat does not feel well or was uttered just out of boredom. If your cat is yowling, try to figure out the issue; it can be other cats are around or maybe they need more attention.

Female cats will caterwaul when they are in heat. The female cat will then scream if she “finds” a male. Moral here, get your pets spayed and neutered unless you want this to happen. Screams also occur during fights, and before one occurs, when one cat is defending their territory.

Finally, if your cat snarls and/or growls, this indicates that they are fearful or angry. Leave your cat be as long as they are not in any danger. Letting a cat cool down is the best way to make sure everyone is happy and safe.

Thank you for reading our blog about cats and their sounds! We know it probably wasn’t purrfect (I’m so sorry) but we still hope you enjoyed!

Logan Martinez
COO of CanTastic and Trysk Solutions.
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