Cats make a variety of sounds, but knowing what these sounds mean can spell the difference between understanding your cat or just looking clueless while your cat stares at you in despair. As a general rule, cats meow only for the benefit of humans as a way to get attention.

If a cat hisses or growls, that’s clearly a sign that it doesn’t want you around or that it’s frightened. If a cat purrs, it could be hurt or it could be content. You’ll have to look at the at’s body language to further decipher its meaning.

Trying to understand a cat can be like learning a whole new language. The only difference is that you get to talk to furry felines instead of other human beings.

To read all the different types of sounds a cat might make, click here.

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