Feline Sounds Beyond the Meow and Purr

Chirping, chirruping, trilling, chattering… all words to describe sounds many cats make that are very different than a meow or a purr. Cats have a whole repertoire of sounds that they use to express different feelings and desires. In fact, aside from birds, cats have the widest range of vocalizations of all domestic animals. Chirping is a great way cats show their excitement or enthusiasm about the world around them. It’s a sound that is made by all felines- domesticated and wild. 

The most common reason a cat chirps is a greeting. If your cat chirps and trills at you when you get home, she is saying hello to you and is excited and happy to see you. You’ll probably notice that your cat is relaxed, walking around, or even rubbing against your legs. She may be chirping to get you to feed her or play with her. Cats may also greet each other or other pets in the household with a chirp.

Cat chirping often happens when a cat stands guard at the window, observing the bird feeder or the squirrels on the fence. In addition to the chirp, you may hear some rhythmic clicks or chatters as well. Although it sounds like a bird sound, he will also chirp at squirrels and other prey. You may also hear it during play sessions with cat toys. This type of chirping seems to occur when his hunting instincts are triggered. Sometimes frustration is why and when chirping happens. A cat would spot, stalk, and hunt his prey in the wild. But indoor cats are obviously deterred by windows. The longer the feline stares at a bird he cannot get to, the more his chirping may increase.

The origin of these sounds may come from kittenhood. Mother cats chirp to their nursing kittens to comfort them. As they get older and more independent, she will use chirping to tell her kittens to follow her or to pay attention to her. 

Not every cat chirps. If your cat is a chirper, enjoy these sounds as just another reason why a cat is such an entertaining companion.

Beauty is a petite tortie girl who lives up to her name. While she’s shy at first, after she feels comfortable, she’s exceptionally sweet, has a rumbling purr, and loves to be petted. She plays with catnip mice, basic string, and wand toys. She chirps while playing, investigating, and even sleeping.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Adoption hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 pm. View our shelter pets and services online: www.secondchancehumane.org Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives