Cats come in all colors, styles, temperaments, and personalities. Some are absolute purring machines while others seem to have no purr mechanism at all. Our sweet tabby, Lily, didn’t learn to purr until she was around six years old.
Cats can also come with different sounds. Some cats are very vocal, others hardly make a peep. Most cats speak when they have something to say—“I’m hungry.” “Pet me.” “Treat time.” “Let’s play.” And the tone of a cat can vary. If you have more than one cat, you may have quite a variety of sounds around your house.
How many sounds can one cat make? I remember marveling at the voice of my mother’s cat, Smokey. He’s half Ragdoll and his meow is very quiet and on the high-pitched side. One day I was visiting with my mother and we heard an excruciating sound coming from the area of the dining room. I ran in there to find Smokey at the screen door wanting in. He’d probably used his little voice for a while to no avail and finally screamed at us. What a sound. Until that day we didn’t know he was capable of such a large voice. He sure knew how to get our attention.
Our calico, Olivia, is a combination of many cats, including the Maine coon, who typically has a small high-pitched voice and she sure does. She squeaks rather than meows or even mews. And she has her tones and ways of using them. She might meow loudly when she seems to be looking for someone…”Where are you?” “Where is everyone?” She has what seems to be a scolding tone or she’s expressing her excitement at having found a lap. She can also be chatty, using tiny mini-mews—more like chirps as she converses with us. I heard the Maine coon cat from next door mew the other day—she also has the chirpy quality to her high-pitched tone.
Our Himalayan, Katie, had a deep and lingering meooowww. I called it her southern drawl.
I thought this was an interesting article on the variety of sounds a cat makes and what they might mean. Enjoy: https://www.thepurringtonpost.com/cat-sounds/