Behaviour Cat Care Cat Life

12 Sounds Cats Make and What They Mean

The conversational cat decoded

Think your cat’s meows, chirps, yowls, and purrs are just random gibberish? Think again. She’s actually communicating to you information about her world and about how she feels toward you. The good news is that if you listen closely, you just might begin to understand what the sounds your cat makes is all about and use that understanding to your advantage.

Next to birds, cats possess the widest range of vocalizations of any domestic pet. Though best known for their meows, purrs, hisses, and growls, the list of sounds they regularly make is more comprehensive than this. Depending on the situation, your cat is capable of making many distinct utterances, with multiple nuanced variations of each, according to importance. Some reflect contentment and ease, while others expose worry, fear, or even anger. All, though, are indicative of your cat’s emotional state of mind.


Perhaps the most commonly heard cat sound, the meow of an adult cat is almost exclusively used to communicate with humans, and not other cats. First uttered by kittens when in need of their mothers, this juvenile vocalization fades away as wild cats mature. But, as cats in domesticity tend to think of themselves as our eternal offspring, they maintain this endearing vocalization throughout their adult lives. Generally, a meowing cat wants something—attention or food or perhaps access to a room. Sometimes though, meows simply serve as a “welcome home” salutation.

Occasionally, a meow can signify loneliness or even illness. Older cats often meow more because of failing senses or due to anxiety over not being as nimble as before. In younger cats, the meow often gets shortened to an interrogative “mew?” when lonely or hungry. And the frequency of meowing is an indicator of a cat’s frame of mind; rapid-fire meows mean hey, pay attention to me, I’m talking here!

A longer, more plaintive “meowww” can indicate worry, annoyance, or objection to something. This version will often have a throatier quality to it, almost as if she is saying, “oh, come on.” And incessant meowing could indicate illness or injury; if you suspect this, consider a trip to the veterinarian.


Perhaps the most enjoyable and hypnotic of cat sounds, the purr is a soft, deep, throaty rumble, most often made when your cat is in the best of moods. Gently petting your cat while she nests in your lap is a sure way to bring forth this motoring sound of utter contentment.

On rare occasions, purring can occur when your cat is agitated over something. It’s similar to how you might nervously whistle or hum while waiting for in-laws to arrive for dinner. The key to discerning this “worry-purr” is body posture; if your cat’s ears are back and her body seems tense, the purr denotes concern over something.

Chirps, Trills and Chirrups

Learned in kittenhood, these birdlike utterances are slightly more declarative than a meow. Originally used by mothers to tell kittens to pay attention and follow her, your cat may chirp in an effort to get you to pay attention to her or as a way to get you to check out something she deems important. Chirrups and squeaky little trills might also happen when a cat is excited and happy.


You might have heard your cat chatter her teeth while longingly staring out a window at a sparrow or squirrel in a tree. Sometimes accompanied by a chirp, squeak or faint cry, the chatter is thought to be an indicator of a cat’s predatory excitement and of her stress at not being able to get to the prize. Some claim the chatter is actually a mimicked bird or rodent call, but this is anecdotal at best as the hunting prowess of cats is dependent on silence and stealth.


There is no mistaking the intent of a cat’s hiss. Sounding like of a steak sizzling on the grill, it means your cat feels threatened and is ready to fight if need be. A big, goofy dog who gets too chummy with your feline is sure to provoke a hiss and perhaps more. Along with the threatening sound comes a change in a cat’s body language, including an arched back, puffed hair, twitchy tail, flattened ears, and an open mouth, fangs ready to strike. Spitting can also occur with a hiss. When your cat takes on this serpent-like guise, back off, and do what you can to remove the perceived threat.

Hissing depends very much upon the individual cat’s perception and level of comfort. Some friendly, outgoing felines might hardly ever hiss, while a more shy, reserved cat will resort to it whenever unsure of a situation. Abused, stray or feral cats are much more likely to go into “hissing mode” than is a well-adjusted, sociable pet.


Unlike the reasonably happy, searching sound of a meow, the yowl is a longer, more drawn-out moan that denotes, worry, discomfort, territorial concern or mating issues. The yowl is often a cat-to-cat communication; it can mean “I want to mate,” or “I don’t want you coming around my place.” It can also occur when a cat isn’t feeling well, when senses or cognitive functions decline, or when something in her environment (perhaps a new cat on the block) isn’t to her liking. Cats who get relocated to new territories or adopted out to a new home can often yowl out their regret at the lost digs. And some cats will yowl simply out of boredom.

If your cat begins to incessantly yowl, check for signs of illness; a trip to your veterinarian might be in order. If he or she has not yet been altered, see to it as soon as possible, especially if you let your cat outdoors. Be aware of any cats who might be “invading” your cat’s territory; in some cases, strays or feral cats may need to be trapped, neutered, and hopefully adopted out to the right home. Be sure your cat has ample toys and that she gets enough attention from you. Sometimes all it takes to end a case of the yowls is just an extra play session each day.


