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Cat Screaming – How It Sounds And What It Means

For those who have heard a cat scream, the sound is unforgettable – a piercing, polysyllabic yelp that shocks the senses and demands your undivided attention. A screaming cat can wake you from your deepest sleep. Cat screams can evoke Halloween-esque images of arched backs, elongated claws, and bared teeth. And most importantly, crying cats can scare people and other cats alike, which is often (but not always) exactly what the screaming cat intended.

Cat crying is a deafening sound. Photography © Seregraff | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

What does a cat scream sound like?

If you’ve never heard a cat scream before, have you been to a haunted house? You know those spring-loaded, screeching ghouls that leap out of the walls the moment you least expect it? Yes – this is how it is the first time you hear a cat scream – especially if it is your cat that is screaming.

Related: Let’s talk about nasty cat noises and how to deal with them

If you want to be reminded that these cute, cuddly creatures we love so much are fully equipped with the instincts and equipment to hunt and kill their prey, just listen to a screaming cat. It’s a nerve-wracking, pristine sound, and cats use it to convey a wide variety of emotions.

A screaming cat sounds a lot like a screaming person, just a little more urgent and desperate – like something out of a horror movie. The sound can rise and fall in intensity like crashing ocean waves, or the cat’s screaming can be sudden and shrill, which corresponds to a human scream: “Hey! Look at it! “

Here is a video of cats screaming to demonstrate:

Note: If a cat yells at an outside cat, cover the windows or doors so your inside kitten cannot see the outside cat. A (gentle!) Throw in a towel (similar to the one at the end of this video) should also help distract and spread the situation.

What is cat crying?

A “scream” is just one of the hundreds of sounds cats can make. In fact, cats are extremely vocal animals that can make almost ten times as much noise as dogs. But the cat’s cry is exactly what it sounds like – a sustained, high-pitched vocalization, often accompanied by growls or howls. Cat screams are instant and absolutely distinctive – there’s no reason to confuse this sound with anything other than what it is.

Cat crying is quite unusual, which is probably why it sounds so shocking. The time of day cats typically scream makes this sound even more alarming. You’re more likely to hear cats screaming while it’s dark and trying to sleep for the simple reason that cats are crepuscular, which means they’re most active in the morning and evening light – and that includes that Fight in front of your bedroom window course.

Why do cats scream?

One of the main reasons cats scream is because they are angry or scared – so cat screams are common in cat fights. The cat behavior researcher Jackson Galaxy explains: “The sympathetic nervous system begins with the reflex“ fight or flight ”. If there is no place to escape, the only option is to fight. An aggressive cat is in itself extremely terrifying; This is a cat that can seriously harm you. Be very careful! “

However, cats don’t just scream with aggression. Cats can also scream when they are sick. Galaxy recommends keeping an eye on veterinary exams to identify health concerns before they become serious enough to warrant one of those cat cries. Aging cats can show signs of confusion or dementia, and they can yell when they are startled or afraid of their surroundings.

Cats can also scream when in distress. Have you ever accidentally locked your cat in a closet? She probably wasn’t shy about communicating her displeasure with your inadvertent carelessness. And if you’ve ever accidentally stepped on your cat’s tail, you’ve probably met a screaming cat too – you may have been so alarmed that you yelled at yourself!

Finally, cats might scream while mating or looking for a mate. Needless to say, screaming cats are not interested in waking the neighbors.

Which cats are more likely to scream?

As with most behaviors, certain cats are more likely than others to scream. Two main factors are the cat’s temperament and the environment – does the cat live in a multi-cat home where it has to regularly establish its dominance in the social hierarchy? Is he easily overwrought or frightened? Was he treated roughly as a kitten? All of these aspects of a cat’s home and development can make them more or less likely to scream.

In addition, unchanged cats that have not been neutered or neutered are more likely to cry from aggression or because of hormones. When I first adopted my calico cat Phoenix, she was in heat and she wandered the house screaming for several days until I could neuter her.

Galaxy offers this advice: “Intact cat aggression encompasses both maternal aggression (completely normal behavior for a new mother to defend her kittens) and territorial cat aggression. Intact cats, both men and women, are both more aggressive and very territorial. and they also tend to spray urine on all suitable surfaces. The solution: neutering of course! “

Selected photo: © csivasz | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Continue reading: Caterwauling – what is it and why do cats do it?

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