If you’ve ever heard your cat making cooing sounds like a pigeon or a small bird, then you’ve probably heard a trill, chirp, or chirrup. All three words can be used to describe these sounds.
As a cat parent, I’ve experienced these adorable sounds many times, and it always brings a smile to my face because it lets me know that my cat is most likely happy and feels cared for, loved, and secure with me.
These are some of the most common reasons why cats use this pigeon-like sound to communicate with humans and other cats:
One of the most common reasons why your cat might sound like a pigeon is trilling.
Trilling is a closed-mouth coo that sounds like a mix between a purr and a meow. It’s usually a friendly greeting from your cat to you.
Whenever I come home from work, Cleo would often trill in excitement and come over for some head scratches.
Here’s some audio of what trilling sounds like:
2. Chirping and Cooing
Cats often chirp and coo when they want to play or when they’re being petted by their owners.
These sounds are distinct from meowing and can sometimes resemble the cooing of a pigeon.
Whenever I’m playing with Cleo with a string toy, she would often make chirping sounds in anticipation of catching the prey hanging from the toy.
Trilling like a pigeon often indicates that your cat is happy. If your cat is lying down and purring while trilling, you can be sure that they are content and relaxed.
Sometimes when Cleo was taking a nap, she would trill in her sleep, and it was absolutely adorable.
Your cat may be making pigeon-like noises because they’re excited and content.
If your cat is running around the house or playing with their toys, you might hear them make these happy sounds.
Whenever I bring out some catnip for Cleo to play with or when ever she plays with her dinosaur toy, she would make these cooing sounds in delight.
5. Attention Seeking
Sometimes, these pigeon-like sounds could be a way for your cat to get your attention.
If your cat is feeling ignored or wants some affection, they might start making these sounds to get you to notice them.
Whenever Cleo wants to cuddle, she would come up close and start trilling softly to get my attention, which she ultimately gets.
6. Mother-Kitten Communication
As kittens, cats learn vital communication skills from their mother, including trilling or cooing to signal their attention.
When adult cats make cooing sounds, they’re often expressing friendliness or excitement and trying to initiate interaction with their owner, which can sometimes come off as “follow me” or “play with me” noises.
It’s a way of telling you that they’re happy to see you and want some attention, affection, food or to play.
While it’s not as common as other forms of cat vocalizations, some experts suggest that cats may mimic the sounds of birds when they’re agitated or focused on potential prey.
If your cat is near a window and sees birds outside, they might make cooing sounds that sound similar to the birds.
It’s an instinctive behavior, and it doesn’t mean that your cat is bored or unhappy.
8. Watching Prey
Sometimes, when cats see potential prey that they cannot access, such as squirrels or birds, they may make noises that sound like chirping or cooing.
It’s similar to how dogs may whine or bark when they see something they want but can’t get to.
It’s a way of expressing their frustration and desire to get closer to the prey.
9. Individual Personality
Just like us humans, cats also have their unique personalities that are reflected in their behavior and communication style.
If your cat is making cooing sounds frequently, it might be a part of their personal communication style.
Some cats are more vocal than others, and cooing might just be the way your cat learned how to express themselves.
Why does my cat sound like a pigeon constantly? Should I be worried?
The sound your cat is constantly making that resembles a pigeon cooing is called trilling.
Cats usually trill when they’re happy, greeting someone, or feeling playful. Mother cats also use this sound to get the attention of their kittens.
It’s a completely normal vocalization for cats and often indicates that they’re in a good mood or curious about something.
However, if your cat is making this noise constantly and it seems out of character, it might be worth checking with a vet to rule out any potential health issues.
But generally, a cat trilling is a positive sign and usually nothing to worry about.
Do all cats make pigeon sounds?
Not all cats make sounds that resemble a pigeon or dove cooing, also known as trilling.
It’s a common behavior among cats, but each cat is unique and may have different ways of communicating based on the vocalizations they learned when growing up.
However, if a cat doesn’t make this sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong.
Cats have a range of vocalizations and methods of communication, so they might simply prefer other ways of expressing themselves.
Why does my cat sound like a bird chirping sometimes?
The chirping sound, also known as a chirrup or a trill, is typically a short, peep-like noise that’s quite similar to a songbird’s warble.
Cats often chirp in anticipation when they see a bird, a toy, or a bug that activates their natural hunting instincts.
