Cats make a variety of noises, some stranger than others. All have their own kitty-meaning. Sometimes the meaning is obvious, sometimes it’s not and at times no one but the cat knows what it just said. It is not uncommon for people to grow excited because they believe kitty uttered a real word; it didn’t. Sadly the cat had no idea what it ‘said’ in human terms; it was only a quirky coincidence.
One of the nicest and friendliest cat vocalizations is the brrrp. The strangest sounding, other than the pre-hairball cough, are the ack-ack and chattering noises.
Ack-ack and chatter: The house cat sitting by the window suddenly starts to emit an ack-ack sound similar to a small submachine gun. What on earth has possessed kitty? No more than a primordial hunting instinct triggered by a bird or other interesting looking prey outside the window. Kitty’s attention is riveted to the potential meal just out of its reach. The ack-ack sound is sometimes accompanied by noises reminiscent to lip-smacking and chattering. There are theories why cats make these sounds but no definitive reason has been found so far. Speculations range from an anticipation of munching on the prey to the frustration of not being able to get at it. There is also a suggestion it is a response to the surge of adrenaline triggered by the very thought of leaping into action, chasing and catching the prey.
Chirrup and brrrp: A brrrp or brrrowww from kitty is a very welcoming noise. Mother cats make the sound to their kittens to let them know she has returned to the nest. They return the greeting to let her know all is well and, yes, they are ready for food. This cross between a purr and meow translates into an enthusiastic “Hi! I’m back” or, “you’re home”. It can also be an expectant “Follow me. I have to show you” when kitty appears to be leading you somewhere while making the sound. A classic example is the cat that is used to being fed as soon as its people return from work. Kitty greets its people, and then heads toward the feeding area happily chirruping away. Often the cat will stop and look behind to make sure the appropriate person is following. A throw-back to when kitty was a kitten maybe?