Decoding Your Cat: 5 Sounds Your Cat Makes and Their Meaning

Probably one of the most expressive animals is the cat. As a cat owner, we know you would agree with this 100%! With the wide range of sounds they produce, paired with their body language, you can easily understand what they want from you.

For new cat owners or those who still at a lost comprehending their cat’s behavior, we have consolidated 5 basic sounds that you might hear from your feline friend and their possible meaning. Remember though, that the cat sounds may vary depending on the age and breed of your cat. This list is not exclusive but our way to simplify the wide spectrum of sounds to the most common.



The first on our list is the most common sound you will hear from a cat. Day in and day out, you’ll hear your cat Meow that it is so easy to understand what it wants when it uses this form of communication. A cat’s meow is most likely an indication that it wants something from you. If they are directing the sound at you, with their body language gearing your way, it may be their humble reminder that they want to be petted or fed.

If the meowing is toward another cat, you have to check the frequency of the sound and how your cat is releasing it. You can easily identify that if the meowing is sharp, it may be expressing aggression aiming at the other cat.

Short meows that are tender obviously means your cat is happy and healthy.



We have seen cats chirping on videos! For people who have not owned a cat, they might think that this is a rare phenomenon but, really, as feline parents, we know that this happens more often than usual.

There are no scientific explanations as to why cats chirp although pet behaviorists and researchers claim that this may be something they had to carry on through evolution. The forefather of cats might have used the sound to lure prey that they intend to hunt.

Some owners claim that their cats chirp when they are hanging out near a window, which is a nod to the theory we have stated. Some also say that their cats chirp when delighted. There are a whole lot of instances that cats chirp and we can also interpret it many different ways. The key again to cracking the meaning of this sound is to be observant with the manner it was blurted.



Most cat parents interpret purring as a sign of contentment, happiness, and peace. Veterinarians and animal experts do not confirm nor deny this though. What is know is that a cat’s purr comes from deep in the diaphragm, the larynx, and the depths of a feline’s voice box. When they create the sound, it vibrates through the nearby area of its body and you can actually feel it when you touch them on their sides.

Queens purr when they are nursing their young. It may be a sign of contentment and affection. Similarly, the kittens purr when they are being fed.



This is one sound that your cat makes that you can never go wrong in interpreting. It is called a “hiss” because of the similar sharp sound snakes make. The sound can be described as a swift and long discharge of air from the mouth that goes along with aggravated physical signals such as the cat’s tail pointed downwards with their back on an arch. When you see these signs from your cat, an attack can be imminent and you need to intervene.

This sound can be solicited by different situations and most of them include territory and discomfort.



A cat’s whining or crying is very heartbreaking to hear. Unlike dogs, the sound your feline companion makes is somewhat unsettling because of its high pitch and frequency. When they whine, chances are they are in distress and helpless about the situation. It can also happen when they are overly curious and are in need to explore.

On the other hand, cats whine when they want to get attention from a possible partner. Whining can be a form of a mating call, to which you need not step in if you know what we mean.

Cats are very expressive contrary to popular belief and we are lucky as owners because it does not take a genius to figure out what our beloved pals need. We just need to be patient and sensitive so that we can communicate more effectively and be there when our kitties require our aid.

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