It’s believed that this sound may mimic the noises made by prey animals, serving as a form of hunting strategy.
While it’s possible that not all cats chirp, those that do use it as part of their vocal communication.
Why is my cat making a weird throat noise?
Cats can make a variety of sounds for different reasons, and a weird noise in the throat could indicate several things. Here are a few possibilities:
- Airway Blockage: A low-pitched sound, almost like snoring, could be caused by an airway blockage in the throat.
- Pleural Effusion: If your cat is making strange noises with its throat, it might be due to pleural effusion, which involves an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity.
- Chattering or Mimicking Prey: Cats sometimes mimic the sounds of birds or rodents to draw them in closer where they can pounce on them.
- Breathing Difficulty: Gurgling sounds in the throat or chest of cats are referred to as stertor or stridor and indicate some kind of difficulty when breathing.
- Reverse Sneezing: This can sound like your cat is choking, as if something is stuck in its throat.
- Dry Heaves: If your cat is making a noise like they’re trying to vomit, but nothing comes out, it may have something they need to cough up, like hairball from licking their fur or some other foreign object.
It’s important to note that any sudden change in your cat’s behavior or sounds should warrant a visit to the vet to determine possible health issues or reasons causing these noises.
What does it mean when a cat trills, chirps, and chirrups?
When a cat trills, chirps, or makes a chirruping cooing noise, they are generally expressing positive emotions.
These sounds are distinct from regular meowing and have different meanings, most often that your cat is in a good mood and is trying to communicate with you.
This is a high-pitched, chirp-like noise made by cats as a greeting to people or other cats. It’s associated with a positive, welcoming vibe.
Cat moms originally use trilling to attract their kittens’ attention and ask them to follow her.
Your cat may produce the same sound to make you notice her, and after she has grabbed your attention, try to lead you. It’s essentially a cat’s way of saying hello, come here, or expressing excitement.
This is an adorable way a cat lets you know they’re happy. A chirp is usually a very quick, repetitive, “bird-like” sound your kitty makes very quietly.
Some cat owners think of it more as a “chatter.” Cats often make this sound when they’re looking out the window and see a bird.
3. Chirruping Cooing Noise
This can be seen as a type of trill, somewhere between the coo of a pigeon and a chirp. It can be considered as a cat’s way of saying hello or trying to grab your attention.
It generally indicates that your cat is happy and wants to interact with you.
Yes, all these three sounds are the same thing.
What sound does a cat make when in pain?
When a cat is in pain, they can make several distinct noises or changes in their usual sounds. These can include:
This is a shrill, wailing noise that might sound like your pet is in pain.
It’s often described as a mix between a yowl and a whine. A cat may caterwaul for many reasons, pain, distress, being territorial, and mating calls being some of them.
2. Crying or Howling
Some cats in severe, sudden pain will cry out or howl. If your cat never makes much noise and suddenly starts howling loudly, it might be a sign that they’re in pain.
Look at the video below, and you’ll see a cat who feels stuck and is howling and caterwauling because of distress.
Please don’t do this to your cats because this is stressing out your cat, and you really shouldn’t be doing things that stress your cat, even when it seems funny to you.
3. Hissing or Growling
Hissing usually indicates that your cat feels threatened, angry, or is in pain. If your cat hisses or growls, particularly if you touch a painful area, they may be experiencing discomfort.
4. Change in Meowing
A change in the way your cat vocalizes could indicate pain.
Pay attention to the amount of “talking” your cat is doing and the volume they’re using. If your cat’s meow has turned into more of a whine, it could mean they’re in pain.
If you notice any of these sounds or changes in your cat’s behavior, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Pain in cats can be a sign of various health issues, all of which may require immediate attention.
When should you be worried about a cat sounding like a pigeon?
A cat sounding like a pigeon, also known as trilling, is usually not a cause for concern.
It’s a common sound made by cats when they are feeling happy, playful, or seeking attention from you.
However, if your cat’s vocalizations change significantly or if the trilling is accompanied by other signs of distress or illness, changes related to their eating or drinking habits, lethargy, changes in litter box use, or visible discomfort, then it would be a good idea to consult with a vet.
In general, any significant change in your cat’s behavior or normal routine should be a reason to seek veterinary advice.
Always trust your instincts – you know your pet best.