Cat body language and vocalization

Among the cat behavior problems that we’ve talked about here already, one of the most prevalent that you will notice as a cat owner is a vocalization. It is so important to listen to your cat when they are trying to talk to you, as there can be critical differentiations to the sounds.

Learning how to understand your cat is vital for all cat owners, and some cat sounds that they use for interaction can include the following:

Well, obviously, all cats meow! The key is knowing that the reason behind the meows often changes as they continue to age. As your cat gets older, meowing is simply an outlet for communication. They use it to tell us what is needed, or that they are wanting attention.

The problem is when the meowing seems to become more excessive than normal, it can be caused by a multitude of things. This can include illness, stress, or other issues as well. You may want to schedule an appointment with your vet to rule out any dangerous illnesses or problems that could be on the horizon.

Excessive howling can often be a good indicator that something is not right in the health department. This can often be considered a cry of pain (we will discuss crying further in this section), and it is important to schedule an appointment with the vet right away to find the source of the pain and trouble before it gets problematic.

Yowling is a meow that is often more drawn out and loud. Yowling is more prevalent in adult cats and can be heard more often during breeding. It is often not something to be alarmed about, but if it becomes excessive, it’s worth having your furbaby checked out.

As we mentioned before, a cry or a howl can be signs of distress. This could be from something painful, illness, or getting caught in an unfortunate predicament. If you notice that the crying seems more pain induced, contact your vet immediately!

Hissing is a sign of aggression, or rather aggression that is about to bubble to the surface (yikes!). Your cat will often hiss when they feel:

  • Defensive
  • Stressed
  • Anxious
  • Frightened

It can also be a sign that something is wrong behaviorally, such as depression (as we discussed). It is important to get a second opinion from a vet or other professional to find out why the excessive hissing may be occurring.

We would classify whining as a similar sound and vocalization to crying, but not as extreme in some cases. Whining can happen to draw attention to anything, whether it be the need for water, food, love, or that they just aren't quite feeling right that day, either behaviorally or physically.

It can also be coupled with various forms of body language as well. This can range from rolling on their back, showing different facial expressions, crouching, and just seeming more tense or aggressive. If you see body language that doesn't appear normal for the personality of your cat, including the behaviors that we have already listed here, get them checked out.