Learn How to Speak Cat

Cats make different sounds, such as purring, trilling, meowing, chirping, howling, hissing, yelping, yowling, and growling.
To understand your feline friend, keep reading to learn in this post how to speak cat.

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learn to speak cat

When your cat uses these different sounds, she tries to communicate something about her world and how she feels toward you.
If you learn what this means, you will understand your cat.

Learn How to Speak Cat


Meowing is the most common sound cats make. 

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Cats use this sound to communicate with humans and other cats. 

  • Your cat meows when she needs attention. 
  • Meowing also means when your cat feels lonely or ill.
  • A shortened meow in younger cats means they feel lonely or hungry.
  • Rapid-fired meows mean your cat wants your attention.
  • Longer meow means your cat is worried or annoyed.
  • Incessant meowing could indicate illness or injury.
learn to speak cat
learn to speak cat


Purring is another sound cats make. 

Cats purr when they are happy and want to communicate other emotions and needs. 

Different types of purring

  • Purr of Happiness

When your cat looks relaxed and with her eyes half-closed, it means she is content.

  • Cats purr when they are hungry. 

This type of purring is a combination of ordinary purr with a sound of cry or mew.

  • Kitten-Mother bonding

Kitten purrs when she is only a day old. 

Purring helps the kitten bond with her mother, and the mother uses the purr as a lullaby. 

learn to speak cat


A trill sounds like a cross between a meow and a purr.  

Cats usually trill to say hello, which is an expression of happiness. If your cat trills, he wants your attention.

A trill can also mean your cat is feeling curious. 


A Chirp is a faint cry and indicates excitement and stress when cats are hunting.


When your cat howls, she is telling you something is wrong. She could be sad, stressed, confused, or afraid. 

learn to speak cat


A cat hisses when he feels fearful. This sound does not mean aggression or hatred.

The different causes behind cat hissing are:

  • Feeling threatened.
  • Confronting other animals.
  • Protect her kittens.
  • Fear of the unfamiliar.
  • Stress
  • Physical Pain


Sometimes cats yelp to express pain. 


When cats growl, it’s a way of giving a final warning before they take action. 


The yowl means worry, discomfort, territorial treatment, or matting matters. 


If you like a less vocal cat, consider adopting a Persian, Russian Blue, Norwegian Forest Cat, or Maine Coon.



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