Do cats growl?

Cats communicate with body language and various vocalizations. Body language is more commonly used in communicating with other cats and with other animals. With humans, cats typically use sounds to communicate. It appears that humans can better understand the message cats want to convey if vocalization is used rather than body language. Pet owners would always hear the purring and the meowing of the pet. However, cats can make at least 30 different kinds of sounds. To alert humans to their moods and needs, cats use the different kinds of calls they have developed to be better understood by their human friends. A growl is one of the sounds cats make.

A growl is a low or harsh rumbling sound that appears to be produced at the back of the throat. Growling is a sound that is commonly associated with big cats. Lions, tigers, panthers and other big cats are predators that growl. The growling sound made by these animals would not fail to intimidate a prey. Domestic cats do growl but housecats rarely use this kind of vocalization. Not many cat owners have heard the pet growl. Some cat parents may not even be aware that the pet can produce such sound. This is due to the fact the growling is a sound made to show aggression and anger. Housecats live peaceful lives thus seldom would these pets have the reason to growl.

In the wild, cats are expected to do a lot of growling. Growling is a vocalization that would be heard more often from feral and stray cats as well. Cats that have found a prey would growl. The vocalization is a manifestation of the cat’s aggression. Cats are cunning hunters. The growl is designed to immobilize the prey. In the wild, a cat would try to scare a predator by growling. The growl is a defense mechanism aimed to deter a more dominant animal from attacking. Growling though can be associated with the feeling of fear. Because of the growling sound it makes, the cat may appear to be aggressive and ready to take on the attack of the predator. A growling and hissing cat would appear to be a more formidable opponent. However, the cat is more likely to flee. A cat that is ready to face the attacker would growl calmly.

Cats have different personalities. While some would appear to have nothing much to say, others would be very “talkative”. The sounds these animals make is their way of attracting attention. It is therefore necessary for a cat parent to understand the meaning of the vocalizations the pet makes. As mentioned, growling is rarely heard from indoor cats. When the pet growls, it is either angry or feeling threatened. The cat owner has to find the source of the cat’s anger or fear. A cat would growl when it is feeling threatened by another pet. A dog may be hovering or another pet may be eating on the cat’s food dish or playing with its toys. The growling of the pet can be associated with aggression if it is arching its back, laying the ears back, baring the teeth and lashing the tail slowly but in deliberate manner. These are signs that the pet is ready to attack. A cat that does not want to be disturbed would growl. Cat parents tend to cuddle and to rub the pet. Cats would appreciate the affection and the attention of the owner. However, these animals have low sensitivity threshold. The constant petting can result to static electricity that would cause the pet pain. The cat’s growling means “Stop, I’ve has enough”.