Cats are some of the most adorable creatures on the planet, and it’s for many reasons. One of those is that they talk back to people. To a cat lover, nothing can make the morning brighter and the end of a long day rewarding more than being greeted by a cat. And now you may be on the hunt for an answer to the question: how do you say hello in cat?
Use the word “hello” to say hello in cat. Cats say hello to people by meowing at them. On the other hand, cats say hello to other cats via body language alone. That’s because they do not meow at one another — they only meow at people. Cats prefer a high-pitched “hello” better than a low-pitched one.
Before anything else, a fact that probably not a lot of cat lovers or owners know: Adult cats do not meow at each other. It is only at people that grown-up felines meow, especially to ask for something or express an emotion. However, adult cats do scream, yowl and hiss at one another if they do not get along.
Kittens, on the other hand, meow not only to people but to their mothers, too. It’s those tiny felines’ little way of telling their moms that they are feeling hungry or cold.
But upon reaching adulthood, they no longer meow to their mothers — only to humans.
And this brings us to an important question…
Do Cats Understand Human Meows?
Cats do not understand human meows. As a matter of fact, they cannot tell whether people are meowing or speaking to them. To felines, human meows sound exactly just like human words. Cats, however, associate human meows together with body language with many things that they learn through training.
So, in other words, you can communicate with your cat using words. Using the same words over and over again enables your cat to learn what they mean.
There is no need for you to meow at your kitty cat each time you want to say something to it or make it do something. All you have to do is use words, like you would when speaking to another human being, and you can rest assured that your cat will understand it by associating it with things learned through socialization and past experiences.
If you are a self-confessed ailurophile, which is a fancy way to say that you love cats, then you know that felines can do many other sounds with their tiny whiskered mouths than just a meow.
Since their anatomy keeps them from speaking like people do, felines have no other choice but to communicate with human beings, cats and other animals through vocalizations. The different sounds cats make have different meanings — they have different names, too, that all cat lovers or owners should familiarize themselves with.
Different Cat Sounds
Besides knowing what every cat vocalization is called, it’s also a wonderful idea to know what each one means. This is vital for building a stronger relationship with your purring pal and keeping your cat from being frustrated, too.
Here are the main sounds that cats make…
As mentioned earlier, with the exception of kittens, a meow is something that cats use to communicate with humans — they do not meow at one another. Needless to say, if your cat is meowing, it is speaking to you.
The problem with a meow is that it can mean an assortment of things. For instance, your cat will meow if it’s asking for food and telling you that it appreciates a meal. However, you can have a better idea of a feline’s meow by paying attention to its length and the pitch at which it’s said.
Your cat is happy if it meows at the usual length and pitch. However, it is happier if its meow lasts longer and sounds higher. Making successive high-pitched meows means that it wants your attention and creating low-pitched meows repeatedly means that it doesn’t feel well — and that you should take it to the vet.
Nothing can be more rewarding to a cat lover than his or her cat purring. A purr is that unmistakable low and soft buzzing sound that seems to come from a tiny machine inside a cat’s body. The quickest way to make your cat purr is by gently stroking it while it’s resting on your lap or beside you in your bed.
However, sometimes, a purr means that your cat is a little anxious or agitated. If its ears are pointed backward and its body seems tense, it means that it’s in an apprehensive state.
Cats do not chirr as often as they meow or purr. But if they make that quick and low trilling vocalization, it’s always great news — it means that it is extremely glad that you or another cat approached it. You can reciprocate by rolling your R, which is referred to as voiced alveolar trill, using a high-pitched sound.
Mother cats chirr each time they tell their little ones to come back to the nest to breastfeed or sleep.
Before we proceed to the next vocalization type, just a quick fact: Kittens recognize the chirr of their mother but do not respond to the chirr of the mom of other kittens.
It’s when your cat is sitting by the window that it tends to chatter. Also called chitter or twitter, a chatter is a funny sound that your cat makes when it spots a bird or a squirrel or any other small animal outside. It’s their way of expressing their excitement about what they are imagining to be a potential toy or meal.
Some people say that cats chatter to express their frustration, too — nothing can be more frustrating to felines than wanting to put their paws on something but can’t because a glass pane is keeping them from doing so.
There is no denying that a cat feels threatened and aggravated if hissing. Making the same sound that a slab of steak cooking on a grill creates is a sure sign that there is danger around in the form of a dog or another cat. Sometimes, a cat may hiss and spit, too, such as when it comes across a snake that also hisses and spits.
