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Home > Cats > Why Do Cats Chirp? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons & Feline Vocalization Facts

Why Do Cats Chirp? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons & Feline Vocalization Facts

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Dr. Amanda Charles

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Our cats make all sorts of noises. From yowls to purrs, they always try to display some form of communication with their voices. However, it can be hard to decipher sometimes when they make peculiar noises.

Chirping might not be a sound you hear often, so you’re still determining exactly what they’re trying to tell you. In this article, we will discuss what chirping can mean and how to figure out the underlying message.


Cats and Body Language

To know exactly what a cat means by chirping, it is vital to consider the body language shown. For example, if the cat is curious or affectionate, it will come through their body language.

So before you analyze the actual sound, note how your kitty is acting otherwise and what’s going on around them.

excited cat chattering or meowing with mouth open looking up
Image By: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

divider-cat Top 4 Causes of Chirping In Cats

Here are a handful of reasons why your cat might chirp.

1. Greeting

Often chirping is a sign that your cat is simply saying hello. If they come running and chirping every time they see you, this is just their way of extending salutations and seeing what you’re up to.

2. Attention

Sometimes cats chirp just to get attention. They might be chirping at their humans, other cats, or even something captivating that’s caught their eyes, such as birds or squirrels out in your yard.

Aegean cat looking up from the kitchen floor
Image Credit: Rawpixel

3. Acknowledgment

If you call out to your cats and you are met with a chirp, this could be a sign of acknowledgment. They could just mean, I hear you, I see you, I am engaging with you.

4. Curiosity

Cats are notorious for being curious creatures. A chirping noise can simply be a vocalization to show that they are interested in whatever is going on.

American Wirehair cat sitting curiously under the table
Image By: rolehcab, Shutterstock


Body Language & Vocalization in Cats

Our cats are pretty colorful characters. They have a broad spectrum of moods, attitudes, and open displays. Here are a few different mood scenarios to learn what to expect from your kitty.

A Frightened Cat

A cat that is frightened or afraid, will undoubtedly let out different vocalizations apart from chirping. You might notice growling, hissing, and spitting instead. These behaviors will likely cause your cat to draw their body back with their ears flattened and pupils wide.

Don’t get too close! You might get a smack or two.

scared British blue-point cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: zossia, Shutterstock

A Hungry Cat

We’ve all experienced a hungry cat in our day. Their bottomless pits seem to never quite get filled up to their liking. When your cat’s food bowl is empty, you might notice that they follow you around and meow to get your attention.

They might even rub up against your legs or jump on higher surfaces, so you acknowledge them.

A Prowling Cat

When your cat is out on the hunt, you might notice that they move slinkily with their body low to the ground. Their eyes are on high alert, and they might wave their tails back and forth. Rather than making a vocalization, prowling cats are usually eerily quiet.

However, if they sit in a window, watching the birds outside, you might just notice chattering.

cat hunting outdoors
Image Credit: katya-guseva0, Pixabay

A Distressed Cat

Your cat could be in distress if you notice yelling, howling, and other loud, drawn-out vocalizations. Usually, this is a call for help. However, females in heat sometimes have these vocalizations, among many others, when they are full of hormones.

A Content Cat

When your cat is content, their body language is very relaxed and subtle. They will generally close their eyes for a long pause and relax in one position. During this time, your cat is probably purring or will purr when they feel a human touch.

if you show them affection, they will likely start kneading. Kneading happens when it looks like your cat is making biscuits. This simulation of nursing as a kitten is a comfort response.


Final Thoughts on Chirping

Chirping is just one of the many peculiar sounds our kitties have mastered. It is a good sign that usually means your cat wants in on what’s happening around them or just wants to get your attention.

If you pay attention to their body language, identifying what they are trying to tell you won’t be so hard to decipher.


Featured Image Credit: Stanimir G.Stoev, Shutterstock

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