Uttered by females in heat when calling out to prospective mates, this abbreviated, plaintive, hollow-sounding version of a yowl has an almost “ahh-roo-ugh?” sound to it. During the caterwaul, the un-spayed female will do all she can to get outside to meet up with males cats, who will most likely be milling about, yowling and fighting for the honour.


If the un-spayed female is outdoors, her caterwauling will draw in a male, whereupon mating will surely occur. She will assume a head-down, rear-up position (called lordosis), while the male bites her neck and begins the mating process. When removed, the male’s barbed penis evidently creates pain for the female, causing her to emit a blood-curdling scream. The moral here: have your cats sterilized!

Cats in the midst of a fight may also scream. These primeval shrieks often come after a long, ominous yowl, and usually punctuate a climactic paw swat or vicious bite. Whole cats are more likely to fight, though even fixed pets will actively defend their territories. To avoid fighting injuries to your cat, consider keeping her indoors.

Snarls and Growls

Often accompanying the hiss are random snarls and growls, usually indicative of fear, anger or territorial threat. Unlike those of larger cats, such as tigers and lions, the domestic cat’s snarling and growling are of a higher pitch and can start or end with a yowl. Generally, just leave this cat be, unless she’s in imminent danger from another cat. A snarling or growling cat will have the classic defensive body posture—puffed up fur, arched back, ears back, tail twitching.

Breed Talk

Some cats are by nature more talkative than others. As a general rule, shorthaired cats tend to be more talkative and outgoing than longhaired felines. And if you are looking for an instinctively chatty kitty, consider certain breeds of Asian origin. These include:

If you’d prefer a less vocal cat, consider a Persian, Russian Blue, Chartreux, Norwegian Forest Cat, or Maine Coon. These breeds tend to be on the quieter side. But breed-specific guidelines are not failsafe; you could end up with a noisy Persian or a silent Siamese!

By knowing what your cat is trying to say, you’ll be better able to predict her mood, intentions, and needs. Whether she is hungry, sick, happy, lonely, playful or mad, you’ll understand and be better equipped to give her what she needs. And the two of you will be able to have a nice, friendly cat chat whenever the mood suits!


Is your cat especially chatty at night? Click here to learn more about pesky night time meowing

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  • paula lovell-payne

    my cat was very shy when we bought her and she kept herself to herself for three years its only lately shes come out of her shell… she seems to love me to bits as she sits on my shoulder and while she purrs she seems to hum at the same time ,,, any one know why… i’d love to know

  • Christine Wilson

    What about snorting? I think it’s a frustration or irritation expression… anyone else have thoughts?

  • Ginger

    My 8 yr old , very lovable male cat does an odd short , low meow whenever he sees me or my husband . We determined it’s his greeting . But he also does almost the exact same greeting to our 3 mth old female cat every time she comes to visit him or lay with him when he is visiting with us . I often wonder if he is saying “not now little one” or just hello . They get along fine , play sometimes , cuddle , but sometimes it just seems like he is just being tolerant of her , so it’s really hard to tell if the short low meow is a warning to her or a hello. He doesn’t hiss , his ears don’t go back , just the sound . What do you think ?

  • Kitville

    Above, in the ‘Breed Talk’, there seem to be no talkative breeds mentioned.

  • Mollimay A Ismail Martell

    My cat is part Maine coon. He yells at me when he wants something. If i say shoes me, he takes me to what he wants, did, water, bed time, out side, etc. Is this normal?

  • Mollimay A Ismail Martell

    My cat is part Maine coon. He yells at me when he wants something. If i say shoes me, he takes me to what he wants, did, water, bed time, out side, etc. Is this normal? Also he lost his entire leg to cancer and is not friendly to anyone but me now. It’s been 3 yrs.

  • OliviaAndLuna💕

    Well my cat has never done that but of course she is not a maine coon so maybe its a maine coon thing? Also i’m sorry about the his leg.

  • AbbyandSadiesMom

    Most of what’s written I agree with; however, there are exceptions. I chortled when I read quieter breeds include MaineCoon and Chartreux. Oh really? My two never shut up, lol! The MC is a diva and when the Chartreux bugs her like most sibling brothers would, she hisses at him – nothing serious, just a warning and maybe a swipe now and again, but no one gets hurt. He likes to smell the ruff around her neck or her butt and she’ll hiss, but on occasion, she’ll smell his neck and butt. Go figure. Both are fixed. The MC was a rescue from our shelter and the Chartreux was a stray who waltzed into our home and refused to leave, lol! Eight years later, we’re a happy family. Sometimes the MC will park herself in a doorway and if I don’t say “excuse me please” and just try to step over her, she’ll hiss at me. If I say excuse me please, she gets up and moves. If the Chartreux wants to get by, she won’t move, so he’ll just jump OVER her and keep going. It bugs the bejeepers out of her. Ah yes, it’s interesting around our house.


    My cat does low yowling, she is 16/17 years old and I find it disturbing. She has lost her sight. She eats her food ,not the bits but the soup! Vets will only say she is old

  • Natalie

    My kitten sounds like a kettle boiling water? Why? Help?

  • Amelina

    My kitten is fixed but every morning at 6:00am on the dot she is caterwauling, meowing, yelling, purring and head butting me and trying to smoother me with cuddles and kneading my chest. It’s sweet but I have no clue why she only does all this In the morning!! She is a 6 month old Domestic Shorthair.

