Self-described 'dog people' often say that cats are impossible to understand; that they're fickle furry creatures that can't communicate like dogs. Anyone that raised a cheeky little feline, however, can attest that it couldn't be farther from the truth. Animal scientists are finding more and more evidence backing up these creatures' dextrous communication skills.
Kittens are known to be extreme “meowers” and it’s likely because their eyes haven’t opened and they need assistance with literally everything. When the meow is thin and high-pitched, it’s sweetly asking for help. If it’s loud and panicked, it takes everything in your body not to drop your cup of coffee and rush to help.
The “yowl” is the noise that your unspayed or local female cat population makes to attract a mate. They are loud and horrible sounds that will keep you from sleep.
Hissing? Oh, back off. Either they feel upset or frightened, so don’t push them to the point of attacking you. Everyone has their bad days. If you hear them “scream”, something has really set them off and you should leave them well enough alone.
If your cat growls at you, it’s probably because they feel threatened or maybe they're in pain. They’re politely telling us to leave them alone. So, dear owner, leave them alone. If the behaviour is abnormal and keeps up for a few days, consider taking them to the vet to make sure everything’s okay.
Cats purr when they're happy is a pretty simple concept, and most people understand that it only means satisfaction. Occasionally though, cats do it to make themselves feel better after trauma or injury. Some people believe the low vibrations help healing processes.
Few things sound as adorable as a cat “trill”, which is somewhere in between a meow and a purr. It’s often used as a greeting or a way to acknowledge you. Mama cats use it to grab the attention of their kittens, but felines also use it before setting off to explore something.
As for the “silent meow”, no one is really sure why cats do it. It could mean that they’re famished, overwhelmed with love or extremely tired. Good luck with the translation, ‘cause we’ve got nothin’.
Chirping is the absolute best. Cats do it to attract outside wildlife, and their attention is adorable and a little misdirected. Try to hide your squeals of joy.
Whether you believe it or not, a long-term cat person will tell you that their four-legged friends communicated effortlessly with them. And the more you speak to your Tigger or Fluffy or Beans, the more they'll start speaking back to you!