Meowing, Chirping, and More: A Guide to Cat Sounds

Meowing, Chirping, and More: A Guide to Cat Sounds

Cats are cute creatures that love to make sounds to express their emotions, needs, and desires. It is funny and also heartwarming to hear a cat meow, chirp, and purr. Each of these common cat calls and sounds, though, have unique meanings.

It is not enough to know the sound that your cat makes. You should also watch their body language and look for context clues. Purring can mean that they feel calm and affectionate; however, some cats also purr when they are stressed or ready to hunt. These are very different meanings that need context and background information.

cat noises

5 Common Cat Sounds

Listed below are five of the most common cat sounds and more information about what they could mean about your furry friend.


We have all heard cats meowing before. This is the most common sound that cats make, although some cats are quieter than others. When your cat meows, it could be for many reasons. Although there are many reasons that it could be, cats usually make this sound when they want attention.

First, take a look around you. Is there something your cat is currently circling and meowing at? Ask yourself, what is your cat looking at? If they are looking at you, it is likely that they want your attention for something.

Cats are smart creatures and know that if they want to get their way, it is important to be as loud as possible. Without this sound, we would have no idea what their needs or wants are! Meowing is adorable and innocent and can either be low or high pitched. Truly, there is no one right way a cat should meow.


Did you know that some cats can chirp? Yes, you read that right. Some cats chirp like a bird, either out of excitement or frustration. The louder a cat is, the more emotion they are feeling to chirp loudly. It is a high-pitched sound and occurs over and over again.

This sound is especially common in cats that are needy and like attention. Have you come home, and your cat is chirping at you? This is likely to let you know that they have missed you! Sometimes, they also make this same sound though when they are hunting and feel the excitement.


Cats not only speak out when they need something, like food or water, but also when they are warning someone or something. It is common to hear a cat hiss and scrunch their face in an aggressive way towards something that scares them or that they do not like.

Instead of attacking right away, cats that feel threatened are protecting something while making an airy hiss in the direction of the threat. It is best to leave your cat alone if they are hissing at you or something around them. Be aware before they pounce!


When cats purr, their chests and bodies vibrate deeply. It not only sounds gentle, but also looks adorable. Most of the time, cats will purr and coo at their owners and loved ones when they feel loved or want attention.

Usually, though, purring is followed by a body action. For example, your cat may be purring while rubbing your face or your feet. This is to tell you that they feel good and affectionate. Some cats, though, will also purr when they are upset and frustrated. The best way to make the distinction is to look at how they move their tails.


Did you know some cats can chatter almost as if they are smacking their teeth and talking to friends? Chattering is another sound often made when their emotions are high! It is a high-pitched rumble. Not all cats, though, make this same sound as adorable as it is.

Body Language to Consider

Noise is only one way that cats communicate with each other and their humans. Most of the time, cats and humans rely on watching each other’s body language to understand meanings. Cats will often move their tails in certain ways, widen their eyes, and flex their fur.

Something to note is that cats usually react with their bodies when they are feeling angry, stressed, or upset. It is likely that their fur will stand up when they are nervous or ready to attack. Usually, tails tucked into their bodies also means that the cat is feeling stressed.

The Sounds Cats Make Can Mean Many of Things

All in all, cats are very vocal animals that want to express their emotions in their own way. Most of the time, it is through commonly heard sounds like meowing, chirping, chattering, and more. Not only do they use these sounds to communicate with their owners and loved ones, but their body language also changes.

It is important for cat owners to monitor their cat’s body language as well as vocal ranges since the same movements and sounds can mean various different messages. It is up to us as loving cat owners to understand what our furry friends are saying.

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