  • Rachel

    My cat thinks she’s a watchdog.. She comes by me and growls when she hears an unfamiliar car or someone at the door! It’s as if she’s trying to protect me! We also have ritual games where we play hide and seek and chase each other. ❤

  • Ann Abel

    I find that “painful sex” theory to be garbage. I have 2 female cats (11yrs old) who were not spayed and think I am their “lover”. They make the yowl when I press on their back just above their tails (when they are “satisfied”). They have never been around non-neutered males, so never had “real” sex.

  • Lord-Xanthor

    One of oir 4 cats have the strangest behavior. He talks to my wife and daughter constantly in the same manner a cat chatters at bird’s through a window but meows to me and my son when talking. Hissing has always been a warning to stay away from the cat, but with my daughter, ever since the cat was a kiyten and hissed for the first time, it picked up my daughter’s giggling and always hisses for her, which is so out of place. Whats even stranger is when he wants to be alone and I pick him uo and place him in a room he doesnt want to be in. He starts a low growl and then goes woof. Hes a mixed tabby/simese breed with blue eyes. He also has this game he plays with the entire family that my daughter started years ago. Cat will be on the inside of window and my daughyer on the other side runs her finger over the glass and her cat acts like a viciouse tazmanian devil pretending to attack. My neigubor freaked out the first time seeing this then watching as my daughter opened the door and the cat runs out and sits in her lap nuzzling her face and puring.

  • Linda Lewis

    I love cats, and found the more I learnt, the more there was to know! Cats are incredible and unique. Sadly, I was unable to fix behavior problems and think my cat is “just born that way”. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon this goldmine guide on how to communicate with your cat I found HERE ( ). I now understand exactly how my cat is feeling and what he has always been trying to tell me.

  • Gabriel

    My cat meow scratchy and hissing alot

  • Deana Rupe

    Our cats are very talkative in times of trouble or when living conditions change. We had a cat who would come and get us to follow her when a baby kitten got into a situation that needed our help. We as humans need to pay close attention to our fur babies when they speak. The world is much richer when we really listen to them.

  • Maren Ziegler

    Rags, they have always been part of our lives….as soon as some piece of cloth is considered worn, then I choose to finish wearing it out, by finding a new use for it. Either cleaning with it or using some “chosen rags” to wipe my paint brushes on while enjoying one of my favorite pastimes, painting gifts for other’s. Let me know if you need some ideas or might need some help with a gift.Debbie Grigsby Lynch

  • JLNedimyer

    I have had both pure Maines and 2 halfies, all males, all almose incessant talkers- to anyone, anything including the fishtanks, birdcages and out the windows. Our pure ginger MC outlived 2 of the other three, and made it til #4 was 11 and a half before needing assistance over rainbow bridge at the tender age of 21 yrs and 8 days. We got him the day he weaned from his mother. My brother had a female Maine who hardly made a squeak….he thought she was defective!

  • […] If your cat is watching squirrels through the window, their tail lashes and they might emit a staccato chatter. The meaning is just what it seems: excited frustration. […]

  • Lisa stacy

    My Male kitty makes a sound when he’s playing that sounds almost like when a human roles their tongue against the roof of their mouth. Almost a growl but not really. It varies in tone. It goes up and down. He also has ran up to me and done it. Do you know what that is

  • Lauri

    You don’t list the sound my cats make a lot: hum. It’s like they are saying “Hmmm?” in various intonations. I live alone and do that a lot with them myself so maybe that’s where they picked it up. Wondered if it was a common cat sound.

  • Cate S

    This is such a great detailed post. Cats sounds communicate different messages. I came across this book and it has really helped me in my cat parenting journey I can now understand so much about my little cute feline friend. I can recommend it to anyone whose cat meow constantly either during the day or night. It will help you eliminate this behavior for good.

  • Andres Rodriguez

    Yayuuuuh! Cats! <3

  • Marla Hein Stone

    I have 3 Bengal cats & this breed is usually very vocal. They talk & trill yo me all the time. My male wakes me every morning just before my alarm with a kiss on the lips & a head but.

  • Rose

    We have two cats, our male is over a year old and we just took in an abandoned kitten we guess no older than 4 months. At first there was hissing, then joy but now whenever my male wants to play, she growls and shrieks out. We rush to her rescue, only to see that he is simply holding her down annoyingly as she plays her drama queen role. Is that normal? I mean sometimes he does instigate spats, other times she does then howls for us to “save” her.

  • Anita hallbeck

    My cat was 18 when he passed and on that day I told him I love you. He said it back to me in perfect English not meows. He talked alot. Called me ma or mom and said yeah. Lol

  • Benny

    When my cat has the “crazies” (suddenly running around at full speed) she makes a really weird noise that’s like a crowd between a purr and a growl – like she’s doing them simultaneously. We joke that she’s revving her engine. But what IS that noise?

