Feline Friends & Their Language of Love


Dr Ashwani Kumar Singh
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” – Ernest Hemingway
Cats are known for their emotional opaqueness and standoffishness; they may even seem mysterious to some. But when you start paying a little attention you can decipher them and their antics. From time to time, they use special noises like growls, howls, chirps, meows, hisses and body languages like eye movements, position of the ears, and motion of tail to tell you when they are happy, angry, or in need of some delicious food.
Your feline friends talk to you all the time. But they don’t have the benefit of a spoken language, so understanding them might get a little challenging sometimes. Paying attention to your kitty’s sounds and signals deepens your understanding of her, and strengthens the bond between you and your feline friend.
Here are some clues that’ll help you to figure out the feeling and intention of your lovely furry feline friend in a
better way.
To understand her, you need to know her love language!
Think your kitty’s meows, chirps, yowls, and purrs are just random gibberish? Think again. She’s actually communicating to you informing about her world and about how she feels towards you. Next to birds, cats possess the widest range of vocalisations in any domestic pet. Whether your pet is happy or in pain she has a feline sound for each of these emotions.
Magnificent Meows: Kittens are more likely to meow than adult cats. Because kittens are born unable to hear and see, they make this noise to alert their mother that they need attention. Adult cats rarely meow at each other, but they may meow at humans for the same reasons. Your cat may be saying ‘meow’ as a greeting or a command (‘Take me up, put me down, more food’), or an objection (‘Touch me at your own risk’). Some people have watched their cats walking around the house meowing to themselves also!
Poignant Purrs: It is the most enjoyable and hypnotic of cat sounds. The purr is a soft, deep, throaty rumble, most often made when your cat is in the best of mood. Cats purr whenever they’re happy, even while they’re eating. Sometimes, however, a cat may purr when they’re anxious or sick, they can use their purr to comfort themselves, like a child sucking their thumb.
Chitter Chatter: If your pet sits in the window staring at squirrels outside, ears erect and eyes focused, but she can’t get outside to chase them, she may make a chattering noise. The chatter is thought to be an indicator of a cat’s predatory excitement and of her stress at not being able to get to the prize.
Chirps and Trills: Chirps and trills are how a mother cat tells their kittens to follow her. Aimed at you, it probably means your pet wants you to follow her, usually to their food bowl. If you have more than one cat in the house you’ll often hear them converse with each other using chirps and trills.
A Yowl or Howl: Female cats in heat make this desperate cry, hoping to attract Tomcats to ease their pangs of kitten-making desire. The scream, a variant of the yowl, is the final vocal warning before a serious fight begins. Be watchful of these!
Sneaky Scream: If the un-spayed female is roaming outdoor, her caterwauling will draw in a male, whereupon mating will surely occur. She can scream to attract attention. You should talk to your vet about this.
It is true that love needs no language. But not you know the feline love language! So here’s hoping that your bond strengthens and filled with love.
(Dr Ashwani Kumar Singh, BVSc & AH, is a veterinary physician & surgeon based in Kanpur)