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4 Cat Sounds and What They Mean

Meowing is one of the most common cat sounds you will hear, but there are quite a few sounds that cats make that you might not have heard yet!

All animals have distinct noises that they make to get certain messages across. Cats are known for their distinctive meows and purrs. However, there are a variety of sounds that cats make and each one is trying to communicate something different. Here are four cat sounds and what they mean when your cat makes them.


Though this is probably one of the most commonly heard cat sounds, they only use it to communicate with other humans. Kittens generally meow when they need their mothers, but adult cats grow out of this behavior. However, domestic cats see us as their parents, so they continue to meow at us. Meowing is typically used when a cat wants something such as food or play time. Sometimes, meows can mean that a cat is lonely or even sick.


When a cat purrs, this generally means that they are in a great mood. This cat sound is comparable to a rumble that seems to come from their stomach. Your cat will likely start to purr when you pet them for a while or when they are happy to see you. Sometimes, sick or stressed cats will purr as a way to try and soothe themselves.  


You can not mistake the sound or meaning of a cat’s hiss. When a cat is hissing, this means that your cat feels threatened and is preparing themselves to attack if necessary. They may also arch their back, puff up their tail, and flatten their ears when they are hissing. This is because they are preparing to defend themselves if necessary.


A yowling cat sounds like it’s letting out a very long, drawn-out moan. Yowling is most often used when a cat is trying to communicate to another cat. This cat sound can mean a variety of things like wanting to mate, being uncomfortable, or establishing their territory. If your cat begins yowling more than they normally would, it could be a sign of illness. If they aren’t sick, they may just be craving some attention.

Call Catonsville Cat Clinic Today!

For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!

For more updates and advice, be sure to follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+! You can get in touch with the Catonsville Cat Clinic by giving us a call at 410-869-0800 or visiting our contact page.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 27th, 2018 at 9:41 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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