  • Tammie Glodowski

    My cat does a soft purr whenever she goes poop. Curious to why.😺

  • Judi Roach

    My 3 month old kitten sounds like a Raccoon when he purs. His sister sounds like a dog.LOL

  • Erica

    My cat idk it sounds like he’s crying on the inside only wen we bring him In after hes been outside for a bit what does that mean?????

  • Kathey

    My cat sometimes howls before he goes poo then he comes down stairs he just lets me know to clean it

  • Carys

    Well my four legged son whines a bit. A half hearted meow. It’s a cute sound. He is active and content so not sure what this means other than a ploy to get treats, but I don’t give in!!

  • Shannon

    My cat is walking through the house and it sounds like a baby is crying just walk around everywhere making this weird loud sound we moved in with my in-laws about 3 months ago there is a male cat but it’s fixed in the house and there’s a lot of guys that hang out around the house please help me with my cat

  • Emma pattinson

    I’ve noticed recently my cat,belle🐱Has a high screeching sound when she purrs. The only way I can describe it is like a car screeching when putting on the breaks. She has also started making a snoring sound when she is sleeping 😌. Does anyone know what this is and should I be concerned??? Thanks x

  • Ruta

    So good to read this! Trying to understand my cat better and this will make the relationship better – less pain and confusion xxxx

  • Macy Danzer

    I am concerned about my friend’s cat. He does this even when I’m not there. He would be eating, sleeping, or just anything. He does not play, I try to encourage my friend to play with him, but they are too lazy too. My real concern here is when he makes this weird yell meow. It is very fast, and loud. It sounds like “RAH RAH RAH!”(not like raw but like how you say mat, but is ra) Then he jolts and hides under my friend’s couch. This always utterly terrifies me. I need to know what this is, I am an animal lover and I want to know what’s wrong with this cat. She and her mother doesn’t think there is anything wrong with what he does.

  • Rhonda Cooper

    Very interesting read! My orange and white Squeaky baby is a chatty kitty. He talks back every time I speak to him and I love him. He meows two short news when asked to say Momma. He’s an awesome kitty. I love chatty kitty’s the more chatty the better lol

  • Penny

    My Dinah has two usual meows. One sounds forlorn, even if it really isn’t, because she just wants attention. Our home is small so my husband and I are almost always aware of what she’s doing. The other meow sounds like ‘der-ROU?’ and is anticipatory, like at mealtime. Mimsy is only slightly younger but has had a high-pitched kitten meow his entire life. We always figured this was because we couldn’t adopt him out till after he was neutered, which was at two pounds, so it was done before he could develop a mature meow, but we’ve since learned that many male cats have kitten meows regardless of neutering age. We call him Little Meep.

  • Bonnie

    My cat doesn’t like me to sing to her. She hissed and slapped me. I was singing a very slow quiet song. What’s the problem?

  • Michele

    Have you ever met a Maine Coon??? They are not quiet. They are very talkative. 😁😁😁

  • Addison Saggio

    Does anyone know why my cat sounds like a squirrel????

  • christopher

    I adopted a 7 year old shelter cat with a very gentle personality. He has been with us for 6 years now; he is loved and catered-to. But he hisses at us after a friendly interaction (inappropriately). He shows no other signs of aggression or unsocial behavior with us. He’s just a hisser ….. and we’ve adapted to this false signal from him.

  • Sandie Walson

    My cat is 100 years old and does this noise likes her trying to purr but it comes out like she’s in pain. What does this mean?

  • Casey Garforth

    My bencoon kitten is always coming to me continuously meowing, is there anything I can do to calm her

  • Pamela Cross

    What kind of wild cat makes a blowing noise like a bull blows through his nose

  • Sabrina

    I love cats there my favorite animal in the WORLD I just honestly really do love love well I don’t like them I ♥️ THEM♥️♥️♥️♥️😂😂😂

  • SAbrina

    When my cat is some times lonely or scared she sounds like a frog and then that cats baby is 2 years old and STILL sound like a baby and I like to talk to her in a baby voice it’s fun bc I speak to her I don’t know what I’m saying but I still do bc it’s sorta funny😂♥️

  • Erin

    I’ve got a 7 year old black domestic shorthair who doesn’t ever stop talking. He always has something to say, or scream, at us at all times. Sometimes he will stick about half his body through the slats of the railing of the upstairs loft and really let it rip for maximum sound penetration throughout the house. Mostly, he does it for attention but he will also do it for food, too. We’ve had full conversations and hopefully maybe one day he will tell me what the hell he’s been going on about this whole time, lol. My baby boy has so much personality!

  • Glory

    I have a 15 year old Maine Coon tabby. He’s been with me his whole life. He’s extremely vocal. So,I don’t think it’s all MC breeds that that “less vocal breed” applies to. I believe it also depends on their past,environment,lifestyle and bond with their owner. I love that my cat talks to me. He definitely knows how to work his mama! And I talk right back and I sincerely believe we understand each other. Most MC’s are awesome pets for a single or family household. Again,it also depends on their upbringing.
    Now my Tortieshell, she’s also extremely vocal but she trills more than she meows. It’s the most beautiful sound ever! I just adore my fur babies!

