Welcome to Talking to Your Cat! Some cats are very vocal, such as the Siamese (that's me!) and some cats seem to never "talk". But when they do, what are they saying? It's so confusing! Here I will show you what exactly it is that your cat is trying to say to you!
Cats know if you are going to be nice to them by the tone of your voice, not the words you speak. If you treat your cat with love and respect and treat him/her as an intelligent, thinking animal, capable of making decisions, your cat will respond in astonishing ways.
Purring is just one of the ways by which cats communicate. And although experts seem to be consistently debating all of the hows and whys of purring, any cat lover will tell you that it is definitely the sound of a contented kitty.
As a general rule, meows can mean many things. They can be loud and demanding - complaining that dinner is late. Meows can also be short and sweet - an affectionate thank-you for being their friend. Tiny mews are carry-overs from kittenhood. Cats use this very effective ploy to get what they want. Most of us can't ignore the pitiful little mew that pleads for a treat or a simple fussing over.
At the other end of this wide vocal range is that out and out yowl that grates on the ears and on the nerves. It's definitely one sound that gives new meaning to the phrase "I want it NOW!"
This is a sound that pierces the very soul! If you ever heard cats fighting, you will remember that high-pitched banshee wail that is calculated to scare off any opponent - as well as scare you to death! If one cat doesn't retreat from the face-off, the caterwauling can go on for hours. It is an energizing, courage-mustering ploy.
Hissing is an unmistakable sound. When you hear that, you know that your cat is telling you that they mean business and that you'd better back off, at least fort he time being. Hissing is the cat's way of letting the world know that there is going to be trouble. It translate as "I'm ready for trouble, so you'd better not mess with me!" Hissing is, in effect, a cat's own Early Warning System! The reason they do this is because they are immitating snakes. The hiss is almost the same sound as a snake makes and the snake is one of the most feared animals there is. When your kitty hisses, they open their mouths halfway, draws up their upper lip, and wrinkles up his/her face. As he/she does this, they will expel their breath so hard that, if you were close enough, you would actually feel a jet of air. It almost always works in repulsing their enemy! Cats are so fearful of being hissed at that yours will probably shy away if you blow in her face.
The dictionary defines this as "quarreling noisily". My guess is that who ever write it didn't own a cat! To anyone who has ever had to endure those ear-splitting sounds, caterwauling ranks right up there with fingernails on a blackboard! Males take most of the blame, but it's actually all cats that do this, whether they are spayed/neutered or not. Some suggest that this is a male cat's love song. NOT! It's more a song of threat and war. Rival cats will make these sounds as they approach each other.