How Cats Talking To Each Other
Cats use body language, facial expressions, touch, and vocalizations to communicate. For example, fighting males cry out with yowls and screeches while having threatening facial expressions with flat ears, wide eyes, and bared teeth. Staring down opponents, growling, fixed positioning, ready to attack, erection of fur, and arching of back to appear larger, sideways stances, and tail movement all communicate aggression to another cat to prevent actual violence (i.e. the cat taking this position hopes to scare and warn the opponent –- cat or otherwise — away).
A cat stares down can last as long as a half-hour until one slowly turns away. Cats release scent through apocrine sweat glands, which are used mostly for scent communication than for cooling down. These glands are concentrated in areas that interest other cats, at the base of the tail, for example. By rubbing each other, cats get a bit of each other’s scent, cementing their bond. Kittens tend to meow when unhappy, abandoned, cold, lost, or awakened by mom. Adult cats meow to show unhappiness, discontent, hunger, or some other kind of need. Cats can also make a high-pitched, friendly greeting call called gurgling that is less common than meowing.
In distress or after mating, cats can screech. A cat’s hiss is a warning sign. A growling cat is being offensive, not defensive, and growling can turn to snarl. When a cat sees prey but cannot get to it, like through a window, the feline may chatter his teeth, because he wants the prey so badly that he moves his mouth as if he were attacking and killing the prey. When communicating with other cats, the animal tends to meow louder than when dealing with humans. Cats rarely “meow” or talk to other cats. “Meowing” is mostly for people.
The following vocalizations are fairly common when learning how to speak cat: Cats have over 200 varying “meows,” each means something different, like demanding dinner or affection or can be a loving hello. Cats can make many types of sounds, including the seven most common:
Murmurs: which is purring and soft chirps meaning “hello” or showing pleasure
Meowing: the classic sound which can have many meanings, like “hello,” “I’m hungry,” “where are you?” and “here I am.”
High Pitch Intense Sound or Hissing: meaning distress, pain, or anger, especially at a new cat’s arrival. Some cats talk more than others, such as the talkative Siamese.
Low pitched mraaooww: “You are so lame. The service around here sucks,” or similar complaint.
High-pitch RRRROWW!: “OUCH!!! YOU STEPPED ON MY TAIL YOU IMBECILE!”
Purr: Most often a sign of contentedness, but can also be used when in pain or afraid — an instinctual response to hide weakness from predators.
Drawn-out mrrraaaaaoooow: “Did you forget to feed me, you idiot? I want dinner NOW!” or similar demand
Hiss: “Steer clear. I’m angry and I’m not afraid to draw blood.”