    ~Dogs have masters.
    Cats have servants!~

  • Tami Novak

    Our cat is now just turned 6 yrs old in May. When we got her you could never hold her. She would come up and lay on your neck . Still does . She now lets you pet her but if you get close to her face she bites. She still won’t let you pick her up and carry her or put her on your lap. Any reasons why she is like that or can I do anything to change it

  • Kerry

    My cat purrs like crazy, but when she is lying around makes a sort of short grunt like noise….. my last cat never did this, nor have I ever heard from other cats I’ve been around

  • Laureen

    My male cat is fixed and has always been a indoor cat till a month ago,, he doesn’t go far he stays in the yard, but today he came in and was under the buffet and just out of the blue he started yelling like he was in a cat fight! And he won’t come out of under the buffet,, I don’t know what’s wrong with him!

  • Sharon Viedma-Aguilar

    My 14 year old cat has begun moaning and yowling loudly if he cannot see me, and we live in a tiny apartment. If I hold him or lay down with him, he is fine. The vet did a blood test and says he is fine, but I know something is wrong! I am getting no sleep at all lately, I am at my wits end. I am elderly too, age 77 I need help. HIs appetite is also almost nothing!

  • martine carole trickett

    i adore my cat pipsqueek shooting star is her full title but i call her pip my gorgeous tortie burmese 6 years old she just adorable has her own little temperement she cuddles up in bed i call it throatie purring and love to watch her chat with the rabbits and birds

  • A

    My cat doesn’t Meow often
    He makes a throat noise

  • Frances

    My 2 year old Egyptian Mau meows and yowls constantly for about 20 minutes before she has to poop. As soon as she poops everything goes back to normal. She eats and drinks normally, is very energetic and playful and doesn’t seem to be in pain in any way. I don’t understand her vocalizations before pooping though.

  • sara

    I bought my cat about 2-3 weeks at first week she liiks nice and quiet but now she’s scratching and bites alot I’m starting scared of her what i can do ?

  • Sandra Hawthorne

    My cat does a moaning and sighing sound when I pet him. Not all the time but he does it quite a bit. He doesn’t appear to be in pain. He is very intelligent, and stands up to open the door to go out on the sun porch, understands when I tell him to come, he comes when I call to him and is a little bit more like a dog than a cat.

  • Izaiah

    But my cat coos and hardly ever meows

  • Tammie

    Hahahaha, my long haired cat is constantly talking to me. He’s three and loves holding a conversation with me when I grab my coffee in the morning. My 18 yr old shorthaired has a tiny meow he gives me when I give him a treat. The only time he ever meows. Like he’s saying Thank you. Over the years, I’ve always found long haired cats more “talkative” than short haired cats.

  • Cindy Nastasuk

    My 14 yr old female spayed cat just made a screeching sound I never heard before. I jumped a foot. It was so loud. Not a yowl. Then she went up on a chair and went to sleep. I have 3 other cats 2 males 1 female all have been spayed and neutered. No other cat was near her at the time. Any advice. Scared me .


  • Andrea b

    My 9 month old furboy has been neutered and he’s starting growling when I give him the odd bit of chicken or meat as a snack he does this to the other 4 cats I have I know it’s a territorial thing but when he’s growling he snorts or chuffs out his noise at them I don’t know what it’s called could someone please enlighten me thankyou so much

  • Jamie Schwartz

    My female cat is not that old and she makes this loud purring sound at the same time she rubs all over the place . Why ?

  • Mike

    I have a ragdoll that will make sounds like hannibal lechtor. Really odd, no idea what it means.

  • Brooke Schongalla

    I have a 16 year old cat named Autumn and her brother died of cancer when I was in kindergarden. We have just assumed Autumn was yowling out of loneliness.

  • Kylee

    My cat literally squeaked 3 times I’m trying to figure out why

  • Oliva

    My cat is kinda purring and muring to the female and keeps smelling her no no square

  • Valery


  • angela

    my cat doesn’t say meow it’s more like ick ow

  • Molly

    I have two Siamese kittens/cats and my female one is more talkative she is always interrupting and answering you is it so cute I love them both

  • Isabella Szymańska

    My cat is old and grumpy he sleeps NIGHT and day.. 🙀🌃.. He is very healthy he’s not hungry or thirsty but whenever I try to pet him he starts humming idk why and he randomly starts hissing at the wall 🤣

  • Martin Braunlich

    My female Maine coon makes extremely loud guttural noises every night shortly after we go to bed. It only slowed and weakens when we call her name in a calm voice and say “good girl”. She is now 18 and has been doing this all her life with us. We got her as a kitten. Any thoughts

  • Brooke

    I have a half Maine Coon half Scottish fold, he’s big like a Maine coon but has the round kitten face and folded ears of a Fold. Anyway, I got him thinking he was a Scottish fold until he grew to double the size of my full bred female fold. Anyway Scottish Folds are calm and sweet and don’t talk much. But my male talks all the time. I second the lady that said her Maine Coons never shut up, because neither does mine. He’s very mouthy. And I know for fact it’s not a trait he got from the Scottish fold. I love himto death and so glad I got him. I’ve never owned a Maine Coon, and although he’s a mix he has the best personality. So out going, so playful and friendly, and loving, cuddly, and he’s great with kids!! My 3 year old autistic son, pays him no mind but that doesn’t matter Leo follows him around and sleeps with him. I always get this feeling he thinks he’s protecting him. It’s really cute and odd, cuz I’ve never seen a cat do the things he does…he’s almost like having a dog. It’s crazy! A dog that meows. Lol!

