A Guide to All the Wonderful Noises Cats Make in Holmdel, NJ

cat noises holmdel nj

Cats are such wonderful creatures that require a lot of attention and love. These independent animals make lots of noises to communicate with us. Some of the wonderful noises they make though are similar. So, how do you figure out the meaning behind your feline friend’s noises?

Read our Holmdel, NJ, animal hospital’s article below for all the cat sounds that may make your head turn and your eyebrow raise.

The Most Common Cat Noises


The best sound and feeling is when your furry friend purrs loudly into your body. Usually, when cats purr, depending on their body language, they feel happy, safe, and content. During a purring episode, you might even be lucky enough to find yourself being groomed! 

While purring can sometimes signify that they’re hunting, purrs are generally reserved for moments of contentment.  Take advantage of these special times when cats are in their most affectionate state.  Pet them, comfort them, and if they’re snugglers, be affectionate!


Meowing is a more complicated communication.  This is especially true when we remember that every cat has their own type of meow. Some cats are relatively quiet until they feel hungry or upset, while other cats frequently meow softly to get attention and comfort. At the end of the day, if your cat is meowing, it’s trying to get your attention.

To figure out what they want, you’ll need to observe their actions.  Check their body language and follow them if they’re moving around. Sometimes it’s as simple as them wanting more food or water. Since cats generally don’t meow if they are hurt, you don’t have to worry about that.


A cat’s hiss can be scary, especially once it is aimed at you! If this is the case, then try to either calm your cat down or give them space. Cat hisses are high-pitched breathing sounds. However, as they make this sound, they also scrunch their faces and bare their teeth. 

This is almost always a warning sign that they are going to attack. Your cat is likely letting you know that they feel uncomfortable and need space.


A trill sounds almost like a bird. Not all cats like to make this sound, but when they do, it almost sounds comedic. A trill is also a high-pitched, almost rumbling sound that is a mixture between a purr and a meow.

Typically, they do this when they are hunting and grabbing their owner’s attention. Always watch for body language, though.


Dogs are not the only ones who howl. Did you know cats also howl? Most of the time, when they make this low and deep sound, it is because they are hunting and see something in the way. This is another warning sign.

However, some feline friends have learned to howl from their canine partners and do this even without meaning.

High Pitched Scream

Cats are usually quiet creatures and can’t necessarily speak up for themselves. Since this is the case, it can be concerning to hear a high-pitched scream. If your cat has a high-pitched scream, it could be that they are angry about something or that they are in pain.  Go to them immediately and oversee the area. If possible, try and exam your cat’s body to see if anything hurts. 

How to Tell What the Common Cat Noises Mean

If you are trying to understand what your cat is telling you, look at their overall body language. Sounds and noises are only a small part of how they communicate with us, their humans, and their companions.

First, look at the placement of their ears. If your cat’s ears are up and alert, this usually means they are active or on the ‘hunt’. Kittens have a lot of energy and make this common face and ear movement.

If your cat’s ears are down, though, this means they feel fear and anxiety. Give them space to calm down, and then give them comfort when they come to you.

The same goes for a cat’s tail. You can find out a lot about cats by how they move their tail. If your cat has their tail swishing back and forth, this is likely that they are active and ready to play. However, a swishing tail with your cat’s ears all the way back is a sign of stress.

When in Doubt, Reach Out to our Holmdel, NJ, Animal Hospital

It is important to learn how your cat communicates with you. Every animal is different and requires a different level of understanding.  We need to take time to understand our cats since they are less vocal and ‘talkative’ than their canine friends.

While it is common to hear the sounds listed above, there are a lot more noises that are not as common. Always watch body language before assuming the meaning behind a noise.

If you have questions or concerns about the noises your cat is making, feel free to reach out to our animal hospital in Holmdel, NJ at (732) 671-3110.