The cat human relationship is one based on servant-hood and masterdom. Your cat has one of the the widest vocabulary of any domestic pet and will use to let you know exactly what he wants. If you listen carefully to the noises your cats makes you may find that he’s been meowing orders at you for quite some time so it’s time you perked up those ears and get busy with his demands!
Look at me right meow
Contrary to popular belief a ‘meow’ is rarely used when interacting with other cats. It is a vocalisation that is reserved especially for you, dear human. So pay attention. Meow is a multipurpose noise, it could be a greeting or an order, a call for attention or food. Just as a mother can tell if her child is really hurt or not just from the sound of their cry you will be learn to interpret your cat’s calls. If uttered in rapid fire it’s likely to translate to “Hellooooo, I’m here! Mum, mum, mum look at me!” where as a softly spoken “mew” is more likely to mean “Where is my food human?” Kittens are the exception when it comes to the rules of meow. They use its power to communicate with their mothers but as they grow they almost exclusively meow for their human servants. A long drawn out meowww could imply worry or anxiety and is more common in older cats who have increasing levels of anxiety. Offer them some reassurance with extra attention and removing them from any seemingly stressful attention.
If your cat is purring then kudos to you human, you are clearly excelling in your role as a cat servant. Purring is the most delicious sound that you’ll hear your cat make as it means that they are happy and content. So keep up the good work.
I thought I adopted a puddy cat?
Yep, we agree, it seems unnatural for a cat to mimic the sound of a bird but this is largely a good noise and one your cat will omit if he is happy or excited. They get it from their mummas! Mother cats will often use a soft chirp to get the attention of their offspring. So your puddy tat will often use it as a way of saying “It’s been half an hour since you played with me”.
Just in case the message isn’t clear from the arched back, on end fur or pulled back ears, your cat will amplify its annoyance or anger with a hisss. Think of it as the feline equivalent of a teenager stomping to their room, exclaiming ‘It’s not fair!’ as they go. Just as you would with a teenager, step away and remove yourself from the situation.
Yowl you doing?
Yowls have two purposes and can be directed at both humans and other cats. If directed at another cat yowling is the vocal equivalent of spraying and he’s sending a signal that he’s ready to mingle.
A yowl could have a more concerning meaning and can be translated as a sign of distress if it is directed at a human servant. If you hear your cat yowling your caternal instinct will kick in and you’ll go running. If the yowling is persistent make an appointment with your vet as it could convey something more serious like anxiety or illness.
Find out more about human-cat communication here.