  • Holley

    My cat and me were outside one day when all the sudden she got off her harness and completely freaked out she stopped short in the middle of the yard and started wailing like crazy and then I heard one of the strays meowing back was she looking for a mate? Oh, and she is spayed.

  • Holley

    And now she hair balled when where giving her food for her hairballs!

  • Kendra TA

    My cat hisses at me when he can’t grab the toy ribbon lol

  • Cj

    My cat utters a low grumbling sound Of which is not listed

  • Trudi Jenkins

    She does a loud Howell almost a sing, should I be worried.

  • Sky

    My kitten who is about three months old makes this weird like its hard to discrible but it sounds like a turkey gobbling under water but hes not chocking or anything he normally does this before he eats or usees the bathroom anyone know why?

  • Rose

    The cat that is meowing outside of my bedroom at 2am is not mine! I do not know if it’s a stray or feral or anything about this cat! What I do know is my heart hurts every time I’m hearing it meow very loudly and FAST! Good grief! I got a glimpse of it, and mind you, it is not your cute house cat. I don’t know what to do. I’ll call animal control, but this cat isn’t going to stay put and animal control isn’t going to conduct a 2am search for a stray/feral. From the looks of the cat, I’m afraid to go near it as it could be dangerous. I am torn in between wanting to help it but fearful for my own safety.

  • Sandra Anderson

    My cat actually moans like a human, I have guessed she’s annoyed or does not want me near her. Can you tell me anything about actual moaning it’s not yawling I can’t find any information on it

  • Vince jones

    When my 11year old cat eats his food he turns his head and he makes a squeaking noise like maybe he has something stuck in his throat (plastic/balloon) is this normal?

  • Roseann DuBois

    My very large and lazy make cat has perfected his own unique sound. He is very vocal and it is common for him to yawn during a meow. We have dubbed that a “meyawn”.

  • dominique philip

    since I am staying at home after covid19, my cat started owling in the morning to (I believe) get me out of bed so I can feed her or for company. She doesn’t do it during the day. I have been present all day, which is a departure from my shiftwork, which meant I wasn’t home for extended periods of time. Is it separation anxiety? She is 20 years old (although you would not know as she is still behaving like a young cat). Any comments?

  • Ciara

    I have a 3 month old kitten given to my boyfriend and I from my boyfriend’s mom’s cat who gave birth to a litter of 4. We have two, 1 male and 1 female. The female is a grey tabby and the male is a flame tipped Siamese. Both very beautiful, playful and loving cats, however, the female seems to have imprinted on me to the point where she enjoys napping on me, next to me, or just near me, every time I’m around. We even sleep together, which isn’t something I’ve really noticed in most cats. Most often than not, when she falls asleep on my lap, she lets out a purr and sometimes a very quiet yet noticeable chirp. She does also reach her paw out to me, knead on me, and licks my face and arms. I’m very curious as to what is going on in her little kitten head, I’m almost 100% sure she’s in love with me, but the chirps. What EXACTLY do they mean?

  • Debbie DeCelie

    Ty.. a very helpful post… I’ve had my kitten for one month down he was 8 weeks old when I got him from a shelter he was 1 of 6 feral rescued kittens. I was worried about his nonstop long drawn out meows when I first brought him home..and now that he’s adjusting ..i wondered about the chirps and squeaks..all sound like they are perfectly normal ..and glad this means he’s happy and trusting me as his adopted mommy.

  • tammy weddington

    My son’s cat is 2 years old she goes to the house she’ll scream really loud and fall over like something is inside her tail I don’t know what to do I’ve checked her thoroughly…she really screams loud.does anyone know what this is.

  • Emma

    when I give my cat a bath he growls but when I am in the bath he jumps in the water with me.

  • Geneses

    I really dont know if if was breed talk or something else but my three year old cat started meowing really loudly. There was another cat outside and it was staring at her. I dont know if she was being threatened by the other cat. If you do know can you please tell me.

  • Ms Jean I Vanbeick

    It’s very difficult to understand my cats because I’m partially deaf, I’m waiting for Covid-19 over then I’ll go to audiology for new hearing aid.
    When I had a hearing aid, I hear the cats sound like purrs, chirping, meaow and yowl, yowl mean angry

  • lisa reppard

    My 1 yr old cats have this meow that sounds like “mayowwwww” what does that mean and just the tips of their tails twitch? I read that’s cuz they are seeking prey. They are indoor cats and there’s no prey to catch. I am just worried something might be wrong. I am a very overprotective fur mommy.

  • Kathryn P.

    I have a Bengal and she talks non-stop. If she wasn’t making some kind of noise, I’d be worried.

