Cats are very talkative animals. They love to express their feelings. They do not only talk with each other but with other species too- including humans. Also they use their voice, tail, whole body, and even the scents to express themselves. You may ask, “The scents? How?” Remember when cats rub their cheek onto us or objects?
This is their way of communicating with scents. Some cats also throw fluid at some things. You may remember seeing male cats turn their tail towards a tree, wall, chair, or anything and throw fluid from their hindquarters. This action means marking that place as ‘theirs.’ We can give this example for communicating with scents.
The vocal ways a cat communicates with others are varied. They growl, yowl, hiss, cry, purr, chirp, trill, chatter, mew, and meows. Although they individually have subtle differences, they usually mean different things. While humans cannot distinguish subtle changes in meows and what they mean, other cats and species can distinguish them.
Cats can have dozens of different meows that mean different things. It is hard to give meaning to every sound they make. But cat trilling is not hard to understand at all! It carries a straightforward message in the cats’ world. But what is it? Let’s find out why cats trill and what does it mean when cats trill.
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What Is a Cat Trill?
“Rrroowwee” is a cats trill. That is the exact sound they make. You wake up, and here is your cat, sitting beside you and looking at you with big shiny eyes. “Rrroowwee,” he says. He softly rolls the R in his little mouth, lasting a few seconds. What a beautiful sound to hear the first thing in the morning!
Cats trill is between purring and meowing, but the sound does not come from his mouth. He produces it with a closed mouth. They push the air through their vocal cords rather than expelling the air, resulting in a high-pitched sound.
Cats learn trilling and any other sound from their mother by mimicking her. That’s why when a mama cat talks with her kittens, they make similar sounds; like a child imitating the way his mother talks.
Why Do Cats Trill?
We learned what a trill is. It is a cute sound made by cats. A sound which they learn from their mothers or, in some cases, from the other cats. But why do cats make this sound? When do they use it? What does trilling mean? Let’s find the answers. We can not know for sure. But experts have a few guesses.
1. They Need You and Want You to Come Along
Like chirps, trilling is also used by mother cats. They use it to tell their kittens to follow them. So, we can think the same with humans. If your cat comes up to you and trills, this may mean he wants you to come along with him. Follow him where he wants!
Trilling can be a way for cats to say “Hello!”. If you notice your cat trills when you get back from work to home or when you enter the room, it probably means he is greeting you. What a little gentleman! You sure raised him well.
3. They Are Demanding Attention
If your cat trills and uses his body language simultaneously, they may want you to spend time with them. Maybe he is saying, “Hey! Look over here, pay attention to me!” when your cat comes to you, headbutts you, and trills. Cats usually do this when people are working.
They see their owner working on the desk with their computers, and they jump to the desk. They headbutt their face and rub their body all over the place. This action means they got bored from whatever they’ve been doing, and they want you to entertain them. That is their way of demanding attention from people.
4. Trilling Between Mama Cat and Her Kittens
Not surprisingly, female cats trill more than male ones because they use it to communicate with their kittens when they are young. The mother cat trills when she want the kittens to follow her or when she wants their attention. When kittens learn it by mimicking it, they use it all the time to talk with the mama cat, seek attention from her, or communicate with other species.
What Sounds Do Cats Make?
Other than trilling, cats make many sounds like growling, yowling, hissing, crying, purring, chirping, trilling, chattering, mewing, and meowing. Since they make a range of sounds, we cannot certainly know what they all mean. In fact, there are up to 21 sounds that cats make to communicate!
But sure sounds mean they feel certain emotions. While quick sounds -low or high- are cheerful, while lower and slower sounds are negative. The one we talk about here, trills, is a sign of happiness most of the time. Let’s look at some of the sounds cats make and try to learn what they mean.
Purring: Purring is not only notable for indoor cats. Even wild animals (like cheetahs) tend to purr. It is weird to see a significant and dangerous wild animal purring, but it is also sweet. When kittens purr, it means they are letting the mama cat know they are healthy. Adult cats use it to communicate. While it can be a sign of affection, it can also be a sign of stress or hunger. We also know cats can heal themselves with their purrs. It is self-soothing.
Meowing: This is one of the main sounds that house cats use. Meowing does not mean only one thing because it is a versatile noise. Cats can meow differently to let the other know different things.
Meowing can be a sign of greeting, showing affection, boredom, hunger, pain, or stress. Even if it sounds harmless, excessive meowing can be a problem. You can understand the different meows of your cat if you listen and pay attention to him. Keep an eye on the context; it gives you clues about the meaning.
Did you know that cats only meow at us? It is not something they use with each other; it is special for us. They only meow when they want to talk with us. Some experts claim that cats see humans as giant cats; they may form a new kind of communication style to speak with those big cats!
Hissing and Growling: This is not a friendly noise at all. It is threatening. When cats confront each other, this sound comes out of their mouths. Cats also make this sound when they are stressed or annoyed. They can also hiss when they are in pain. Not a happy sound at all, huh?
Chattering: Cats make this sound while watching animals, especially birds. It is also called chittering and twittering. Even though it sounds lovely, cats are doing it because they think of their prey. So, it is a wild thing.
Should You Be Concerned About the Noise Your Cat Makes?
Some people worry about the sounds their cat makes. Do you also need to worry about the sounds your cat makes? Not for every sound, no. Cats are chatty animals; they talk all the time. Especially the breeds like Burmese and Maine coon. They even speak to objects, let alone the living species. So, if your cat talks too much, even at night, this can be normal.
He likes to express himself by chatting with you. He wants to let you know everything he thinks about. However, if their regular conversation style changes a significant amount, you can start worrying. It can be best to go and see the vet. For example, if your little friend starts to hiss continuously and cannot find the reason for it, it may be a sign of pain caused by worms or other illnesses.
Cats may not be as expressive as dogs, but they are still very expressive animals. They communicate with everything around them. They are bossy animals. So, we can understand why they care about making everyone hear about their feelings and their demands.
They show their emotions by using their body language or making different sounds. For example, if a cat purrs and shows you his tummy, this means he trusts you, and he wants you to pet him. Trilling is one of the sounds cats make, usually when they are happy. And it is one of the sweetest for sure!
You can understand the meaning of a trill by focusing on the context. Whether your cat is waiting for you to pet him, seeking some attention, greeting you, or telling you to follow him, take the opportunity and trill him back! Is there a better conversation than the one you do with your cat?