Vocalizations & Ear Movements of a Cat: What do they mean?


Vocalizations and ear movements of a cat tips 

Although you may have never said it aloud, you’ve always wondered why the pitch of a cat’s call varies or why her ears go from “upright” to “pulled back”. Could this mean she’s trying to convey something different?

Yes, of course. The various positions of the ears and tail and the different versions of her call play a crucial role in communicating complicated aspects of her intention. This article explains cat behavior in terms of the vocalizations and the ear positions of a cat.



Your kitty expresses varied emotions using different versions of the classic “Meow”.

1. Purring:

Happiness and contentment are the primary reasons for the purring sound a cat makes. A cat will purr when it is at peace, is happy, feels secure or when it is being petted. Cats also purr as a way of telling fellow cats that they are friendly and would love interaction. Another reason why cats produce the purring sound is to calm and soothe themselves or to release stress when they are terrified, sick or in pain.


2. Meow:

We’ve al heard the classic meow. It is the second most common vocalization in cats. However, cats use different versions of the classic meow to convey different varied intentions. Some are mentioned below:

  • A loud meow is an indication that your cat commands attention. A loud meow also tells the owners it is feeling hungry.
  • A soft low meow is an indication of a greeting. Sometimes it sounds like a chirp or bark.
  • A high pitched, panicky meow, repeated more often is a signal of distress. Kittens often use this distress call when they detect the absence of the mother. It is a plea of sympathy and assistance.
  • According to experts, chatter and chirps are sounds usually associated with the spotting of birds. They chirp when they spot their prey like birds at the feeder. Chirps are also used by a mother to call her kittens or cats use them to converse with each other. On the other hand, chattering is an expression of frustration; frustration at not being able to get hold of the prey.


3. Hissing:

Hissing is a part of the cat’s aggressive behavior. The cat gives a clear signal that it might attack if provoked.


4. Yowling:

Yowling is another common vocalization of the cat. This loud wail could be a signal of pain or distress. However, more importantly yowling is a part of mating behavior in cats. Female cats yowl during the heat cycle to attract tom cats while male cats yowl when they detect a female in season.


5. Deep Growl:

A deep growl in addition to a cold stare and no movement indicates the cat wants to be left alone. It warns of danger.


Ear positions

The ears of cat speak too. They are an indicator of a cat’s feelings and moods. This is what the range of ear positions from upright to flattened mean.

1. Ears pointed up:

Upright ears are a signal of an attentive, alert cat. Something in the surroundings may have grabbed the attention of your pet- the dog, another cat, a furtive movement or a loud sound. The cat is already occupied and concentrating hard so avoid an unnecessary cuddling and petting unless it asks for it in the form of a greeting.


2. Slightly to the side and pointing forward:

When a cat’s ears point slightly to the side and slight forward, she is in a happy and relaxed state. You can pick up your cat or pet it; she won’t mind.


3. Ears turned back:

Normally a cat’s ears turn back when it is agitated. The twists from the forward to the backward position indicate increasing aggression. When the cat’s ears are turned back, it is displeased and annoyed. It could be a signal to stop petting her the way you are doing or simply a warning to maintain distance.


4. Ears flattened against the head:

The ears flattened against the head is a defensive position in cats. The cat may be annoyed or afraid and may attack. Touching, petting or picking up the cat when the ears are flattened against the head will invite trouble- scratch or even a bite.



Pure Petfood
Thanks! You've already liked this