Can Cats and Birds Talk to Each Other?

a kitten talks to a dove

It is very possible for cats and birds to coexist peacefully, and even communicate with each other to some degree. 

If you have both of these animals in your home, you’ll want to learn everything you can about how they interact.

Deciphering Communication Between Cats and Birds

You have probably noticed your cat making a chirping or chattering type sound around your bird. There is a good chance that your bird has responded in kind with its own vocalizations. The sounds your cat makes can impact which vocalizations the bird uses. 

When you are trying to determine what your cat and bird are saying to each other, you need to pay attention to the sounds they make.

The louder your bird’s vocalizations, the more likely it is that they aren’t communicating comfort or happiness. Most birds tend to get louder as they grow increasingly tense or irritated. You will need to keep this in mind when attempting to decipher what these animals are saying to each other at home.

fat persian cat and baby parrot

Reasons Cats “Talk” to Birds

1. They View It As a Threat

If your cat is hissing at the bird, it’s pretty obvious that they don’t like it. Your cat might view the bird as a threat, which is the reason for this aggressive behavior. This is especially common with those who have a cat and a large bird. 

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The bigger the bird is, the more likely your cat will be to think that it is a predator. After all, wild or feral cats are attacked by large birds all the time. This could be part of a deeply ingrained aspect of the cat’s biology and evolution.

2. They Are Excited

When you notice your cat and bird making noises at each other back and forth, it could be due to excitement. There is a chance that these two pets have formed a strong bond, and this is just their way of expressing affection. Cats often make a chattering sort of noise when they are excited to see a person or another pet.

3. They Want to Eat It

cat is eating bird

If you have a smaller bird in the house, your cat might be making noises in its general direction because it views it as prey. This could be just a matter of your cat expressing its frustration because it cannot satisfy their natural hunting instincts. 

It is fairly common with cats that spend a good amount of their time outside. The more you encourage their killer instincts, the more likely they are to go after your bird.

Bird Vocalizations

It is important that you pay close attention to the way your bird vocalizes when it is around the cat. This can provide you with some very useful insight into what kind of a relationship these animals really have.

1. Screaming

If your bird is screaming when your pet bird is nearby, it probably doesn’t like it all that much. This is a definite sign that they view your cat as a threat and not a fuzzy friend. This can be quite annoying to put up with, especially if it happens a lot. 

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If this is the case, you should try to keep your bird and cat separate as much as possible. The last thing you want to do is to stress out your bird, as this can have a negative impact on its overall health.

2. Singing

When you notice your bird singing when your cat is in the area, it might be because it considers it friend. It is certainly not uncommon for animals of different species to become good friends with each other. If your cat purrs back in response, there is definitely a friendship in full bloom. Singing is typically a bird’s way of expressing happiness and comfort.

3. Whistling

Sometimes a bird will actually make whistling sounds when it is happy. This is another sign that your bird has really taken a shine to the cat. It is something that a lot of parrots are known for, especially the African Grey. They typically do this when they are feeling at ease, which is precisely what you want.

Tips for Managing Your Cat and Bird’s Relationship

fat cat talks to a bird on a window

Whether or not your cat and bird get along, there are a few helpful tips that you’ll want to remember, including:

  • Know when to keep them apart: If it is clear that your cat and bird don’t like each other, you should try to keep them apart. You certainly don’t want them in the same area of your house when you take your bird out of its cage.
  • Train your pets: Cats and birds can sometimes be trained to be around each other without fighting. There is no guarantee that this will work, but it worth trying. There are plenty of online resources for this sort of training.
  • Cat proof the cage: It is always a good idea to make it so that your cat is not able to get the bird’s cage open. This means getting an enclosure that is sturdy with a lock that your cat won’t be able to unlock by accident.
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Conclusion

  • Cats and birds can definitely communicate with each other, but they aren’t always saying the same things.
  • There is a chance that your cat views the bird as a threat, especially if it hisses at it.
  • Loud yowling around your bird could be your cat’s way of expressing frustration because it can’t eat it.
  • If your cat is purring at your bird, it is probably because it likes being in its company.
  • When you notice your bird signing when your cat is around, the most likely explanation is that they have formed a strong friendship.
  • If your bird starts screaming around your cat, they probably view them as a threat and are very scared.
  • It is important that you try to keep your bird and cat separate if they clearly don’t get along.
  • You should always be cautious about letting your cat around your bird when it is out of its cage, even if they seem to get along.

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