Understanding meowing: Recognizing the sounds made by cats to communicate better
Faced with our feline companions, we often wonder what the meaning of their meows and other sounds is. What messages are cats trying to communicate through these voice calls? Today, let's discover together how to interpret the meowing of cats and its tips to better understand our favorite animal.
The sounds of cats
Cats make sounds to communicate and express themselves. These sounds are used by them to exchange information, to attract attention and even to ask for company. The different sounds produced by a cat can be classified into several categories: meows, purrs, high-pitched cries and kitten calls.
The most frequent sounds
The meow is certainly the sound that we hear most frequently in a cat. It is mainly used to communicate with other animals or humans to express an emotion or simply to attract attention. Cats can emit up to 100 varieties of meows! We can hear soft meows but also shrill meows, it all depends on the situation in which the cat is.
Purring is the typical sound that comes from the back of the cat's throat. It is mainly used to signify that he feels safe and confident . When you pet your cat, he will most likely purr to show you his satisfaction with this moment of shared tenderness.
The sharp cry , often accompanied by howling during the night, is a signal of anxiety and discomfort for the cat. Indeed, this sound embodies a very powerful form of communication, it can be used by an adult cat to warn its congeners of a potentially threatening presence. The high-pitched cry is therefore a sound that mainly expresses fear or danger.
Sounds to communicate information
The kitten's call , less common than the other sounds mentioned above, is emitted by a female when she seeks to find her young or when she wants to make it understood that she agrees to reproduce. This sound is very characteristic because it is made through a long "meow meow".
Cackling , although rarely seen in domestic cats, is a typical symptom of respiratory disease such as bronchitis or pneumonia (in older cats). In this case, it is mainly used to express significant pain.
Why do cats meow?
Cats meow to get attention and to ask for companionship. A cat can therefore meow because it is hungry, thirsty or because it wants to play or simply show a feeling of affection\. Your cat may also meow if strangers or animals (like a dog) pass by the house and disturb its surroundings.
To attract attention
The meow can be used to communicate that the cat wants to eat, drink, go outside, etc. Sounds can vary depending on the type of action expected and these sounds are usually very distinct to give a clear indication to the human as to what the cat wants.
To ask for company
If your cat feels lonely and wants to spend time with you, it will meow to call you. It can also be a way for the cat to show how much he cares about you! Cats love to be around, so don't be surprised if your kitty starts harassing you with insistent meows when he knows you're about to leave.
How do cats meow?
The different types of meowing. Depending on the context, cats produce subtle variations of meows to communicate their needs, feelings, and intentions. We find in particular:
- The low meow , which mainly expresses an urgent request;
- The whisper , which can signal an invitation to play or play;
- The rattle , indicating great danger;
- Hissing , a sign of aggression or concern;
- The dull growl , expressing defense or hostility.
Sounds to attract prey
Cats are able to attract prey through their sounds. Indeed, they have developed techniques such as gradually releasing cries and caresses in order to attract small mammals near them.
They can also use very aggressive sounds to scare their prey into fleeing in a specific direction. These techniques allow them to hunt more easily.
You now know the language of cats a little better, thanks to the different types of sounds they make. The kitten's meows, purrs, squeals and calls are an integral part of feline communication and are essential to understanding a cat's behavior and intentions. Communication is therefore one of the primary means by which a cat can express its needs and unique personality.