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What Is Your Cat Saying to You?

February 9th, 2012 Pets

Even though your cat doesn't understand human speech, it's likely that he's constantly communicating with you. Cats by their nature are very talkative creatures - it's up to you as the owner to understand what your kitty is trying to say. Chances are, your cat has a lot to tell you, whether he thinks it's time for you to wake up, looking for a belly rub or simply saying "hello" when you walk in the door. Here are some common cat sounds and what they mean.

1. Meowing. The meow is the cat's most versatile "word." He'll use it to greet you, to ask for more food and sometimes will just meow to himself as he walks through the house. Long, drawn-out meows - or yowls - are reserved for distressing times. Cats who are stuck in closets or just looking for their owners will use this sound to get their attention.

2. Chirps. Does your cat chirp at you from time to time? Usually, this is an instinctual noise that mother cats make when they want their kittens to follow them. If your cat is chirping or trilling at you, he may be trying to draw your attention somewhere (it's likely he wants you to have a look at his empty food bowl!) If you have multiple cats, it's a common method of conversation as well.

3. Purring. Purring is essentially the cat's way of saying "I mean you no harm." A purring kitty is a happy kitty. Every now and then, a nervous or sick cat will purr as a means of comforting himself, however. Think of it as a child sucking his thumb.