7 Weird Cat Sounds & What They Mean

cat sound

Cats make all sorts of strange sounds, some of which can be pretty difficult to explain.

Learning more about these noises can provide you with valuable insight into what your cat might be thinking or feeling.

These animals rely heavily on vocalizing to communicate with other animals, including their owners.

1. Chirping

Some cats will make a sort of chirping sound that is definitely more than a little strange. This particular sound is often used by cats that want to get their owner’s attention. They might start trilling or chirping if they are excited as well.

You might notice your cat start making this sound when you come through the door after being gone all day. This basically means that they are very happy to see you, so you should take it as a compliment.

Sleeping cats often make chirping noises as well. It is not uncommon for these animals to emit all sorts of noises when they are fast asleep. You might also notice a low whining sound coming from your cat while it is sleeping or taking a nap.

2. Yowling

A lot of cats emit a yowling type of sound, which can actually mean a few different things. If this sound is very long and drawn out, your cat could be in pain or feeling discomfort for some reason. This is a very common sound that female cats make when they are in heat. It is basically your cat expressing frustration, as they have the urge to mate.

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Constant yowling from male cats or females that are not in heat can indicate a serious medical problem that needs to be addressed. It is important that you get your kitty looked at by a veterinarian as soon as possible. This will allow you to find out if there is some issue that requires treatment.

cat singing

3. Chattering

Sometimes a cat will chatter its teeth even though they aren’t cold. This tends to happen when a cat sees some type of prey that they cannot get to. Whether it is a squirrel or a bird, your cat might make this noise because they can’t act on their natural hunting instincts.

Since this is a common sign of stress in cats, you’ll want to pay close attention to the circumstances under which it occurs. There is a chance that something else might be causing your feline friend to be stressed. This could be another cat or some other animal in the house. It is important that you comfort them as much as possible when are exhibiting signs of stress.

4. Caterwauling

Caterwauling can be characterized by a low whining howling sound, and it is fairly common among female cats that are in heat. This is your cat’s way of trying to attract male cats when they have the urge to mate. They want nothing more than to get outside so they can find a suitable male. This can be extremely irritating for owners, which is one of the reasons why having your female cat spayed is a good idea.

5. Snarling

While you might not typically think of a cat as making snarling noises, it certainly happens from time to time. These animals can certainly growl and snarl, especially when they are agitated. If your cat is angry about something, they will likely start making a high pitched noise that is basically their version of a growl.

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This sound very likely comes from a cat’s primal instincts, which can be observed in African big cats. Wild cats like lions and cougars make snarling sounds as well, but they are much lower that the noises your cat makes.

6. Screaming

A cat’s screaming noises can be quite unsettling, but they are important for you to pay attention to as their owner. If your cat is making screaming sounds, they could be in pain. This noise is also common with cats that get into fights with other cats. It can also be characterized as shrieking or yowling.

kitten yawning

7. Barking

Believe it or not, cats do sometimes bark. While it doesn’t usually sound exactly like a dog’s barking, it can be fairly similar. It is more common than you might think, especially in cats that live with dogs. After a while, a cat can start mimicking the dogs they are around all day without even being aware of it.

There are numerous videos that you can find online of cats barking, and it is amusing to say the least. This is usually not a cause for concern. Cats might do this as a way of trying to communicate with dogs, but nobody is really sure.

Certain similarities in the larynx of cats and dogs mean that these animals can make some of the same sounds, even though they usually aren’t identical.

When to See Your Vet

If your cat is making the same weird noise persistently, you’ll probably want to take them to the vet just in case. This could be a sign of cognitive decline from old age, or some other issue that needs to be dealt with. The sooner you do this, the better off your feline friend is going to be.

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  • If you notice your cat making a chirping type sound, it could be because they are happy to see you. Some cats also make this noise when they are sleeping.
  • Female cats that are in heat often make a yowling noise. This is due to the fact that they are frustrated because they cannot go outside to find a male to mate with.
  • Chattering is a noise/behavior that cats often exhibit when they are stressed. This is common with cats that see prey out the window but cannot get to them.
  • A cat that is snarling is probably agitated for some reason. If your cat is doing this, you should leave them alone for the time being.
  • Some cats that live with dogs actually start to bark. Nobody is really sure why they do it, but it can certainly be amusing.
  • Your female cat might start screaming if it is in heat. It is also something that male cats do when they are near a female that is in heat.
  • Make sure that you take your cat to the vet if it makes any weird sounds persistently.
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