Cat Noises Explained

Cat noises express a wide range of feelings, and as a cat owner you need to know the meaning of each and every one of these sounds. This way you will be able to fulfill all the requests of your cat, which can range from the need for food to the desire to be cuddled. There are 3 types of cat noises, each one representing reactions to different stimulants:

  • Meowing
  • Purring
  • High intensity noises

You have to learn the characteristics of each of these sounds in order to interact properly with your cat. Keep in mind that domesticated cats use more sounds for communication than cats in the wild.

What Does Meowing Mean?

In terms of cat noises, meowing represents a real trademark. However, it is rather confusing, as it may correspond to numerous moods and needs. Meowing can be first observed in kittens, which use it for letting their mother know that they need something. Adult cats do not use this type of noise between them. When communicating to each other, adult cats prefer body language and other types of noises. On the other hand, domesticated cats use meowing to communicate with humans. They exhibit such a behavior towards you because you are somehow seen as an equivalent of their mother.

When analyzing cat meowing, there are several factors that can totally alter the meaning of this noise:

  • Pace
  • Punctuation
  • Tone

Different alterations to these factors are used for expressing:

  • Need for food
  • Need for attention
  • Protests
  • Confusion

Meowing is also used by cats when they want to scare or to fight an opponent. In this context, the meows are prolonged and feature a certain articulation.

Significance of Purring

Purring is yet another distinctive cat noise. Usually complemented with trembles of the tail, purring is believed to be an expression of happiness. However, it is not an indicator of content or relaxation, but rather an attempt to establish a friendship. This is how cats usually express their affection toward you, but there are other meanings behind this cat noise.

When cats are ill, purring is used for expressing pain and trauma. More than that, if an injury is inflicted suddenly to your cat, you may hear her purr. It is believed that purring occurs when endorphins are set free in the brain. These compounds soothe the pain and improve the mood.

High Intensity Cat Noises

Cats will produce high intensity noises if they are in danger or when annoyed. These sounds represent their way of warning their adversaries. In case their warning has no effect, cats will proceed to an attack, which can be more or less severe. Some of the cat noises emitted in these situations include:

Caterwauls are also classified as high intensity cat noises, but these are not emitted prior to a fight. Instead, these noises are characteristic to cats in rutting time.

Body language is correlated with the majority of cat noises, in order to make their correspondent feeling more obvious. Therefore, you will notice that your cat has a certain body posture when purring and a totally different one when angered. In conclusion, besides the wide range of vocalizations used by cats, you should also focus on their movements.