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Fur Times | June 18, 2019

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How Cats Communicate Through Sound

How Cats Communicate Through Sound

Perhaps what most distinguishes cats to other animals is their trademark meow. By meowing, a cat expresses emotions, mood, willingness to fight or longing for a mate. Mother cats teach their litter a particular meow, so if they are among other cats or cannot see one another, they can still recognize one another and communicate.


Types of meows vary from one cat breed to another. For example, the Siamese is characterized by a sharp and piercing sound, while the ragdoll is melodic almost like a song.


Meowing can be a cat’s way of communicating that she desires affection, more food, or simply attention. Meows can vary in pitch, intensity and length depending on what the cat wishes to communicate. Excessive meowing can also indicate that a cat is in pain.


Most people associate a cat’s purr as expressing joy, but it can also be a way of expressing pain, fear or hunger.

Grunt or Snort

Grunts are a defense mechanism in the presence of an enemy or something that intimidates them. Cats generally avoid confrontation and can take minutes or even hours, between grunts and snorts.

The snort is the characteristic sound of defense accompanying raised fur, a gesture, used to make a cat appear “larger” in the presence of his adversary.

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