Cats and how to interpret sounds/vocalizations
Cats possess a wide range of vocalizations second and when you are able to interpret the various sounds, you will have a better relationship with your cat. Usually, kittens and domestic felines are more vocal than older and feral cats. Also, some breeds are more vocal than others; for example Persian, Russian Blue, Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cats are not as vocal as the Asian breeds of cats.
Cats make numerous sounds and only an attentive owner will eventually understand and interpret them appropriately. A few of the more common sounds will be examined shortly.
“MEOW”: A cat will meow for most things; it can be tagged as a “multi-purpose” sound. Usually, this is a call for attention and the context will let you know the appropriate response to give.
Growling or hissing: this sound is heard when your cat feels threatened by something in its environment. This is one angry, frightened or aggressive cat and should be left alone.
Purring: Usually used when the kitty is happy and contented. It may also be used when they are agitated or worried about something; the body posture will help tell you which one it is.
Trills, Chirps, or Twittering: this sound is used when mother cats want their kittens to pay attention and follow them. They also use it when they want you to follow them to check something out, usually their empty food bowl. When these sounds come in short tones, your cat may be excited about something.
Howls or Yowls: this is usually a distress call, and is used when they are in pain or they have gotten themselves into a situation they cannot get out for, say a closet for example. In some cats, especially when not neutered, they are signs of a mating behavior and marking of their territory. Some cats will also let out this long moan simply because they are bored. However, if a cat howls or yowls frequently, a trip to the veterinary might be in order.
Screams and caterwauling: these are the mating sounds of a cat in heat and usually draw in the males. The screams come after the mating happens, so if you find it disturbing; it is advisable that you have your cats sterilized. Cats that are caught in a fight, for whatever reason may also emit these screams.
Growling and snarling: this usually indicates fear or anger, can also be used to warn another cat that they are crossing into another cat’s territory. These sounds are usually high pitched and may begin or end with a yowl. The cat may exhibit certain defensive body postures that you should be on the lookout for.
Having a better understanding of what your cat is trying to say, will ensure that you have a better relationship and develop stronger bonds with your kitty.