If you've ever wondered what your cat is thinking, this might help a little bit.  Here's what it typically means when a cat meows, purrs, or makes any other noise that cats like making.

Click on the audio buttons to hear examples of the sounds.

1. Cats Meowing

It can mean a lot of things, including that they're happy, angry, hungry, or just want attention.

And it's strictly a PEOPLE thing.  When they're kittens, they sometimes meow to their mothers.  But after that, it's all about people, and they almost never meow unless there's a HUMAN in the room.

2. Cats Purring

.  Sometimes they do it when they feel threatened or afraid, not just happy.  And experts have also noticed cats sometimes purr when they're recovering from an injury.

That could be because sound frequencies in the same range as purring . . . which is between 25 and 150 Hertz . . . have been shown to improve bone density and promote healing.

3. Cats Trilling

.  Which is kind of like a cross between a meow and a purr.  Mother cats do it as a way of telling their kittens to follow them.  Adult cats sometimes use it as a way of communicating with each other.

And some cats do it if they want you to follow them somewhere . . . like to an empty water bowl.

4.  Chattering.

It also sounds like a cross between a meow and a purr, but they do it with their mouth open.  And it means they're either excited about something or frustrated.

For example, a lot of cats do it when they're looking out a window and see a bird they can't get to.

5.  Hissing or Growling.

They do it to humans, other cats, or other animals, and it usually means their afraid, angry, or being territorial.  Which you probably figured out already.

6.  Caterwauling.

Which is a howling or wailing sound that female cats make.  If your cat is fixed, she probably doesn't do it though, because it's their way of letting everyone know they're in heat.

Notice that most of these sounds are used to manipulate people! Cool, huh?