Why Does My Cat Sound Like a Pigeon?

At a very young age, our children are taught that felines only use the word ” meow.” However, anyone with cats knows that our feline companions can communicate much more. However, we still need to learn what they’re trying to communicate. You need clarification if your cat’s cooing sounds reminiscent of an owl or dove.

We’ve enlisted Amelia Wieber, CPDT-KA, CCBC, trainer in FFCP and proprietor of Caring Behavior Animal Behavior Consulting in Frederick, Co., and a member of the Daily Paws’ Advisory Board to serve as an interpreter between humans and cats.

How do Cats communicate

“If cats could send you a text but they couldn’t.”

While this joke is the kitty’s truth, the truth is that cats don’t have a problem communicating. They’re pretty savvy. American Association of Feline Practitioners states that they have four distinct methods to communicate:

  • Visual includes the body’s posture and eye contact and the tail, ear, and head position
  • Tactile includes touching others, grooming, rubbing, and touching the nose (a way of greeting)
  • Olfactory includes fecal or the marking of urine
  • Auditory It includes all vocalizations of cats, including hissing or hissing

Therefore, cat vocalizations that resemble the coos of pigeons belong to the very complex auditory category. A review 2019 of the literature available identified various feline voice sounds. It was speculated that the actual number is much higher. The review also pointed out that the vocal range of domestic cats is described as more complex and developed than any other carnivore. So your cat has sometimes earned the right to appear a bit cocky.

There are a few reasons why your cat sounds like a pigeon.

That oddly strange sound your cat makes- like the sound of a dove or pigeon cooing- has an official term”trilling. “To me, it’s an extremely high-pitched, short hum that is accompanied by a slight rumble at the side of the pet’s neck,” Wieber explains. “It is often heard as punctuated by the sound of a question mark.” When she tries to mimic her cat’s trilling, Wieber makes a quick rolling ‘r’ or tongue movement. “It’s technically referred to as an apical-alveolar trill in humans when they do this,” she adds.

We now know the official name for the purrs that resemble pigeons, and we can now move on to the translation. What is the reason cats trill? According to Wieber, There are two leading causes for the booming vocalization of cats:

1. It’s a sign that your cat is happy

If your cat’s chirping sounds are welcoming and friendly, it’s likely to be the case! “Cats will trill when happy to greet one another or their human,” Wieber explains. If your cat chirps when she meets you, you could imagine it as an affectionate greeting. You will indeed feel the warmth that follows.

2. It’s a sign that your cat Doesn’t Want Your Attention.

You’re likely to have not consciously taught your cat to trill through creating a positive feedback loop. This is because trilling is an excellent method for cats to attract attention from their owner. “In my home, We almost always respond to feline trillings by using ourselves,” Wieber says. Once your cat has your interest, it’s much more likely that she will receive what she wants from you (e.g., pettingfoodplay), which only increases her trilling behavior. This is yet another reason to allow your cat to feel proud of her communication ability.

Related What’s the reason Cats Do Wag Tails? This is what your cat is Doing to Tell You.

Are All Cats Trill?

“It’s my belief that all cats that have normal larynx function are able to trill,” Wieber explains. “However there are cats that are more vocal than others and the volume may vary.” Three cats in her home are all very vocal. However, she considers her cat Moscow the King of Trilling. “He will trill when he enters an area when he’s seeking attention when he greets other cats and even to himself while playing with toys,” Wieber continues. “Moscow is an extremely affectionate and social cat, and I interpret the trilling as a sign of his playful personality.”

If you’ve never heard your cat’s good trills, Wieber does not see a reason to worry. “However the next when you meet cats, give them food and play, pay attention to their trill,” she suggests. “You most likely didn’t notice it until now.”

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