Updated: May 27
Your cat makes lots of noises...do you ever wonder what they’re saying?
We’ve put together our Cat to English translations below:
You likely already know that cats purr when they’re happy. This is certainly true, but, keep in mind that your cat may be communicating other needs when purring -- they may also be distressed, afraid, or even hungry. In fact, it’s a defense mechanism for cats and a method to keeping composed in high stress situations. However, if your cat is laying on their back, eyes are half-closed, and their tail is still...it’s safe to assume that they’re on the happy end of that spectrum!
The universal call for “I need attention, and I need it now!” If your cat is bellowing out meows, they are likely asking you for something -- whether that’s love, food, or simply to let them outside.
Have you ever heard your cat chirping? Cats begin chirping when they come into contact with prey. It’s a strange mix of both excitement and anger -- excitement about hunting, and sometimes anger if they cannot come into direct contact with the presented prey.
Some cats trill, some do not. If your cat trills, it is often an expression of happiness, or they may be curious and ready to explore.
A cat howl can signify several different things...but none of them are good. If your cat is howling, it may mean that they are stressed, confused, physically injured or ill, and they may even be sad.
A growl coming from your cat is a tell-tale sign that they are angry. It’s a sound to assert dominance and communicate to potential threats that they need to back away, otherwise they will take action in response to the perceived threat.
You guessed it...stay away. You may have had unfamiliar cats hiss at you when you get near them. This is how cats communicate that they feel threatened or scared. In these cases, it’s definitely best to keep some distance.