Cats communicate in numerous ways. They communicate verbally, nonverbally, physically, and chemically.
1. There are three distinct tones produced by the Vocal Cat Cats.
A. mutters to herself
– which includes purrs, trills, and chirrups
– which comprises the basic “meow,” mews, and calls
C. Aggressive Sounds
That is, all the different kinds of hisses an animal makes when it is angry.
Purring is a continual, smooth vibrating sound that signals a pleasant state in the cat. However, cats are also known to purr under stressful conditions, such as when they are gravely injured, in pain, unwell or nervous. It is believed cats purr when they are comfortable, need a buddy, or give thanks for treatment, such as when a vet treats an injured or sick cat and gets a purr for it.
To get young newborns to follow their mom, mothers teach them to trill. Adult cats trill in greeting, generally to another feline. A trill sounds like a short purr and meow mixed.
Cats’ meows that are easy to say are known as chirrups. The chirrups of a mother cat are used to summon her offspring from the safety of the nest. It is also employed by amicable felines when approaching a human or another cat. When observing or stalking prey, cats create enthusiastic chirrups and chatters.
The “meow” is the most well-known sound a cat can produce. Kitties meow largely for humans and can be mournful, aggressive, welcoming, bold, friendly, attention-seeking, complaining or demanding. When the cat opens her mouth to meow, there is no sound to be heard.
Mews are quiet, early sounds kittens make and are used to gain mother’s attention.
Caterwauling calls are those emitted by females while they are in heat. Even when fighting over females, males make calls. This is especially true during mating.
Growling, hissing, snarling, and spitting are vocalisations cats produce when in either defensive or attacking mode. When a cat puffs up his fur and hisses at a dog who goes too close, it’s a combination of these danger sounds and body posturing that gives the impression of a threat. Gnawing serves as a warning: “Back off before you get the claws,” as the puss put it.
Cats hiss when angered, surprised, terrified or harmed. It’s not uncommon for a cat invading another cat’s territory to be snarled at and hissed before being attacked if the intruder doesn’t leave.
Cats use body language to express a wide range of emotions. The cat will arch its back, puff out her fur, and employ a sideways attitude to convey fear or hostility. It is also common for cats to show signs of contentment by slowly blinking or having their eyes just half-opened.
This body language is expressed by the feline’s facial expressions, tail, body and coat posturing.
When cats get hostile, their back end goes up with straightened hind legs, tail fur fluffed out, nose pointing forward, and ears flat. Such posture suggests danger, and the cat will attack. In order to scare off an attacker and avoid an attack, cats use this method of communication. So, it’s a warning.
A fearful, defensive feline will make himself smaller, lowering his body to the ground while arching his back and leaning away from the attacker.
Cats can indicate comfort or trust when resting on their back and exposing the belly. This could also mean the cat is getting ready to defend himself with his razor-sharp claws and teeth.
An open mouth with no teeth showing is a sign of playfulness.
A cat’s ears can reveal many states of mind. The cat’s focus and alertness may be seen in the erect ears. Relaxed ears show the cat is calm. When a cat’s ears are flattened, it means he or she is being hostile or protective.
When a higher-ranking feline is staring down at a lower-ranking cat, the lower-ranking feline will usually flee. This look is utilised commonly for territory or predatory purposes.
A cat’s tail is a fantastic communicator. For instance, a tail swinging from side to side at a languid and lazy pace implies the cat is comfortable. A cat’s tail may wag when it’s hunting or when it’s agitated or angry, and it might happen before an attack, whether playful or not.
When playing, kittens and younger cats will put the base of their tail up high and stiffen the tail save for an upside-down u-shape, showing eagerness and even hyperactivity. This tail stance can also be noticed when pursuing other cats or running about by themselves.
Surprised or afraid, a cat may erect the hair on its tail and back.
Grooming and Other Expressions of Love
Grooming, licking, and kneading are common ways that cats express their affection for one another and for humans. When a kitty purrs and kneads at the same moment, she is signalling affection and contentment.
When cats touch noses and sniff one other, it’s a warm welcome. Bumping heads and cheek rubbing between kittens demonstrates dominance toward a subordinate cat.
A cordial greeting with a human is shown through face stroking. The feline presses her face into the person relating affection. There is another method that cats express their affection for humans: the “head-bump.”. Leg stroking is another kind of tenderness.
Cats disseminate their scent by rubbing and pushing against another cat or a human, a behaviour that serves to identify their territory.
Strong biting followed by growling, hissing or posturing demonstrates aggressiveness. Light bites demonstrate fun and affection, especially when paired with purring and kneading.
Cats also employ biting as a method of mating communication. By biting her scruff of neck, the male may tell when she is ready to mate by her getting into the lordosis.
Cats utilise their unique fragrance to communicate with other cats. Kitties use scent glands in their faces, tails, paws, and lower back to distribute their fragrance when rubbing and head-bumping. As well, they use faeces, urine, and spraying to leave a message to other cats.
Spraying identifies the cat’s territory, both indoors and out. A cat’s territory can be delineated by the presence of urine and faeces. In addition, they mark their territory by smearing their smell on inanimate objects, like a fence post. Male sprayers are the most common markers of territory. Tomcats spray not just to identify their territory but also to let other toms know that the females in the area are available for mated interaction.
Tomcat spray is a pungent scented marker. Females have been known to spray as well.
In other words, that’s how cats talk to each other.