What Noises Do Cats Make?

Meow…the end, thanks for coming.

No, not really! If only our cats were that simple! As loving pawrents we all know how complex our little floofs are. Notoriously sassy and aloof, if our cats could just speak human talk, life would be a lot easier. But what if I told you that you can learn to decipher your kitty’s meows and her other cat noises? Today we are going to lay out what noises cats make and how to translate them so that you can better understand your furry friend.

What noises do cats make?

How Do Cats Communicate?

Before we dive into cat noises, let's first take a look at how our kitties communicate. Cat communication is a complex combination of cat noises or vocalisation, body language, cat tail language, and scent marking. This formula of communication techniques allows them to express their feelings and desires.

Coming second place to birds, cats have the most varied range of vocalisations amongst domesticated animals that allow them to express themselves. From meows, hisses and growls, to mating calls and caterwauling, our kitties can talk a lot. Some breeds are also more vocal than others. Asian cat breeds such as the Siamese and Bengal are famously loud and talkative, whilst others like the Persians are more tight-lipped. However, all cats express the same types of cat noises. Let’s take a closer look at what these different cat noises mean.

Unpacking the Different Meows

Meowing, the most famous of the cat noises is one that you’ll be most acquainted with. Interestingly, cats do not meow at other cats, only reserving this cat noise for their hooman parents.

Kittens instinctively meow from a young age when they want something from their mother. Eventually, cats grow out of this as they mature. However, as we hoomans take on the role of mother or father to our fur babies, cats continue to express this vocalisation to us, their eternal caregivers.

There are many different types of meows, some expressed when they want something and others as a greeting call.

The different types of meows include:

  1. The greeting meow: a short meow offered by your cat as they stroll by you is their way of saying hello and acknowledging your presence.
  2. The “I want something” meow: the most common meow you will hear on the daily. This is a mid-length meow. You’re likely to hear this around dinner time or if they smell you cutting up some tasty chicken.
  3. The long meow: the long, drawn-out meow is when your cat really wants something. You’ll hear this if they’re sitting at the door wanting to be let out or if they’re hungry. Cats can also perform this meow if they’re worried or frustrated.
  4. Repeated meowing: constant meowing can be a sign of excitement but can also be a sign of illness or injury. If your cat is constantly meowing and is unable to be satisfied, or if they are showing any other worrying signs of illness or injury, have them assessed by their vet.

The Delight of Purring

Purring is one of our favourite cat noises. It’s a soft, hypnotic, throaty rumble that signifies that your cat is relaxed and at ease. Nevertheless, purring can sometimes be a sign of pain in your cat so it’s impawtent to take context into account when deciphering a cat’s purr. If your cat is purring whilst you tickle their belly or when they’re nestled into your lap, they are likely at ease and relaxed. However, if your cat is looking unwell or agitated and is purring, it may be a sign that they’re in pain and you should have them looked over by their vet.

Hissing and Growling

Cats hiss and growl when they are frightened or angry. This might be when the neighbourhood old tom invades their territory, or next-door’s dog gets a little too close. These types of cat noises are intended to ward away predators or foes and are their way of saying “back off or I’ll fight you”. 

Cats can also hiss if they’re annoyed for example if a kitten is playing too rough with an older cat, or if they’re in pain or stressed. If there’s no obvious cause for your cat to be hissing, you should consult with your vet to make sure there is no underlying health concern.

Chirping and Chattering

Chirping and chattering is a difficult cat noise to describe. It can sound like teeth chattering or a short high-pitched bird chirp. Check out this video on cat chirping and chattering so that you know what we’re talking about. You will likely hear these cat noises when your kitty is longingly staring at a bird out the window as they imagine themselves pouncing on it and devouring their prey. This noise can express excitement as well as frustration. 

The Yowl

The final cat noise is the deafening yowl or caterwaul of a cat on heat. This noise is common amongst cats that haven’t been desexed and is a way for them to attract the opposite sex when they’re ready to mate. You may have heard the local foxes screaming out at night when they’re trying to attract a mate, and this is a similar sound to those exhibited by our kitty cats.

Scrumbles, The Best Way to Silence Hungry Cats

If you’ve come this far, congratulations! Now, you’re bilingual in English and Meows.

If your cat is constantly meowing for more even after their dinner, their food may not be the right choice for them. Cat foods that aren’t nutritionally dense or low in animal meat can leave cats hungry and wanting more.

A Scrumbles, all of our dry cat food and wet cat food are nutritionally dense and complete, meaning they can be fed to your floof every day, and contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep them thriving. 

With high levels of human-grade animal meat, all of our recipes are packed with protein to satiate hungry kitties.

We also add either gut-loving probiotics or prebiotics to all of our cat food for added digestive health to promote pretty poops for an easy clean up at the kitty litter.

Scoring 100% on palatability testing, our cat food is sure to satisfy even the fussiest of felines to reduce cats meowing for more and keep them purring!

Scrumbles Cat food


1. Dandruff in cats 

2. Maltipoo Breed Guide

3. Can cats eat raw chicken?

Explore more

Popular posts

wire fox terrier running