Have you ever wondered do cats talk to each other? All species have their own ways of communication, and the same applies to cats. Cat communication sounds are somewhat complicated. If you want to know more about two cats talking with each other, read on!
Communication by cats with their species can sometimes be rather dramatic. You would have heard quarrels between them and heard their meows reach a crescendo and ending in screams. Some of the screams are aggressive ones while others are the fearful ones. If you think your cat’s sounds and body language are just random, think again. Listen and watch closely and you might just get to understand it’s language.
Can Cats Talk?
How do cats communicate?
We have all heard stray cat meowing loudly at night. What does it all mean?
There are three types of ways in which cats talk to each other
#1. Vocal Communication – Cat Sounds
Most people think that cat language is limited to meowing or purring. However, there are several other sounds that they make for communicating with their species. If you think your cat’s meows and purrs are just gibberish, think again. Next to birds, cats have the maximum number of vocalisations.
Purring – It is a soft and throaty sound
- A purring sound is different from a meow and signifies comfort, satisfaction and happiness.
- Cats purr when you pet them or cuddle them.
- Kittens purr when drinking milk from their mothers.
Cats Meowing at other Cats
- How do cats talk to each other? Everyone knows that meow sounds are the most common sound for cat communication. However, there are different cat meows.
- If the meow is prolonged or repetitive, it means that they are asking for attention. It could be hunger, in most cases.
- If you want to understand cats talking to each other, a single meow could mean that the cat is greeting one of its species or a human by way of cat talking.
- Through the meow, the cat communicates other moods as well, such as fear or discomfort. In this case, the meow will come from deeper in the throat.
There is no mistaking this one! Hissing could be accompanied by some spitting as well.
- It means your cat is being threatened and is getting ready for a fight. Maybe it’s face to face with a big dog.
- While studying cat behavior, stray or abused cats are more likely to go into this hissing mode.
Cat Yowling Sound
This is a long drawn out moan. Why do cats yowl at each other?
- It shows worry or discomfort. A male cat yowling could also mean some mating issues.
- It can also show that the cat is not well or is not comfortable with something in the surroundings.
Cat Growling Sound
- When understanding cats, it usually indicates fear and anger.
- The growling is of a rather higher pitch.
- The growl is usually accompanied by the classic pose of defense, with fur puffed up, back arched, ears back and twitching tail.
#2. Cat Body Language
Cats use body position for communication. They also use visual signals on their bodies, namely, their eyes, tail, face and whiskers. However, their facial expressions are rather limited.
- When the body of the cat is arched back, it shows the cat’s in a defensive mood.
- When the cat crouches or cringes with the tail thumping on the floor, this is also a defensive position.
- When the body is stretched out, it shows confidence or in some cases, even a readiness for attack.
- Do cats communicate with each other? They convey their mood using expressions.
- There is a change in their pupil size.
- When they stare at you without blinking much, it’s as if they are trying to issue a challenge to you. Sustained eye contact usually means aggression.
- If the cat blinks or winks at you or has half closed eyes, it is a non threatening pose and shows that the cat is happy and contented.
- Ears pricked up or erect or even holding the ears rotated outwards, combined with small pupils, shows anger or aggression.
- When the cat holds the ears against its head combined with dilated pupils, it usually shows fear.
- If ears are upright and pointing backwards, it shows the cat is worried and could become aggressive.
- When the cat’s ears face forward in the regular position, it shows that it’s relaxed.
They are seen on both sides of the nose and the upper lip, and some above the eyes as well. They help to send information about the surroundings to the sensory nerves, and the cat then responds to it.
- When the whiskers stand on end and point forward, it shows tension and alertness.
- When they are spread less, it shows the cat is relaxed.
The position of the tail can convey a lot of meaning in cat tail language.
- When the tail is in the ‘up’ position, that is held vertical up in the air or perpendicular to the ground, it means that the cat is being friendly to another cat, a human or another animal. If it is held up and also quivering, it means the cat is greeting someone happily.
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- If the tail is held out and moves slowly from one side to the other, it could mean aggression.
- If the tail is held up and also puffed out with hairs raised, this also means aggression.
- When the cat tucks its tail between its back legs, it shows signs of fear or nervousness. You are likely to see this if you scold her.
- When cats roll over and expose their belly, it means they are in a comfortable and playful mood. It shows a trustful and loving mood.
- Tummies are vulnerable areas for any animal, as vital organs are located inside. When a cat exposes this area, it shows unconditional love and trust.
- It can also be an instinctive posture for mating.
#3. Using Scents
Cats have these scent glands all over, on their paws, cheeks, head, and the rectum. Scent communication is very important to cats for survival. Cats can also sniff and decode scent information left by other cats.
- Cats use scents for defining territory; bonding with others; learning more about other cats; and announcing readiness for sex.
- Facial scent glands are used for bonding or marking familiar items at home. Like when your cat rubs its face against familiar objects at home, it is depositing a scent.
- Scratching with the paw pads is done for marking and making its presence known.
- Urine markings or sprays are done when the cat is excited or stressed. It is also used to mark its territory and communicate that they are available for mating.
- Depositing fecal matter and excretion from the anal sac are forms of marking their territory.
- They leave these scents in places where other cats might pass by.
Now, you have a fairly good idea of a cat’s body language and sound language, so you’re now in a better position to understand what’s going on in your pet’s mind. Is she angry? Fearful? Upset? Comfortable? And so on. When she runs to you with her tail upright and shaking, you know she is happy to see you and is greeting you. If the tail is bristling and on end, you know something is gravely wrong, recognizing that she is aggressive.
Cats use a lot of body language and signals, especially when two male cats meet, possibly fighting for a female cat’s attention.
At the end, it is not about just reading one part of the cat’s body and judging its mood. You have to read the signals in conjunction with the rest of the body signals in order to correctly understanding what your cat is trying to communicate.