  • Norrin Radd

    Years ago, I had a big white Persian-ish rescue kitty. For a big cat, he had a rather small meow. We thought perhaps this was because he was deaf as a stone. His loudest and most insistent meowing always followed one of his apocalyptic litterbox crimes against man and nature. I took it to mean, “Help! I can’t make the smell go away!” He always fled the area immediately after the distress call.

    A much more recent rescue kitty was another big boy with a small voice, a Maine Coon-ish fellow. Not deaf, so no blaming that for his squeaky meow. He was notable for being a hisser. In any good, vigorous play session, he would end by catching the toy, holding it down, and giving what by all appearances was a hiss of victory, and perhaps warning to (imaginary) rivals.

    I’ve seen the “chattering” behavior often. Almost always in relation to birds, occasionally to chipmunks. I’ve never noticed it in regard to, e.g., rabbits or squirrels.

    To the person who noted the “ick ow” sound — YES!!! I’ve known a cat that made that exact sound rather than a normal meow.

  • Norrin Radd

    You need to proof-read and edit the article. At the end of the third-to-last paragraph, you failed to list the specific Asian breeds.

  • AmyMint

    My 4 month old kitten has been strange since birth and he often makes these really odd noises. At first I thought it was my computer it almost sounds like a cheese 80s sci-fi laser noise.

  • Kalena

    Why does my cat meow when she’s asleep and I say her name is it cause she wants to sleep

  • Jill Pecimon

    My kitty is soooo playful,but sometimes I thinks shes gone crazy she literally gets dwn in attack mode and attacks my feet and hands she wraps herself around my arm like a spider monkey and bites at me crawling up it with her paws grabbing my hand with her paws but not claws,shes crazy sometimes my boyfriends whole right hand is scratched n bitten up from her he says that she plays rough with him,I think he needs to stop it..she follows me are oi UND the house she has a little bell on her collar when i walk in the door or anyone does she runs to it like a puppy would she let’s me know when to follow her to her food bowl,ect..shes very smart but her attack playing is getting a little rough any suggestions? She has toys upon toys we play with her to wear her out?

  • Chris orr

    Just like a switch my cat started acting like she was scared to walk around things that she is always on. She now stares at things curiously almost spooked which happens all over the house. She’s goes through these phases of meowing like she’s lost. I haven’t been playful much because of work so I don’t know if that could be part of it. Slightly worried.

  • Kendra

    My 9 month old kitten keeps chirping at my new kitten playfully but sometimes he plays alittle rough with the little baby who is 3 months old and makes him howl and hiss and growl but my 9 month old keeps antagonizing my little baby any ideas on what to do? They are fine together but when he plays with the baby he gets upset sometimes.

  • James

    “And if you are looking for an instinctively chatty kitty, consider certain breeds of Asian origin. These include:… ”

    And then you don’t list them. You only list less vocal breeds.

  • Michael Floyd

    I disagree with the part about vocalizations. Maine Coons r highly expressive through trills,growls,and chatter. They are hunters and get excited about hunting and their owners presence too. My Maine Coon even makes a distinctive sigh like noise when I tease her food for too long.Listen to your cats, they want to talk to you!

  • Jeanette

    My floofeh behbeh, Henry, was a rescued feral orphan that I bottle fed. I lived with my sister and her 3-5 labs (2 furevers and 1 or 2 fosters at any given time), so Henry thinks he’s a dog. He “borks” a wee little half-syllable, guttural, adorable bark! His lab uncles worshipped him. Now, a year later, we are taking care of my parents, who both have cancer. Henry tries to explain to his grumpy old Uncle Baxter, step-mom’s white feather-tailed mutt, that he is a playful puppy. He is officially the cutest puppeh-cat in the known universe, probs in the entire multiverse. 🙂

  • Wayne Robinson

    I decided to take primary care of a kitten. I invited her inside after noticed her being attacked by 2 large cats and seeing her eating out of trash cans. This article has helped me understand her moods and better. She is affectionate, playful and love to sleep with or on some. Sadly, she goes into a defensive mode when you try to pick her up, so I can’t get her to a vet

  • Daniel

    Thanks this helped a lot

  • Tanisha L Deculus

    How about when they squats and make noise

  • A

    Why do people like cats?????

  • Leo

    My kitten makes an almost popping sound sometimes.why dose he do this and dose you kitten or cat do this?

  • Rosie Adams

    My black cat Smokey was a rescue from the streets. I was told he had been neutered and a part of an ear was lopped off. We moved house two years back & he constantly ‘sings’ the ah-roo-ah’ song (flat-up-down again). Does this mean he is actually a caterwauling female? He has been examined by several vets over the last fourteen years he has been with us.

  • Summit Moyer

    My kitten doesn’t meow but sounds like a squirrel and acts like one too. She was dumped at my work at a young age.

  • Hunter

    Can you guys make a cat a sound

  • Kaye

    What does it mean when she sounds like a meerkat?

  • hhhhhhhh


  • Bella

    my kitten is 6 months. I know of a few sounds. The normal meow, a whining meow to go outside, a crying sound when i dont feed him fast enough, he chirps sometimes i assume from happiness and a crying sound when scared or when i accidently closed the bathroom door with him in there. I knew he was crying

  • Tanisha Ripley

    My cat will be running around the house whole me and my father are doing our own thing, and she will do little meows like “murraw” aruu” ar” and I don’t know what she wants, shes still a kitten tho, like if I were to describe her age as a human, I’d say she’s like 3-4 , help?

