Common Cat Sounds  And Their Meanings

MEOW

Once they’re past kitten age, cats only meow when they’re communicating with humans.

HISS

Hissing is a common cat sound that indicates the cat is either afraid, extremely cranky, or feeling threatened.

CHIRPS, TRILLS, & CHATTER

Mother cats often chirp at their litters as a way to get their attention. In adulthood, cats make these sounds when they’re extremely focused on something and potentially want others to also pay attention.

YOWL

Cats make this sound both when they’re communicating to another cat and when they’re trying to send an important message to humans. While the sound itself is hard to ignore, the meaning behind the sound isn’t always taken as seriously as should.

PURRS

This sound is kryptonite to cat lovers! But did you know that aside from purring when they're happy, cats will also purr when when they’re hungry or want something—and female cats can even purr while in labor.