There is not plenty of research on the voices of cats. This case may be due to the sophisticated mixture of sounds. The type of sound you get depends on the body size of the cat, the anatomy of the vocal cords, and the amount of effort they put into the sound. The breed of the cat also plays a role in the type of sound you will get from a cat.
Some cat sounds that sound like a professional scold to the human ear could turn out to be a happy one. Your cat may meow at you because of a need to communicate. You will rarely see a cat meow at other cats. This condition is because cats communicate with scent, body language and touch among the animal kingdom. Some researchers believe that cats have refined the meow to make conversation with humans.
Types of cat sounds
It is essential to understand when you can have a meaningful communication flow with your cat. The meows will have different tones and qualities when they are in pain vs. when they only want food. These differences are meant for us to identify consistent messages.
Your cat is capable of making distinct utterances. Mildred Moelk made created a 1944 research conclusion that identified sixteen different cat sounds. These sounds included more than meows. They also had variations in the following factors:
- Opening of the mouth
- Breathing pattern
- The aggressiveness of the body
The tricky bit is that your cat’s meow is far from gibberish and has vast variations. Cats have the biggest range of vocal changes, after birds. You will begin to understand what your cat means if you pay enough attention.
What is meow?
This is perhaps the most common cat sound. The sound is almost exclusive to the need to communicate with humans. The juvenile vocals are different between kittens and adults. The first ones fade as the cat grows. Let us break down a cat’s language to get a better comprehension of each type of meow.
- A quick or short meow – This a short greeting that should sound like a hello
- Multiple meows – This is an exciting greeting. You will hear it a lot when the cat has not seen you for a while
- Mid-pitch meow – This is a plea for attention and food
- Drawn out meow – This meow is a demand for something, such as freedom to explore the outdoors
- Low pitch meow – This one is a complaint that something is wrong
- High pitch meow – the cat may be in pain or angry. You may have heard the cat let out a high pitched meow when you step on their tail
Other cat sounds
This one is the most enjoyable and hypnotizing cat sound. It is soft, throaty, and deep. The cat will make this sound when they are in their best moods. It is a sure one of identifying contentment for a cat. The cat will purr when they are agitated only on rare occasions. The latter case will usually include pulled back ears.
This sound is a custom from the days of being a kitten. It is more declarative than a meow because its purpose is to rouse significant attention from the mother. Chirps may happen when the cat is overly excited or in dire need of food.
You may notice that your cat chatters their teeth while staring at you in a longing gaze. It is an indicator of predatory excitement and probable stress to get something. Some people claim that the chatter I a mimic of a bird’s sound when they call a rodent. The bottom line is that chatter is a show of the cat’s hunting prowess.
You cannot mistake a cat’s hiss. It sounds like a sizzling steak. The usual meaning of a hiss is that the cat feels threatened. This a common when the cat is in the path of a goofy and scary dog. This sound also has an arched back, twitchy tail, flat ears, open mouth, and fangs. The cat will sit on rare occasions. An abused cat is more likely to go into a hiss than a meow.
This sound is different from a meow because it is longer. A yowl is the cat version of a cry of discomfort or worry. The yowl will usually be used among cats to state things like, a need to mate, and not wanting to come a predator’s commonplace. Stray cats are more adept at making this sound than domestic cats. Sometimes it only takes a few yowls for you to realize that the cat needs neutering or a trap that barricades it from predators.
This sound is characteristic of females in heat. The hollow sound of a caterwaul sounds something like, ‘ahh-roo-ugh?’ The cat will be vigilant in getting outside to meet their mating partner.
This sound is what you hear after the success of the caterwaul. The female cat will be in pain due to the mating process and emit a cry that is in the mixture of a yowl.
Other screams are the result of a fight’s pain and will have punctuations of vicious bites and paw swats. While cats are more likely to get into physical altercations. Consider keeping a fragile cat indoors or neutering the most aggressive one.
This sound includes the classic body posture conversation. The cats will be relaxed and talkative while making small talk, instead of aggressive and alert. Short-haired cats are highly likely to be vocal. The breeds of talkative cats include Chartreux, Norweigan Forest cat, Maine Coon, and Russian Blue.
Some breeds and types, like the Siamese cats, will meow louder than others will. The Abyssinian kind is however more quiet than most other cats.
Understanding a cat’ meow
Nicholas Nicastro undertook a study at Cornell University, to establish whether cats use a proper language to communicate with humans. The study stated that it is humans who assign a meaning to a cat’s meow. The cat picks up on the responses and continues to train us to listen to their needs. Despite the variations in a cat’s meow, they have the following purposes.
A need for attention
You do not have to respond to every meow with vigilant physical action. Care may be enough to calm down a pissy cat. Give them attention with a pat and observe their reaction. Another form of recognition is introducing play games and a healthy amount of exercise. You can, however, walk away when the cat continues to meow and does not respond to all other responses.
The meow is a secure communication mode when the cat is trying to state that they do not feel well. A sick meowing cat is probably at the end of their bodily and mental strength. This case is because cats are usually good at hiding discomfort and take this to the extreme by hiding when they know they will pass away.
A constant meow shows that the cat has an overactive active thyroid, problems with urination, or a host of other issues. This behavior requires urgent medical attention from a highly qualified vet who will not dismiss a meow as normal cat behavior.
Some will only meow for two things – food and a drink. The cat will make this sound every time you do not refill the bowl in time.
Changes with a cat’s eating habits, living environment, or social setup will induce stress. New people and animals cause plenty of changes in their psyche. The meow is more an expression that the cat is mad with the latest changes. The frequency and intensity will lessen as the cat forms new social bridges with the additions in the family.
A sign of aging
Increased vocalization is very common with senior cats. Dr. Arnold Pltonick is a Manhattan vet who expresses this fact on catchannel.com. He explains that cats will meow more as they age because of the reduced cognitive function. Those meows will be different from the other meows because it will be frequent and consistent for an extended duration. The cat’s circumstances will determine when the meow is a sound of fun and joy, or pain and discomfort.
A quick guide on a cat’s meow
|Degree of the intensity of causes||The probable cause of meowing||Likely solution to excessive meowing||Degree of the effectiveness of solutions|
|5||Hunger||Timed feeding time||4|
|4||Environmental changes||Slow integration||5|
|5||Need for attention||Quality time together||5|
Why would a cat meow silently?
It is an intriguing observation when the cat opens its mouth as if to meow and yet does not make a sound. How do you interpret this sound? The Smart Living Network explains that the non-sound meow is simply a replacement for the classic meow.
Cats can hear small sounds from astonishingly far distances. Their astounding hearing power resonates with their communicative signals. They will make a meow that is four or five times lesser than the average and expect that we will hear it too. The automatic incorporation does not factor in that humans have a diminished hearing ability.
Can you control a cat’s excessive meows?
As stated above, cats will meow for food and water, among other basic needs. It is, therefore, logical to believe that a cat will carry forth its meows from its kitten age to the adult age without alterations of the frequency or intensity. It is natural for you to want to sustain the cat’s sounds within a reasonable range.
How can you train a cat’s silent behavior?
This training includes teaching the cat to adopt a calm and stationary position. The easiest way is to wait for the cat’s long string of meows to end before giving a reward. Use a clicker to communicate that you notice the good behavior and will provide a bonus soon enough.
You may have to be more lenient in the beginning by rewarding a silence of no longer than five seconds. Avoid giving rewards when the cat does not meet the minimum threshold. They will get the message and strengthen their silence. You may be surprised that it only takes two days of consistent training to stop a cat’s constant loud demands.
There is a different and rather refreshing way of dealing with a cat’s consistent meows. This method uses age-old techniques to understand the felines and device ways that forge strong relationships and easy communication channels.
Using professional cat meow manuals
The Tao of Meow uses procedural steps to solve various cat issues. Debora Wood understands that cats have a myriad of layers and angles that influence their behaviors. She treats the domestic feline as an intelligent being that can synthesize human interaction and forge relationships that have a minimal tug of war.
Deborah explores the ways of a cat according to the philosophy of nature. She explains that every one of them has a yin and yang. The human parent of the cat can create a perfect blend between the mysterious and the known, the wild and tame, beautiful and fearful, and all other symmetries of the persona.
Some of the techniques include solving the litter box problem, creating telepathy, and giving the cat meaningful massages to induce relaxation. She explains that using wu wei will enrich the relationship and trigger holistic health. It is best also to include healthy foods and mental games that focus on the essence of the cat.
Using Deborah’s The Tao of Meow will reduce and manage the cat’s meowing because you will be addressing the issues that instigate abnormal exercise of sounds. There is not one single remedy that will address meowing in an isolated fashion.
This insanely affordable book will make you the master of your cat’s behavior and probable teacher of other cat owners in your social circle. You do not have a reason to sink into the traditionalism of the Tao culture by learning invaluable skills for your cat. Understanding why your cat meows at you lies in the understanding of the cat’s instincts.