9 Cat Noises and What They Mean

Meowing is a prevalent and distinctive high-pitched sound associated with cats.

1. Meowing

Adult cats use their purr almost exclusively to communicate with humans, whereas kittens meow to attract their mothers.

A purr is a low, rhythmic, and continuous sound generated during breathing.

2. Purring

While most people associate purring with contentment and delight, purring can also indicate fear, illness, or pain in a cat.

A chirp is a brief, high-pitched sound resembling that of a bird (hence the name).

3. Chirping

The mother cat initially emits a chirp as a contact signal to her kittens, but adult cats may chirp to attract attention and alert other cats or people to their presence.

Cats may trill to embrace and thank their human family members for a snack or a pet. It is one of the most common friendly cat noises.

4. Trilling

Chattering, also known as twittering, is a low-smacking sound generated by rhythmic jaw clacking. 

5. Chattering and Twittering

Growling is a low, rumbling sound used to warn or frighten away a potential hazard.

6. Growling and Hissing

A spit is a sudden, brief, explosive commotion that is frequently accompanied by a swift, lashing motion.

7. Spitting

This may be physical distress caused by pain or illness, or emotional distress caused by anxiety, aggravation, boredom, or confinement.

8. Yowling and Howling

A caterwaul is a loud, prolonged whine produced by unsterilized females in heat to attract potential companions.

9. Caterwauling

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