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What is Kitty Trying to Tell You?

Your Chatty Cat
Not all cats are natural conversationalists, though. Certain breeds are very vocal, and certain breeds tend to be quieter. Siamese, Burmese, and Abyssinian cats are among the more talkative varieties, and domestic shorthairs, Persians, and Ragdolls tend to be quieter. However, exceptions do exist, and whether or not a cat is vocal can also depend on how friendly it is. Active, involved cats are more likely to be willing to chat than aloof loners. Many cat owners also find that the more they speak to their cat, the more their cat learns to speak back.

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years and they’ve made evolutionary adaptations that allow them to live more harmoniously with humans. Vocalizing and “cat chat” might be some of those adaptations. Since domestic cats are so dependent on humans for their needs, learning to communicate more effectively is definitely an advantage, as it affords them access to more food and more protection from their human masters.

My cats have accepted that I don’t speak Cat, so they do their best to speak Human, and we get along just fine. It may make me feel like a strange cat lady sometimes, but there are few things better than seeing kitty run to the front door when I get home, ready to greet me with head bunts and friendly banter. Talking to the cats helps keep them calm, happy, and makes them feel like part of the family. Even if they can’t respond in words, I think they feel the same about talking to me.

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Pets

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+ add your own
9:42AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

great article, thank you

9:19AM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

Our cat just says,"hurry up.Breakfast. Supper's in the cupboard. Faster. Faster."

12:27PM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

I know both of my cats' vocal arrangements, the little terrors, from 'Mehhhh' ('Give me my own way, immediately') to "M-roooo' ('OK, I give up, but I'm not happy about it'.

4:45AM PDT on May 20, 2014

One of my cat's answers when you ask her something and she really likes to initiate a conversation too.
My other cat mainly makes the prrrrrrt sound when she goes and lays herself down in the middle of the if to warn you not to accidentally trip over her, and she tends to miep when I get home.

4:03AM PDT on May 19, 2014


3:45PM PDT on May 16, 2014

My feral cat has been indoors for over 3 years now and we're located at the border of a cattle ranch.She is very verbal when she wants food in the morning and sometimes when she waits for a treat.But I swear since she was homeless that she learned to vocalize by listening to the cattle because she sounds like this:"Moo-ooow."

2:24AM PDT on May 13, 2014

Do cats have busy days when the sleep all the time?

1:44AM PDT on May 13, 2014

Very interesting that cats communicate mostly by body language. Now I understand why there is a cat I see moving it's ears when I pass by it. Usually I get meows as in hello and this was new to me I thought maybe it had a hearing problem and wasn't sure if I had said hello ...

11:32AM PDT on May 6, 2014

Cat's vocalizations are amazing. And each cat has their own. On the way to the vet one time we heard a voice coming from the cat carrier in the back seat. So clearly it said "let me-o-w-t". It was amazing and so funny. Our other cat will simply sit on top of the self-feeder if it's empty and give a quiet little meow as someone passes by.

7:20AM PDT on May 2, 2014

Though I don't remember if I've read this post before, reading it was great for bringing back memories of past cats. That yell to let me know the food dish was empty was definitely different than the rest of the vocalizations. And when she was really playful and wound up, she would even bark. First cat I had known to do that.

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people are talking

Sent to those who can use it. Thanks for posting

Love them all and they're pretty versatile too!

Very important info !!!

They are my favorite foods. Maybe that's why I'm happy most of the time.

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