9 Common Cat Noises And Their Meaning

Do you believe your feline’s howls, screeches, growling noises, and purrs are simply whooshing sounds? She is basically sharing details about her environment and her feelings with you. The interesting thing is if you pay attention, you could be able to figure out whatever your feline is trying to say and utilize that knowledge to increase your feline vocabulary.

Felines have the most vocalizations of any household pet, after birds. Although they are most recognized for their yowling, purrs, screeches, and grunts, their repertoire of noises is far longer. Based on the occasion, your feline can make a variety of different sounds, all with several complex variants based on significance. Some show satisfaction and calm, whereas others reveal a concern, dread, or perhaps even rage. All of these are signs of your feline’s psychological mindset.

Different cat noises and their significance


A matured feline’s meow, maybe the most often recognized kitty noise, is almost solely used to interact with people, and not with other felines. This immature vocal inflection, which is first emitted by newborns who need their moms, disappears completely as they grow older.

However, because domesticated animals consider themselves to be our everlasting children, they continue to make this adorable speech pattern throughout their existence. A meowing feline usually needs something, such as affection, feed, or entry to a place. However, meows can also be used as an “arriving home” greeting.

A meow can often indicate sadness or even disease. Senior felines meow frequently owing to diminishing abilities or fear about not being as agile as they once were.

sad kitten common cat noises and their meaning
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When a kitten is sad or starving, the meow is sometimes abbreviated to an ambiguous “mew?” As well, a feline’s mood is indicated by the intensity with which it meows; quick meows indicate that they need attention.

Felines in the natural world meow to draw the interest of their mom feline whenever they’re wet or starving, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Mature felines will rarely meow with each other.

Feline parents are inclined to understand to differentiate between specific felines’ meows. There’s a distinction between their pitiful, high-pitched scream for feed and their cheery, chirpy welcoming noise.

A lengthier, more anguished “meow” might be used to express concern, displeasure, or opposition towards something. This variant has a throatier feel to it, like she’s shouting at someone. In addition, constant meowing might suggest disease or condition; if you fear such a thing, take your feline to the clinic.


The purr has a strange quality while being another familiar cat noise. The deep, whirring noise that is so often linked with happy felines has several emotions and roles.

According to Feline Behavior Specialists, mom felines purr to welcome babies that are born completely blind or deaf. Kittens are drawn to their mother for comfort and milk due to the sensations from this growly noise.

Purring has a social aspect. As per Karen McComb’s research, “The scream hidden inside the purr,” published in the 2009 edition of Current Biology, a specific sort of purr exhibits intensity peaks that are comparable to those of a child’s scream. This might indicate that felines purr in a quite precise way to influence humans.

The purr is indeed a gentle, powerful, high-pitched rumble emitted most commonly whenever your feline would be in the greatest of spirits, and it’s among the most pleasurable and mesmerizing of feline noises. Gently caressing your feline while she nestles in your arms will undoubtedly result in this roaring noise of absolute happiness.

Purring might happen in exceptional cases when your feline is upset by anything. It’s akin to anxiously whistling or humming while expecting your friends to come for lunch. The secret to identifying this “worry-purr” is physical alignment; if your feline’s earlobes are backward and her physique is stiff, the purr indicates that she is worried about something.

Chirps, Trills, and Chirrups

Those birdlike sounds, developed as a baby, are significantly more definitive than just a meow. Your feline might chirp during an attempt to encourage you to listen to her, especially to look out for anything she considers valuable, as it was initially employed by moms to warn babies to listen carefully and obey her. Whenever a feline is pleased and delighted, it may also make chirrups and noisy tiny sounds.


You may have overheard your feline chattering her fangs as she gazed wistfully out the door at a bird or rabbit in the garden. The chattering, which is often followed by a chirping, squeal, or mild cry, is a sign of a feline’s aggressive enthusiasm and her frustration over the inability to chase and catch prey. Some people believe the chattering is a replicated sparrow or mouse call; however, this is only an indication because felines’ hunting success is based on speed and secrecy.


The intention of a feline’s hiss is apparent. It sounds like crackling meat on the barbecue and indicates that your feline feels betrayed and is determined to strike if necessary. A huge silly canine who becomes too friendly with your cat will almost certainly result in a hiss.

hissing cat, common cat noises and meaning
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A feline’s body posture changes in response to the frightening noise, which includes an elevated back, inflated fur, a twitching tail, lowered ears, and an open jaw with teeth poised to attack. A hiss might also accompany spitting. Step away and do everything that you could to eliminate the fear response when your feline has this coiled appearance.

Felines hiss whenever they’re scared or upset, and it’s frequently the last alert noise they make before their claws and fangs pop out, according to Animal Planet. If it’s a canine or a carpet cleaning machine, a hissing feline is likely to lash out at anything bothering her.

Furthermore, according to Animal Planet, many wildlife specialists believe that felines learn to hiss by copying snakes. The snake’s hiss is a generally frightening sound in the natural world, but it also indicates that it is getting offended and is willing to attack. Felines may have adopted this sound for exactly that reason.

