What is Cat Trilling?

grey cat meow

Cats are known for making a variety of noises or vocalizations. 

Each of these sounds has different possible meanings. The more you understand about the noises your kitty is making, the easier it is to meet their needs. Trilling is a fairly common vocalization, but there is probably a lot about it you don’t know.

What Is Trilling?

Trilling can best be described as a chirping type of noise that a lot of cats make at seemingly random moments. This sound is the result of air getting pushed through your cat’s vocal cords. It doesn’t always sound exactly the same, as it depends on the cat as well as the reason behind it.

Reasons for Your Cat’s Trilling

There are actually quite a few possible explanations for your cat’s trilling that you should be aware of.

1. Positive Emotion

Trilling is generally a feline vocalization that is associated with positive emotion, but not always. It usually indicates that a cat is feeling good for one reason or another.

2. They Crave Your Attention

One of the more common reasons for trilling among kitties is attention-seeking behavior. There is a good chance that your cat is making these noises because they want you to pay attention to them.

Cats that are particularly affectionate and/or social are more likely to trill in general. Your cat could be doing this out of sheer instinct, or for a specific reason. Maybe you don’t play with them quite enough, or there has been a recent addition to the household. 

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They may start trilling a lot if you just brought home a new cat or dog. These animals don’t usually take very kindly to any perceived competition for their owner’s affection.

white car trilling

3. They Are Enjoying Being Petted

You might notice your cat trilling when it is feeling particularly good. Maybe you started petting it in just the right spot. This basically means that your cat is very relaxed, which you should take as a compliment. If your cat is comfortable enough to make this type of noise around you, it probably means you have a strong bond with them.

4. Communicating With Other Cats

It’s also possible that your cat is trilling as a way of communicating with other cats in the household. While there is no way to know for sure what they are trying to say to your other kitties, it is probably something good. 

Trilling is closely associated with positive emotion, so it is nothing to worry about. If your cats are not getting along well, you will definitely know it. Your cat could be making these noises around the other cats in your house just as a show of affection.

If you have a couple of cats that have a very close bond, you might notice them trilling at each other sometimes. This is likely their way of expressing their love for each other.

Do All Cats Trill?

You shouldn’t necessarily be concerned if your cat has never made any trilling sounds. The fact is that some cats produce these vocalizations while others do not. Each cat has its own unique personality, and that is just part of it.

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As we mentioned above, some cats are more prone to trilling than others. Some of the most social cat breeds include the Scottish Fold, Tonkinese cats, Burmese cats, and exotic shorthair cats. It is perfectly normal for these kinds of cats to trill and makes a wide range of other noises on a regular basis.

Cats that are shy or standoffish are not likely to trill. Feral cats that were born in the wild usually don’t make this sound at all.

little kitten in a grass e1584716860959

Is Trilling Ever a Cause for Concern?

Trilling is normal behavior for cats, so it is not inherently concerning or reason to panic. It can, however, be a sign of illness or injury. Some cats will make a trilling sound if they are sick or in pain for some reason.

If your cat is trilling frequently or more than usual, you’ll want to take them to the vet to get looked at. Any change in your feline’s behavior is definitely a reason for a trip to the veterinarian. This could indicate that something is wrong with them. Your vet will be able to perform a variety of tests to find out if this is the case.

Trilling vs. Meowing

It is important to keep in mind that trilling and meowing are two separate vocalizations that cats make. These vocalizations each have a unique sound and usually a different meaning behind them.

Both trilling and meowing often indicate positive emotion among cats. Meowing is a cat’s way of greeting their owner, while trilling is an expression of comfort or pleasure. You are more likely to hear your cat trill as opposed to meow when you are petting it.

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These sounds that cats make can both indicate positive and negative things. While they are usually positive in nature, this is not always the case. You need to consider the circumstances under which your feline friend is making these sounds.


  • Trilling is a sort of chirping sound that a lot of cats make, and it is perfectly normal.
  • There are certain cat breeds that are more likely than others to trill.
  • Feral cats that were raised in the wild almost never make trilling noises.
  • Your cat may start trilling when it is resting on your lap being petted.
  • While this vocalization is usually an indication of positive emotion, it can point to something being wrong with your cat.
  • It is important to get your cat to the vet if you notice them vocalizing more than usual, even if it is trilling.
  • Your cat could be trilling to get your attention because they are in pain due to an injury or medical condition of some kind.
  • Trilling and meowing are two separate vocalizations, but they both usually indicate positive emotion in cats.
  • If you hear your cat trilling once in a while, there is no reason to immediately be concerned or panic.