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October 31, 2016

How to Understand What Your Cat’s Meow is Telling You

By: Critter-Sitters

Cats are known for being sly and mysterious.  It’s obvious when our doggy friends are excited or upset, but cat language isn’t always so easy to interpret.  Our Atlanta cat sitters explain five common cat vocalizations to reveal what your cat is really feeling and thinking.  By learning how to speak (or at least understand) your cat or kitten’s language, you can build a stronger, happier bond with your pet.   

5 Types of Cat Vocalizations and What They Mean  

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A human can say the same word 10 different ways and express 10 different emotions.  Cats have the same ability.  Not only do cats use different “voices” when they meow – they can also make other vocalizations in addition to meowing, like growling, purring, yowling, and even “chirping.”   

Some of these vocalizations have an obvious meaning…  Or do they?  Even a hiss or a purr, which seem straightforward, can actually have a few different meanings.  So what is cat trying to tell you?  

  • Why does my cat meow all night?  You’re finally dozing off, and then you hear it: that insistent midnight meowing that never seems to end.  Countless cat owners report this behavior, but what the heck does it mean?  If your cat is meowing excessively, there could be a few things going on:  
    • They could be sick.  Various illnesses can cause a cat to feel thirsty, hungry, or uncomfortable, which can cause them to meow more frequently than normal.  Bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible if you have any concerns or notice anything out of the ordinary.  Warning signs of feline illness can vary, but include changes in litterbox use, changes in appetite, vomiting, warmth/fever, swelling, gum discoloration, and coughing or retching sounds.  
    • They could want food.  Don’t give in to extra feeding just to make your cat quiet down: this will simply reinforce the behavior as your cat learns that you can be summoned with enough meowing.  However, you may want to consult with a vet to make sure your kitty is getting the right amount of food.  
    • They could be bored.  If your cat dozes all day while you’re at work, they may start bouncing off the walls in the evening.  Try playing a physically active game before bed, like throwing toys for them to chase, to help tucker them out.  You can also leave toys, cat scratchers, and cat climbers around the house so that they have ways to entertain themselves when you’re asleep.  
    • They could be Siamese!  All joking aside, certain breeds of cats – notably the Siamese – are famous for being naturally vocal.  According to Purina, other chatty Cathies include the Japanese Bobtail, the Balinese-Javanese, the Peterbald, the American Bobtail, and the Sphynx.   
  • Does hissing mean my cat is mad?  People assume that hissing equals anger, but there could be a few other causes, too.  For example, a cat who is frightened or in pain may hiss when handled as a defense mechanism.  Hissing is a warning that the cat is prepared to fight, and wants to be left alone and given space.  Of course, you should bring a sick or injured cat to the vet immediately (even if the cat isn’t too pleased at the thought).  
  • Cats purr because they’re happy, right?  Most of the time, that’s true; but did you know cats also purr when they’re scared or in pain?  The reason why is still unknown, but some researchers believe it is simply a way for cats to comfort themselves, a little like a person who whistles or hums to themselves when they feel spooked out.  Amazingly, an article published last year in WIRED revealed that “purring frequencies have been shown to stimulate bone regeneration.”  
  • What’s up with that silly chirping noise my cat makes?  Have you ever noticed your cat “chirping,” or chattering its teeth, while it watches a bird or bug?  It may seem odd for a hunter to betray their presence by making noise, but according to a 2013 study published by researchers with Lund University in Sweden, chirping or chattering may “enact… a special type of juddering jaw movement used by the cat to kill its prey while reducing any risk of injury to itself.”   

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Need to Hire a Cat Sitting Service in Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta, or Smyrna?  

If you need to hire a professional cat sitter in Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Mableton, or other locations in the area, our Roswell cat sitting company is here to help.  With our network of more than 100 dedicated cat sitting experts, we’re available virtually any time you need us, even on short notice.   

With modest rates of just $19 for each cat sitting session, which includes cleaning out the litterbox, Critter Sitters is a convenient, dependable, and affordable option for every cat owner.  We even throw in extra services, like watering your plants and taking your mail inside, at no added charge.  Plus, we work in unbranded clothing, so that nobody know you’re away from home.  We’re discreet for your security.  

When you need an experienced, caring cat sitter you can trust, turn to Critter Sitters for all your pet sitting needs.  (We take care of dogs, birds, reptiles, rabbits, hamsters, and even horses, too!)  Give us a call at (404) 973-2541 to book your appointment today.