What Makes a Cat Purr and Meow?

The feline species has been a subject of a lot of research and speculation. Cats tend to communicate with each other and with humans in various ways. It is exciting to note that these animals can make over 100 different sounds, and it is only rarely that they actually meow at each other. Also, an average cat spends around 11,000 hours in purring. It also makes ‘meow’, a very common sound that the entire cat species is recognized by. Find out what makes a cat purr and meow, and when they make these sounds.

Calling out to mom

Kittens are found to meow to find their moms, or to make their mother find them. They meow out of discomfort, fear or hunger. It is only a mama cat who can understand when a kitten is meowing out of any of these three types of sensations. That is only when a cat uses the ‘meow’ sound to communicate with another member of its species. When they grow out of their stage of kittenhood, they do not meow to each other anymore. Rather, they yowl, hiss, growl or use other body language to get in touch with other cats.

Many moods, many emotions

Many pet owners and scientists are of the opinion that the ‘meow’ of cats represents many moods and emotions. The Oriental and the Siamese breeds have meow sounds that are very distinctive. These can be recognized immediately. Cats can meow when they are trying to seek love, saying hello, feeling thirsty or injured or lonely or even hungry. Cats in fact, continuously howl when they are looking for a mate.

They ‘Purr’ when they are peaceful

Purring is a charming, pleasant sound that is found to be irresistible by most cat lovers. Small children, on hearing the purr of a cat, say that the motors of their pets are running. It is not known how cats purr, whether from the diaphragm or throat, or whether it has ever had a significant part to play in their survival. However, it has been found that cats purr when they are sleeping, feeling content or happy. They also tend to purr when they are feeling pain or are in fear. It could be the equivalent of humans performing yoga stretches or taking deep breaths to calm themselves. They purr when they exhale or inhale. Cats are able to purr when they are around 1 week in age.

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