When a cat hiss, it’s almost always that the vocalization is paired with body language associated with gearing up for a fight. Some of them include an arched back, a puffed-up tail, and flattened ears.
Fret not if you haven’t heard your feline friend hiss yet. It’s perfectly normal for extremely friendly and outgoing cats to rarely hiss, while shy cats may resort to hissing from time to time only. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for stray and feral cats to hiss each time they feel that they are in danger.
Cats can hiss like snakes when a threat is around and they want to defend themselves. They can growl like dogs, too, if they don’t like the situation or someone or something that’s in front of them.
However, unlike dogs, cats growl with a high-pitched sound. Consider getting out of the way of a growling cat as you may be the one to receive bites and scratches from it instead of what it’s growling at. But do your very best to protect your cat if it’s in imminent danger from another cat or animal.
Earlier, it was mentioned that a cat would make low-pitched meows successively if it’s in some form of pain or discomfort. It’s not unlikely for felines to also yowl if they want to tell their humans that something’s not right. Again, it’s a good idea to have a veterinarian check its current health status.
Cats yowl, too, if they want to mate or drive away other cats that have ventured into their territory.
In some instances, cats will yowl if they are feeling down, such as when they are taken to a new location or adopted by a new family. If you recently welcomed a cat into your home and it’s yowling from time to time, that’s okay. Its yowls will turn into happy meows gradually as it gets accustomed to its new family more and more.
Accidentally stepping on your cat’s tail or paw will certainly make it scream. Needless to say, a scream is the vocalization type cats make if they experience sudden pain. Cats may also scream if they get shocked or surprised.
When engaging in a fight, a cat may scream due to anger and fear, too. A screaming feline may also be in some serious pain or discomfort. If no threat is in sight and your cat doesn’t want to stop screaming, consider taking it to the vet without delay as it could be due to an illness or disease.
How Cats Say Different Things
Many cat lovers or owners agree that cats are some of the most unpredictable pets. While their unpredictability can make them even more adorable and make taking good care of them even more exciting, unfortunately, it can also leave their owners confused and the cats themselves frustrated at times.
The good news is that, generally speaking, all cats express themselves in pretty much the same manner.
It’s because of this why it’s a wonderful idea to be familiar with some of the most common thoughts and emotions our feline friends convey. This is especially true if you are new to taking care of a cat.
Here are some ways cats talk to people:
How do cats say I love you?
A cat loves you if it rubs itself against you. It also loves you if it purrs. You can rest assured that a cat is saying that it loves you so much if it’s rubbing itself against you while it’s purring.
Don’t be surprised if your cat is licking you. No, it doesn’t find the taste of your skin delectable. The reason why it’s licking you is that it wants to tell you that it loves you and make sure that you are doing fine. It’s for the same reason why mommy cats constantly lick their little ones.
Check out this video on unmistakable signs that your cat loves you.
How do cats say sorry?
Someone who loves cats can easily feel guilty if he or she fails to understand what a cat is trying to say or give what it’s trying to ask for. Similarly, a cat can feel guilty if it does something naughty or mischievous, such as pee on the sofa or turn your mouse pad into a scratch pad.
It can be extremely difficult to not forgive a cat that’s asking for forgiveness. Nothing can melt the heart of a certified cat lover like you more than your cat blinking slowly or tenderly head-butting your leg while purring.
This video shows one of the many cute things that cats trying to apologize make.
How do cats say thank you?
Cats show their appreciation by bringing their human owners all sorts of gifts. Some could be their toys, while others could be dead (or almost dead) insects or small animals, like cockroaches or mice. No matter what lifeless critter your cat gives you as a gift, please do not reprimand it — the act comes from a place of love.
There is one more hilarious, although unpleasant, way your cat may thank you. And it’s none other than placing it’s rear-end in your face. Your whiskered pal just wants to demonstrate appreciation in its own little way.
Watch this video on why cats bring their owners dead things.
How do cats say they’re unhappy?
Cats love to make eye contact with people they trust and like. But if it seems like your cat is avoiding eye contact at all costs, it could be because it’s unhappy. You can be 100% sure that your four-legged pet is upset if its ears are pointing backward and it refuses to respond to your words or gestures.
Some unhappy cats will urinate outside their litter boxes. Spraying their pee everywhere allows them to surround themselves with their scent, which can be reassuring for displeased cats.
It’s perfectly fine for cats to be unhappy at the vet, such as this one on this video.
How do cats say goodbye?
