Cat Communication: Meowing

By September 24, 2017Pet Talk

Have you ever noticed that your feline friend has many different types of meows or sounds to communicate with humans? Our cat fanatics may notice many of these vocalizations from their feline friends. It’s almost like a meow vocabulary, each with its own meaning, pitch, rhythm, and pronunciations. The interesting thing is that cats tailor the different sounds for their humans. If we respond to certain vocalization for food the cat will continue to make the same “Meow” when he/she is hungry. There have been six identified sounds for cats but each cat can make highly individual noises that may be unique to each cat itself.

  1. Moan: This muffled meow can usually be associated as a “I caught it meow” Does your cat ever carry around a sock or plush toy, mouse or anything else that can be seen as prey? This type of meow is often a faint sounding “owwww, Mooww.”
  2. Chortle: This is often a sound that a momma cat will make to communicate to their kittens or if your cat is just being friendly. Sometimes this can seem like a happy sound or greeting like “Here I am!” When they jump onto the furniture.  This meow is often like a mixture of a chirp and a purr. This is a sweet affectionate sounding meow and sounds a bit like a soft rolling “rrrruh.”
  3. Growl: Cats can make a low-pitched mean sound that can be considered growl-like. If you hear this type of sound from your cat and they aren’t play wrestling, take the warning seriously to avoid getting scratched or bit. In a multi cat home you may notice them making this low pitched wavering growl and this could mean they are feeling some stress with another cat approaching their food. An easy fix to this issue would be to move the feeding dishes to separate rooms or further apart from one another.
  4. Kitten Squeak: The high-pitched squeaky meow typically means the kitten is upset about something.
  5. I’m Hungry, feed me: This meow often increases in frequency and becomes louder and louder the more the cat insists on feeding. You may also notice this type of meow if your cat is locked out of a room.
  6. Chirp: The chirp is a quick staccato greeting or conversation filler. The chirps can sound like a “Meh” or “Eh” sound. You may notice this meow when your cat wants attention or to just be conversational with you. If you have a cat who isn’t a talker and they start this incessant meowing and is not a common or normal thing for them you should have them examined by your veterinarian as there could be some sort of underlying issue going on.

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