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Do you understand cat communication?

Cats are masters of communication, although most of us often only guess what their various sounds and expressions are trying to tell us. From meows to purrs to hisses, each of these sounds has its meaning and represents a particular state of mind or need of the cat. Here's a look at some of the most common cat sounds and their meanings.


Meowing is one of the most common sounds cats use to communicate with humans and other animals. This universal sound can have different overtones and meanings depending on the situation. Kittens meow when they want attention from their mother or siblings, while adult cats may meow to express their need for food, water, or simply the love and attention of their owner. Some cats even use different meowing melodies to express specific needs or emotions

Purring: a sign of well-being, but also of discomfort

Purring is known as the sound cats often make when they are cuddling or in a state of comfort and contentment. This sound can be heard when a cat is lying on its owner's lap or rubbing its head against its legs. This sound can also be a way for a cat to calm down in uncomfortable situations, such as a visit to the vet.

He's cooing like a pigeon

Does your house cat ever sound like a pigeon? If it makes a friendly " mrrp", they are in a good mood and want to talk to you in its language. "Mrrp" means something like "Hi, it's you - cool!" or "Here I am" and sometimes "Come with me!". This sound is meant as a greeting to humans and other cats. Mother cats make a soft cooing sound when they return to their young in the litter box. Some cats also court their beloved with this affectionate sound.

Hissing, sizzling and growling

Hissing is a warning sound that cats use to express their hostile attitude or fear. Cats may hiss when they feel threatened or irritated, and this sound can be a harbinger of a possible attack. When a cat hisses, it is important to respect its boundaries and give it space until it feels safe.


Some domestic cats make a special sound: they chirp. Most cats start chirping when they are sitting by the window watching the birds. This so-called " chirping" or " chattering" sounds similar to the chattering of teeth. One theory is that cats chatter their teeth to practice the throat bite they usually use to kill prey. Another explanation could be frustration: after all, the prey is right in front of them, yet out of their reach.

The cat's song

When cats have disputes over territory or status, they often scream terribly. To human ears, the so-called "cat song" sounds like a baby crying. The "singing" can last up to half an hour - until a fight breaks out or one of the rivals clears the field. Males also use their singing ability to attract females in heat.