Hissing is highly dependent on the feline’s viewpoint and degree of confidence. Some gregarious, extroverted big cats may rarely hiss, yet a more quiet, restrained feline may hiss if uncomfortable in a circumstance. Mistreated, abandoned, or wild felines are considerably more prone than a comfortable, friendly animal to fall towards “growling mode.”


This yowl is a lengthier, more stretched groan that suggests stress, pain, regional worry, or sexual troubles, as opposed to the generally joyful, wandering noise of a cat. This yowl is a common form of feline language, and it could imply anything.

It could also happen whenever a feline isn’t doing well, if her instincts or mental abilities deteriorate or when things in her surroundings (such as a new feline in the neighborhood) don’t like her. Felines transferred to new areas or welcomed into new homes frequently screech their dissatisfaction with their previous living quarters. Some felines might yowl just because they are bored.

Look for symptoms of sickness if your feline starts to yowl excessively; a visit to the veterinarian may be necessary. If your feline still has not changed, try it asap, particularly if you allow him or her to go outside. Be careful of any felines that might be “conquering” your feline’s area; abandoned or wild felines might have to be captured, spayed, and ideally moved out towards the proper household in certain circumstances. Ensure your feline has plenty of things, and you give her proper attention. An extended game every day can also be enough to cure excessive yowls.


This truncated, sad, hollow-sounding variant of a screech is used by felines in heat while crying out to potential partners. During the screech, the unneutered feline will try everything she can to get up and hang out with male felines who would most probably be roaming around, meowing, and competing for territory.


If the unneutered female feline is outside, her caterwauling would attract a male, and mating would almost certainly happen. The Female would take a head-down, back stance (called pelvic tilt) because the male grabs her collar and starts the breeding procedure. Whenever the male feline’s barbed genital is extracted, it appears to cause agony in the feline resulting in a bloodcurdling cry. The lesson of this story is to have your pets neutered!

Felines that are fighting could also howl. These primal screams frequently follow a lengthy, foreboding yowl and are usually followed by a dramatic claw swat or ferocious bite. Although fixed animals would aggressively protect their areas, whole felines are more inclined to attack. Try taking your feline inside to minimize battling wounds.

cat fight, common cat noises and thir meaning
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Snarls and Growls

Occasional hisses and groans frequently follow the hiss, generally indicating fear, aggression, or regional danger. The hissing and roaring of house felines are louder than that of bigger felines including leopards and lions, but it might begin or terminate with a screech.

In speaking, let this feline alone when she’s at severe risk from another feline. The traditional protective physical stance of a sneering or hissing feline is inflated up hair, curved back, droopy ears, and tail flickering.

A key to your cat’s moods

Do you want to know if your feline is content, relaxing, or experiencing a horrible day? Below are a few pointers:


A pleased feline would typically knead on something like a soft area while resting or laying down, eyelids partly closed, pupils contracted, tail completely motionless, ears forth and purring.


Playing is predatory activity; your feline might follow its target (a ball, a roommate, or person) before crouching down with its backside slightly lifted. Then, with a twitch of the backside attack! Your feline will seize its target, attack it, drag it to the ground, and strike it with its rear legs.

Overwhelmed or annoyed

Your feline may snarl or place its fangs on you with a threat to stop and quit, with pupils enlarged, ears immediately turned backward, and tail flickering or flapping. Excessive playing can soon escalate into excitability in certain felines, leading to clawing and fighting.

Nervous or worried

Your feline might quietly slip across the home, ears lateral or backward, eyes enlarged, and tail down or curled under your legs, seeking a hiding place. They could close themselves off the rest of the people by facing the door.

Terrified or worried

Think of a Halloween feline with their droopy ears and flattened along their face, their eyebrows back, their rear curved, their hair rising on top, and the tail straight or down. They can yowl, snarl, screech, and drool.


They might meow aggressively, snarl, hiss, and drool while squatting, ears compressed, eyebrows back, tail under their paws or curled across their torso, and pupils enlarged.

Angry and combative

An angry feline would stare at some feline and snarl or screech till the other feline gives her space, with its ears behind, pupils narrowed, and their tails swinging forwards or backward with the hair sticking up in the air. Cats prefer conflicts over fights, but if none of the felines refuses to back off, the situation might escalate into a battle.

angry cat, common cat noises and thir meaning
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Final Thought

People, as well as other creatures, use body gestures as their major means of communicating. Animals frequently create sounds that indicate how they have been experiencing. Felines, for instance, produce a diverse range of noises.

If you’ve ever engaged with a group of felines, you’ve probably observed that they invest a considerable amount of time and effort talking with one another. They conceal, peep out from under things to minimize direct interaction, attack, and jump up. They would always keep physical contact, even if they ignored physical touch.

Many cat owners have trouble detecting delicate body gestures like ear motions, eye flicks, or tail swinging in their felines. As a result, knowing the importance of feline sounds is essential in determining how cats are doing and what they desire.

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