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Interpreting spoken language correctly: How you understand your cat


Velvet paws express their mood via body and spoken language. If you interpret this cat language correctly, you as a mistress or master will know what your darling is missing and when you should give the room tiger its freedom. Here are a few tips: Image: Shutterstock / Pelevina Ksinia

In itself, the voice plays a rather subordinate role in the communication of cats. With our beloved velvet paws, body language says more than a thousand words. Nevertheless, cats use sounds such as purring, meowing and hissing. We should know what you want to say with it.

Interpret spoken language: attention and well-being

When asked what noise a cat makes, everyone would immediately say "Meow!" reply. Interestingly, this sound is only reserved for humans in adult cats, the four-legged friends communicate with each other with other sounds. It is usually not difficult to interpret this form of spoken language: Meowing actually always means that the four-legged friend wants attention or has a request for you. It can be hunger or the desire to be let out or cuddle - she'll show you. The strident the sound, the more urgent the desire.

If meowing is the best-known sound of cats, purring is probably the most popular. No wonder, because the four-legged friends usually use this spoken language to show that they are doing really well. Accordingly, you can hear this sonorous sound whenever the connoisseur is letting his belly be rubbed on four paws. But be careful! Cats sometimes purr to calm themselves, such as when they're in pain, sick, or under a lot of stress.

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Understand the cat: hissing is a defense signal

Caution is advised when the cat hisses and shows its teeth. The spoken language is quite clearly to be interpreted as defense behavior. Hissing can mean: "I'm in a bad mood, leave me alone - and immediately!" However, it is also possible that you or other people who are visiting may scare your kitty, may have unconsciously crossed a line. Then give the frightened velvet paw enough room to retreat.

Under certain circumstances you should bring yourself to safety when your room tiger growls. In contrast to hissing, this should not be understood as a sign of defense, but as a sign of aggressiveness. One wrong move can now be enough - and you get one wiped with your paw. If you want to understand your cat, it's best to leave her alone until she calms down.

The most important statements of cats in the summary

Meow: Desire for tenderness or attention, need, out of boredom
purr: Feel-good signal, less often when there is great fear or pain
Hiss: Warning signal, threatening gesture, as a sanction (e.g. as an educational measure)
growl: Strong warning signal, violent threatening gesture, signs of attack
Scream: Combat sound, attack and defense impulse
yowl: Out of fear or discomfort, rarely as a strong threatening gesture