What is your cat trying to tell you?

Posted by Maggie the Moggie. January 20th 2014.

Cat lovers are sometimes perceived as a little eccentric. Perhaps it’s because they talk to their cats? Cats often make the funniest noises and their owners trying to second-guess their meaning and turning them into a conversation of silly voices probably doesn’t help.

But what if you actually did understand your cat? What if you could accurately tell what your cat needs and is feeling? Who can call you crazy then?

Follow our guide to cat communication to learn the language of the mysterious feline and claw back your sanity.

Cat looking up

What do yowls and meows mean?

The most basic sound in a cat’s vocabulary is the ‘meow’. Cats do frequently ‘meow’ to themselves however if this ‘meow’ is made in your direction it quite simply means they want your attention. This could be for a number of reasons: food, water, being let outside, being let back inside or to just simply make contact and say hello. Gauge the situation and try to give them what they need.

If it’s a softer meow, they are appealing to your sensitive side for some attention and a spot on your lap. And let’s face it: it works a treat!

A yowl is more of a scream than a meow and this could be a sign of restlessness or loneliness. If this sound is accompanied with characteristics of ear flattening, back arching and very slow creeping movements this may indicate that your cat is angry or agitated. Also an excessive yowl may tell you that your female cat is in season, this sound is like a howl and they are often very noisy.

What does hissing mean?

A cat’s hiss acts as a warning and is usually recognised as a sign of fear. When cats hiss they are clearly unhappy and want some space so move away and leave them be.

They may also omit a deep growl for the same reason; they just want to be left on their own to cool off.

Why does a cat purr?

One of the reasons cats purr is for self-comfort. Cats that are afraid or in pain will sometimes purr away to ease themselves.

However we all know the other reason for purring; it’s the best noise our little furry companions make. A purr is the signal that we’ve done something right and that they are happy and content little creatures.

If they are rubbing themselves on things while purring they are trying to make themselves at home by distributing pheromones about. A rub against your leg tells you they want some attention and that they like you as a friend.

Grey Tabby Cat

When they are lying on the back with their tummy open to you this is a sign of complete trust and relaxation. This means they like you and is quite the compliment, as an uneasy cat will protect their stomach.

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