I was on the phone to a close friend today and she was yawning repeatedly.
“Didn’t you get much sleep last night?” I asked.
“No. There was a cat outside singing the song of its people.”
“Singing the song of its people”?! After I had laughed sufficiently at her comical description, I could only agree that it was one of the best ways to describe a cat’s want to yowl (annoyingly!) throughout the night – and within an maddening proximity to our bedroom windows!
But why do they do it?
Because cats are generally solitary creatures, they are often spread out across large territories.
And though cats have many forms of communication, “calling” – the loud drawn out yowl to which my friend was referring, – allows cats to send their message far further than just the neighboring house. A cat’s call can be heard hundreds of feet away! This allows them to communicate territories, mating willingness, and other messages not yet understood by humans.
In addition to “Calling”, cats can produce a wide variety of other sounds to express themselves; meowing, crying, whining, purring, trilling, chirping, along with a number of others. You will have seen many of them on millions of cat videos available on the internet, and if you are a fellow cat owner yourself, it’s likely that you have heard many of them in your own home.
Cats make particular noises to communicate particular things, and each is quite distinctive and unique to the individual producing it. For example, I can pick which one of my cats is meowing from the opposite end of the house. I can hear whining coming from the litter room and know exactly which cat is telling me about their need to toilet. (Yes, my cats lurve to sing about their need to toilet!)
So the next time that your cat is making noises, see if you can work out what they’re trying to say and why. They might just have something fascinating to tell you.
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