  • Cheryl Kinard

    The information provided was very helpful. My black cat, that I have raised since 2 wks old gurgles and acts out in a growl, posture, hissing etc.., I’ve tried to reserch it but have gotten the same old story. Thank you for finally giving me a logical answer.

  • Stephanie

    My cat says ick ow too. She’s always been pretty quiet though so I thought maybe that’s why. And now that she’s older aged her voice has gone hoarse so she sounds like she’s growling rather than meowing. Also we had a very talkative Bombay who could have a conversation with me if I would let her:)

  • Amy

    My cat like to meow when she has to poop. As though she is telling the whole house she is going. Definitely very vocal and chirps and meows quite a lot. I have definitely figured out what her sounds mean, but i think the one that makes me laugh is when she is using the litter box. Why does she feel the need to tell us? Haha. I’m like, good job Nicks! You got this 👏🏽

  • Morrow

    My young,less than 4-5 month old kitten just said something weird to me. He looked me dead in the eyes and uttered something that sounded like chattering at first, and then it turned into a “Bow-Bow-Bow-” sound, and it happened really fast. After he said it though, he ran right toward me and hopped on my lap. Anyone have any clue what he was thinking?

  • Dorothy

    My cat does my head in with the annoying noise she makes if she does not get her own way. I find the easiest way to deal with it without getting annoyed is to put her in another room like the kitchen or bathroom for a while.

  • Lydia and kaema the cat

    Hi im 13 and my cat is 4 but 8 in cat years anywaySo my cat is supper hilarious because when she goes menow (yes menow not meow lol) 😆 and karma gets all defensive if you stare at her for 17 seconds and she will play staring contest woth me its so funny but i still find her running into the walls every noq and then. Could karma(my 🐱) be going blind? If so how do I fix it?

  • Lydia and karma the cat

    Hey i just posted umm in the name box i meant Karma not kareena or whatever i put 😆 😆 😆🐱😻🐱😻🐱😻🐱😻😻🐱😻😻💖😻💖😻💖😻❤😻❤😻❤😻💖😻💖😻💖😻💖😻💖😻💖🐱❤😻❤🐱❤🐱❤😻❤🐱❤😻🐱❤😻💖💖💖💖😻😻💖🐱💗💓💓❤💖💓💗😻🐱💗💓💖❤😻🐱🐾🐾🐱🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🌼🦊🐱🐱

  • Lydia and karma the cat

    Hey Natalie you said youre kittwns sounded like a kettle boiling water correct? It is prpbably sometimes a hairball other times its from a sickness cats and kittens get but it should only last 3-4 days if it last more notify me and i can help i know a vetenarian friend.

  • Lydia and karma the cat

    Hellppp my kitten 😸 scratches side of litter box when covering her business what can i do to make her chill out a little?? Help? Anyone welcome to advise.

  • Anonymous

    My cats are being hacked ahhhhhh pls help me. Oh god they don’t have a sense of humor. Damn it why do they not have ears and a nose now Jesse. They really need a big vet to help them to stop being hacked

  • Lisa LaPlante

    My cat has been acting weird for the last 3 months and I’ve become sicker and sicker and now I need spinal surgery on my neck. He acts out of text a night and I brought him brand new food and he ate it that day but since I’ve had the food in the house my partner has also fed him and I feel it’s concerning he’s not eating the way he was when I first got it. I feel his food has been tampered with and he doesn’t drink water from the sink the way he did with me before. Also I’ve had my cat for about 3 in a half years and he’s my therapeutic cat. I’m very concerned for my cats safety and my own

  • Lynsey

    I have a moggie who is 100% is of Russian blue descent! Looks like the cat in the Sheba advert! He don’t stop talking and meowing at me! A ginger cat has adopted us and he resembles a Norwegian forest cat and he don’t shut up either😂😹😂! Now, I like a chat and maybe that’s why they’re so vocal😂😹😂

  • Nicole Coburn

    My cat has been wanting to cuddle a lot lately at night and I haven’t been letting him do that because he digs into my chest heart with his sharp nails so I won’t let him do it well last night he decided to P in my purse I’ve had him do this to trash bags I thought it was maybe the feeling of the trash bag is there any other reason he’s peeing in my purse besides the fact that I won’t pet him as much as he wants and let him attack me or do you think it’s more we lost one of our older cats and he can’t find his “dad”

  • Wendy

    I have a red tiger cat that makes strange funny noises that don’t fit any of your categories he just likes to talk to himself I don’t know what it means you don’t have a description

  • Piper

    Thank you

  • Dan

    Probably useless comment as author hasn’t fixed their error/omission in old article. But left list of breeds off “And if you are looking for an instinctively chatty kitty, consider certain breeds of Asian origin. These include:” Don’t list any, goes onto quieter breeds.

  • Mason DeBerge

    my cat was very scoial and loved to meow and screem at doors

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