If your cat is anything like the stereotype – cold, distant, but oh so loveable, then you might be stuck thinking of ways to somehow become closer to your loved one (and break down that aloof persona!). Cats make a wonderful companion pet, but many cat owners complain about miscommunication, like there is a language barrier – I do not speak feline, and she does not speak English or ‘Vet’ for that matter. Although there are general body language signals, for example an arched back with flat fur indicates a desire to be stroked, our clever kitty’s can communicate with us in immeasurable ways! So, today, I bring to you “Cat Speak”
The classic mee-yoww sound usually is a call to anyone who is around. In other words, “Hey there!”
This sound is made by contracting the muscles of the larynx, and similar to a low-pitched running motor. In some rare cases this is a sign of anxiety or illness, however more commonly shows contentment in the cat. Translation: “please keep rubbing my back all day and all night; I don’t care if you’re working on your laptop or on an important phone call”
The soft rhythmic thump made on exhalation is generally spoken as a request or greeting, and ideally suggests “massage me!”
- Shriek / Screech
Quite possible your least favourite cat call – the high pitched, loud, harsh scream. It generally means the kitty is either in pain or about to cause some. Translation: “ouch”, “don’t touch me” or “get away from me”.
- Growl / hiss / spit
The growl is a low-pitched, severe sound when the cat is feeling fearful, stressed, defensive or aggressive. In other words, the kitty means “back off!”
The sound made from teeth chattering or vibrating jaw generally indicated the feeling hunting sound, or frustration from being prevented from hunting visible prey. This is code for “let me at it … let me at it … let me at it!!!
- Howl / yowl
This loud, extended call generally indicates aggression, distress or cognitive dysfunction in older cats, and translates to “where are you?”, “where am I?” or “why am I yelling?”
Maybe not the most charming, but the moan is a long, deep and throaty cry which preludes vomiting or bringing up a hairball! Maybe this one goes without saying, but translates to “get in here quick before I make a mess!
So, there you have it – 8 helpful tips for understanding feline! Before you know it, you’ll be moaning and meowing and purring yourself! Understanding your cat is a great way of bonding with them, knowing them, and loving them (more than you already do!). Plus, it will help you cat feel more comfortable and trusting of you.