If you have a cat, you probably know that they can make a variety of sounds, from meows and purrs to hisses and growls. But have you ever heard your cat make a sound that resembles a pigeon or a dove? If so, you might be wondering: Why does my cat sound like a pigeon? What is she trying to tell me? Is she happy, sad, or something else?
The sound that your cat makes that sounds like a pigeon is called trilling. It’s a unique vocalization that cats use for different purposes, such as greeting, asking for attention, or expressing contentment. Trilling is not a sign of distress or illness, but rather a sign of affection and communication. In this blog post, we’ll explain what trilling is, how cats do it, why they do it, and how you can respond to it. We’ll also bust some common myths about cat sounds and reveal the truth behind them.
What is Trilling and How Do Cats Do It?
Trilling is a unique vocalization that cats use for different purposes, such as greeting, asking for attention, or expressing contentment. Trilling is not a sign of distress or illness, but rather a sign of affection and communication. But what does trilling sound like and how do cats do it?
Trilling sounds like a mix between a meow and a purr. You might describe it as a “brrr” or a rolling R sound. It’s a high-pitched, repetitive noise that comes out in short bursts. Trilling is also known as chirping, cooing, or murmuring. Here are some examples of what trilling sounds like:
Trilling occurs with the mouth closed, not open like many other forms of vocalizing. Trilling is produced when cats push air through their vocal cords, creating vibrations that result in a high-pitched hum. Trilling can vary in pitch, duration, and intensity depending on the cat’s mood and intention.
Trilling is different from other recognizable cat sounds like purring, meowing, yowling, and hissing. Purring is a constant noise that cats make when they are relaxed or happy, but also when they are stressed or in pain. Meowing is an open-mouthed vocalization that cats use to communicate with humans or other cats. Yowling is a loud and long vocalization that cats use to express distress, anger, or mating desire. Hissing is an open-mouthed vocalization that cats use to warn or threaten others to stay away.
Why Do Cats Trill?
Now that you know what trilling sounds like and how cats do it, you might be wondering why they do it. What are they trying to communicate with their owners or other cats? And how should you respond to their trills?
Cats trill for various reasons, but they are usually positive and friendly. Here are some of the most common reasons why cats trill and what they mean:
- To Greet You: Cats trill when they see you after a long time or when they want to say hello. This is a sign that they are happy to see you and want your attention. You can respond by greeting them back, petting them, or playing with them.
- To Get You to Follow Them: Cats trill when they want you to follow them somewhere, such as to their food bowl, their favorite spot, or their litter box. This is a sign that they want to show you something or share something with you. You can respond by following them and praising them for being smart and curious.
- To Spark Conversation: Cats trill when they want to initiate a conversation with you or another cat. This is a sign that they are interested in what you have to say or want to share their thoughts with you. You can respond by talking back to them, mimicking their sounds, or asking them questions.
- As a Sign of Affection: Cats trill when they are feeling affectionate towards you or another cat. This is a sign that they love you and want to cuddle with you. You can respond by giving them hugs, kisses, or treats.
If you want your cat to trill more often, you can encourage them by rewarding them with positive reinforcement whenever they do it. You can also try to trill yourself and see if your cat responds or copies you.
Common Myths About Cat Sounds and The Truth Behind Them
There are many myths and misconceptions about cat sounds that can lead to confusion or misunderstanding among cat owners and lovers. Here are some of the most common ones and the truth behind them:
Myth: Cats only meow at humans, not at other cats.
Truth: Cats do meow at other cats, but not as often as they do at humans. Cats use meows as a way of communicating with humans because they know that humans respond to vocal cues more than visual or olfactory ones. Cats also use different types of meows for different purposes, such as asking for food, expressing pain, or seeking attention. Cats can also learn to mimic human words or sounds that they hear frequently, such as “hello” or “no”.
Myth: Cats purr only when they are happy or content.
Truth: Cats purr for various reasons, not just when they are happy or content. Cats can also purr when they are stressed, anxious, injured, or in pain. Purring is a way of soothing themselves or signaling their need for help. Purring can also have healing benefits for cats and humans, as it can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and promote wound healing. Purring can also indicate trust and bonding between cats and humans or other cats.
Myth: Cats hiss only when they are angry or aggressive.
Truth: Cats hiss for various reasons, not just when they are angry or aggressive. Cats can also hiss when they are scared, defensive, or in pain. Hissing is a way of warning others to back off or stay away. Hissing can also be a sign of territoriality or dominance between cats or other animals. Hissing can also indicate fear or discomfort with a new situation or environment.
How to Understand Your Cat’s Sounds Better
If you want to improve your communication with your cat, you need to pay attention to their sounds and body language. Cats use both verbal and non-verbal cues to express their emotions, needs, and intentions. By learning how to read these signals, you can better understand your cat’s personality and preferences, and respond accordingly. Here are some tips on how to understand your cat’s sounds better:
- Observe the context: The same sound can have different meanings depending on the situation. For example, a meow can mean “hello”, “feed me”, or “I’m in pain”. To figure out what your cat is trying to say, look at what they are doing, where they are, who they are with, and what time of day it is. This will help you narrow down the possible messages.
- Look at the body language: Cats use their ears, eyes, tail, fur, and posture to convey their mood and attitude. For example, a cat that is trilling may also have their ears forward, their eyes half-closed, and their tail upright. This indicates that they are happy and friendly. On the other hand, a cat that is hissing may also have their ears flattened, their eyes wide open, and their tail puffed up. This indicates that they are angry and aggressive. By looking at the whole picture, you can get a clearer idea of what your cat is feeling and thinking.
- Listen to the tone and pitch: Cats can vary the tone and pitch of their sounds to add emphasis or nuance. For example, a high-pitched meow may indicate urgency or excitement, while a low-pitched meow may indicate annoyance or dissatisfaction. A loud purr may indicate contentment or pleasure, while a soft purr may indicate stress or pain. A long yowl may indicate loneliness or mating desire, while a short yowl may indicate fear or anger. By listening to the tone and pitch of your cat’s sounds, you can get a better sense of what they want or need.
- Respond appropriately: Once you understand what your cat is trying to tell you, you can respond in a way that meets their expectations or soothes their emotions. For example, if your cat is trilling at you to greet you or get your attention, you can trill back at them or give them some affection. If your cat is hissing at you to warn you or keep you away, you can back off or give them some space. If your cat is meowing at you to ask for food or playtime, you can feed them or play with them. By responding appropriately to your cat’s sounds, you can strengthen your bond and trust with them.
If you want to learn more about cat behavior and vocalization, you can also read books, watch videos, or consult experts on the topic. There are many resources available online and offline that can help you understand your cat better and make them happier and healthier.
Trilling is a unique and fascinating sound that cats make for various reasons. It’s a sign of happiness, friendliness, curiosity, and affection. By understanding what trilling is, why cats do it, and how to respond to it, you can improve your communication and relationship with your feline friend.
You can also learn more about other cat sounds and what they mean, and how to read your cat’s body language. Cats are amazing creatures that have a lot to say if we listen carefully and respectfully. We hope this blog post has helped you appreciate and enjoy the wonderful world of trilling cats.