10 Cat Sounds and What They Mean – Better Understand Your Cat

By Kelsey Apley 2 years ago2 Comments

Have you ever stopped to wonder when your cat meows at you, what on earth it means? I am going to share some cat sounds and what they mean, to help you maybe understand your cat a little bit better! Or, you may know your cat really well, and not need too much help in this area.

cat sounds and what they mean

You may not know that a meow, purr, chirps or yowl can mean things that your cat is trying to tell you. In case you didn’t know, adult cats only meow at humans as a form of communication! They don’t meow at other cats, they might growl and hiss but never meow. I am going to share some insight on what your cat might be trying to tell you with their cat sounds and what they mean!

10 Different Cat Sounds And What They Mean

cat sounds and what they mean

Short Meow

This is very basic and one we hear most often, it just means hello!

Multiple Meows In A Row

If you have been gone for awhile and come home and your cat meows multiple times a row, it shows they are excited and happy to see you. They can do this even if you haven’t left for awhile. Just make sure to give them lots of attention!

Very Faint Meows In a Row

If your cat meows very faintly and multiple times in a row, they want attention from you. They are wanting to be loved and petted.

Longer Meow

If your cat does a longer drawn-out meow it can show signs of annoyance, demanding attention or food, or even that they don’t feel good. Look for signs to see if they are acting okay, or that their food bowl is full.

Low Pitched Meow

Generally, if it is lower pitched than normal, they are upset. Perhaps you didn’t give them food when you should have or left them outside too long. Regardless, they aren’t happy with you or just in a bad mood.


Most of the time purring means they are relaxed and enjoying life. It is one of the most popular sounds you will probably hear out of your cat. But sometimes purring can mean they are anxious or stressed. Make sure to look at their body posture when they are purring. If they are laying down relaxed, great. If they are arching their back or seem jittery, something could be upsetting them.


If your cat hisses I think you know to back up and give your cat some space. They are uneasy or agitated and need some breathing room.

Growls or Howls

Another obvious one, but if they growl or howl, they are very unhappy! This means they are going to fight with a cat or even try and protect their territory. If you come across a cat acting this way, back up and leave them alone. If your cat is howling, it could mean they are very angry or even sick. So make sure to watch their temperament to ensure they are okay.


Yowls are very long and drawn out moaning sound. This is generally towards other cats, meaning don’t come near me, or let’s mate. It is their way to communicate to each other.


Generally, this means your cat wants something they can’t reach or get. This could be a toy, food, treats, or even a bird they spy through the window.

cat sounds and what they mean

Knowing the sounds cats make and their meanings will help us understand our feline friends better.  Did you know all of these cat sounds and what they mean?

How about these weird cat facts?

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 Kelsey Apley

  (188 articles)

I am a city girl who has now moved to the country for a more relaxed lifestyle, with my husband and son! We love to be outdoors in nature, doing crafts, and just taking each day as a new adventure. I am a freelance writer and stay at home mom by day!


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