There are some things that no cat lover would want their cats to say to them, such as goodbye. Cats are some of the most intuitive animals on the planet, and they are extremely attuned to their bodies. It’s because of this why they know when they are about to pass away and leave their human owners and feline family and friends for good.
Most of the time, cats that are about to die go away. If they are indoors and have no means of escaping, they spend their last few hours alone. Perhaps our feline friends hate saying goodbye.
People hate saying goodbye to their cats, too, as evidenced by this video — try not to cry!
The Tail Tells a Tale
Regardless of what you want to say to your cat or what your purring pal wants to say to you, it is a great idea to pay attention to its body language, too. By matching the sounds it makes with its body language, you can understand one another so much better. Understanding is key to building trust and confidence.
When it comes to non-verbal communication in humans, the hands are the most used body parts.
In cats, on the other hand, it’s the tail that’s used a lot when they want to say something without using their vocal cords — although it’s not unlikely for them to pair vocalizations with tail positions and movements.
Different cats communicate differently to humans, which is something that we have established earlier. But when it comes to conveying thoughts and moods, felines use their tails in the same manner. So, in other words, cats use their tails similarly to communicate no matter where they are on the planet or how they were brought up.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that a cat’s tail tells…
Your cat is feeling confident, satisfied and happy if its tail is perpendicular to the floor. Sometimes, you may see its tail curled at the end, oftentimes with its whiskers pointed toward you — it’s a cat’s way of saying “I’m so delighted!”
Does the tip of its erect tail twitches? It means that it’s extremely pleased to see you or with what you did. And if a cat’s tail is pointing straight up and the entirety of it is twitching or vibrating, too, it’s just happy to see that you’re back. It’s exactly because of this why it usually happens after you return from work or a vacation.
Like a question mark
There is no need to ask your cat what it wants if its tail is in the shape of a question mark. Put simply, it wants to spend some quality time with you. A cat whose tail is pointing up with the upper part curved is in a playful mood, and likes you to quit whatever it is that you are doing to have some fun with it.
If your cat’s tail looks like a pipe cleaner because the hairs are standing on end, it means that it’s agitated because of the presence of a threat. Felines puff up their tails to make themselves look bigger and scare away the enemy.
However, in some instances, your cat’s tail looks bigger than usual maybe because it just used its litter box. Many of our meowing friends are known to exhibit erratic behaviors after pooping, such as eagerly running around. It’s called post-poop zoomies, and it’s completely normal and there’s nothing to worry about.
There are two things that your kitty cat is saying or feeling when it’s wagging its tail. It all depends on the speed of the tail’s movement. Is it moving from side to side slowly? It means that your pawed chum is focused on an object. This is why you might see it wagging its tail this way before it pounces on a kibble or a toy or an insect.
But if its tail is wagging rapidly, it means that it’s either terrified or angry. Stay out of your cat’s way if it’s waving its tail back and forth fast and growling, too, because it’s furious!
Is your cat’s tail wrap around its body while it’s sitting or sleeping in one corner? It means that it’s relaxed and doesn’t want you or anyone to disturb it. You can think of it as your four-legged comrade’s way of hanging the “do not disturb” sign on the door. Sometimes, however, it also means that it’s mildly anxious and protecting itself.
Wrapping its tail around another cat is a telltale sign that the two of them are friends. It’s just like you putting your arm around a person that you care about.
Felines use their tails to express all kinds of ideas and emotions.
Just Before You Greet Your Cat
Your cat won’t mind whether you meow or use words to speak. What really matters to it is how you say it. Paring the sound you make with the right expression, such as a smile on your face or a series of strokes on its head, helps ensure that your cat will get what you are trying to say to it.
There are many things that you can say to your cat. Similarly, there are many ways to express your love for your purring pal. Let’s end this article learning how to say “I love cats” in various languages…
- How do you say “I love cats” in Spanish? Amo a los gatos.
- How do you say “I love cats” in French? J’aime les chats.
- How do you say “I love cats” in Dutch? Ik houd van katten.
- How do you say “I love cats” in Russian? Ya lyublyu koshek.
- How do you say “I love cats” in German? Ich liebe katzen.
- How do you say “I love cats” in Chinese? Wǒ xǐhuān māo.
- How do you say “I love cats” in Hindi? Mujhe bulliyaan pasand hai.
- How do you say “I love cats” in Japanese? Watashi wa neko ga daisukidesu.
- How do you say “I love cats” in Korean? Naneun goyang-ileul salanghanda.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of The Pet Rescue.