Cat Yowling: 7 Sounds Cats Make and What do They Mean?

Cat Yowling: 7 Sounds Cats Make and What do They Mean?

Have you heard your cat yowl?!
Have you heard your cat yowl?!

It’s the best house cat out there again, (me) Milo Fwancis! I bet you’ve been wondering about those strange sounds we make. Cat’s sure do make a lot of them!

  1. Purring
    Do you know that sound we make that seems a little bit like an engine revving quietly? We’re happy!

  2. Yowling
    Most humans don’t like this sound, which is exactly what we want. When they yowl, cats are probably either upset with one another, injured, frightened, or ready to mate.

  3. Growling
    Yes, we do that too. Growling in cats is a clear warning sound. Keep away!

  4. Chattering
    Some human experts think these abrupt ‘half whines’ might be our way of expressing frustration because we can’t reach the prey we see.

  5. Trilling
    Somewhere between a kind of meow and purr, a ‘trill’ is usually seen as a friendly greeting.

  6. Hissing
    We’ve all heard the dreaded ‘hiss!’ Cats hiss when they are uncomfortable, afraid, or upset. If you hear us hiss, you should probably stay away.

  7. Meowing!
    Of course I’ve saved the best for last! Cats normally reserve our meows solely to communicate with humans, although kittens will meow at anything. Believe it or not, adult cats don’t meow at each other. 

    The purpose of this is simple. We meow to get your attention!

Why is My Cat Yowling?

Have you ever heard that mysterious, low pitched moan some ‘other’ cats will make? You know, the horribly drawn out, loud but low-pitched sound? Those that have heard our yowls will absolutely never forget them.

Unlike meowing, we might even yowl at other cats!

Why is My Cat Yowling Non-Stop?

Yowling can be a pretty good sign we aren’t feeling happy. Whether it be worry or discomfort, you should know we aren’t pleased with something.

But what is it, and why won’t our problem go away? Just in case, persistent yowling might mean it’s time to take a trip to the veterinarian! Unusual but persistent yowling is a pretty good sign we need to get a health checkup.

Cats are Nocturnal

As cats, we’re predatory animals that hunt at night. Our hearing has evolved to detect tiny footfalls, and even our vision is best adapted to low-light activities! Of course we are more active at night, while you sleep.

This means any yowling to be done is more likely to happen at night (also while you’re trying to sleep). If you’re hearing nonstop yowling, you’re probably hearing it during the evenings.

Territorial Dispute

Is your kitty upset with another kitty? Maybe their cat-on-cat dispute has them so worked up they just feel the persistent need to yowl at these furry tormentors!

Yowling and Reproduction

Female cats yowl more often when they are in heat, which is when they are ready to mate and are receptive to male cats. On the flip side, male cats yowl when they detect a female in heat.

Cat Keeps Meowing at Door

You’ve probably already guessed cats meow when we want something. In fact, this is the best method we can think of to get your attention! Meowing at the door probably makes a whole lot of sense now.

 You can be about 95% sure we want that door open! If your cat is meowing at your door, he probably either wants to be let inside or outside of your house. Then there is always that other 5% chance your little kitty simply doesn’t like the door.

Did you know that adult cats will only meow at humans? We never even use it to communicate with each other at all!

Why Do Cats Meow at Night?

Remember, we cats don’t meow at each other. We save all of those cute little meows for you guys! If we are meowing at night, we want to get your attention at night.

But why do these meowing cats want your attention? We could be asking in or out of the house, we might be hungry, or maybe we just want to play!

Remember, cats are naturally nocturnal hunters. This also means we are nocturnal players! You can safely assume we don’t care if you’re trying to sleep at night.

Why do Cats Yowl at Each other?

Why do Cats Yowl at Each other?

Unlike meowing, that yowling sound means we cats aren’t happy (for whatever reason). It certainly isn’t a pleasant sound! 

We might yowl at each other before a confrontation (or during). Maybe we just want to let that other cat know to back off; this is our space!

We could actually be feeling physical pain. We might have just fought with that other cat, and we are injured. 

We also yowl when we think we might be about to get together with a feline member of the opposite sex! If you see a male cat yowling at a female, they might not be upset with each other at all.

Cat Yowling Sound

A cat yowling sound is like a deep, low pitched moan that steadily grows in volume. It usually means we aren’t happy cats and can be compared to the growling that dogs do (though it sounds completely different).

Elderly Cat Yowling

Elderly cats often suffer from mental deterioration and confusion, and those cats might just be acting strange because they don’t recognize or understand the other cat. Confusion often makes us uncomfortable.

Believe it or not, there is a feline version of Alzheimer’s disease. Called feline cognitive dysfunction by you humans, this level of confusion affects around 80% of cats older than 16 years!

Female Cat Yowling

Remember how I told you how cats yowl sometimes before mating? More specifically, male cats will often yowl when they smell a female in heat, and you’ll often hear female cat yowling when the girl is in heat.

It’s safe to assume we’ll yowl a whole lot more if you haven’t bothered to spay or neuter us (ouch)! That female is probably trying to alert the male to her current situation.

If you think about it from a more psychological sense, we probably yowl more often when we become aroused or mentally stimulated. Anyone of the reasons listed above would cause a heightened sense of emotion.

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