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5 Reasons Why Do Cats Trill | And How Does It Sound

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Some people say that dogs are more expressive than cats, we have enough evidence to prove them wrong. Cats can be very expressive, and they don’t just “meow” but Chris, trill, purr, and even a bleep at times. However, they make a very unusual sound, which is known as trilling.

So, what is trilling, and why do cats trill? Are they in pain or immense happiness! Is it something that every cat knows and does, or do you need to teach her! All such questions we are about to answer, so don’t worry, just keep reading.

reasons why cats trill

Is Trilling a Form of Communication?

Yes, trilling is a form of communication for cats in the same way a “meow” is! Our cute felines use different types of voices and sounds to convey what’s going on their inner side, and we are pretty sure that you don’t want to miss it.

Any cat parent could surely relate to it, that whenever they come home from a long day out, they are welcomed with a lot of, rrroooowe, brrring, brupppp, brupppp!” is your cat trying to say anything? Like, hey my human I miss you, or hey where wear you, foolish human?

Trilling is one such way for cats to convey their messages.

What Does Trill Sound Like?

Just like many cats sound from meowing to chirps, purrs to hisses, trilling is also a sound produced by cats, but it is produced with the mouth closed. When a cat trills, the air is pushed through its vocal cords rather than expelling the air.

So basically, the high-pitched rolling sound is known as cat trilling.

Five Reasons Why a Cat Trills?

So, once you know what cat trilling sounds like, it’s time to understand why do cat trills. Here are five amazing reasons to quench your curiosity:

Why do cats trill:

1. A Way of Greeting

Cats meow, but they don’t meow for every single thing! Many times a cat’s trill is a way of saying hello, a way of warm greetings.

cats trill as a way of greeting

Especially when she hasn’t seen you for a longer period of time, for example, you came home after a long shift of 9 hrs. After coming home, your cat comes to you, starts rubbing herself on you, and then you hear a weird sound like a pigeon! Well yes, that’s a trill, yes it can sound like the noise that pigeons make.

Also, cat trilling does not mean that they are demanding anything but, more like, a way of greeting or representing a feeling of joy. They learn this in their kittenhood from mother cats.

2. A Command of Mother Cat to Her Kittens

So, why do cats trill? Trilling is a way for cats to greet other cats as well as humans. And from whom do they learn this trilling?

cat trilling as a command of mother cat to her kittens

In a cat’s world, a mother cat is responsible for teaching her kitten survival habits, like cleaning themselves by licking, hiding, hunting, etc. In the same way, adult cats trill to drag the attention of their kittens. When a mother cat wants her kittens to follow her, mother cats will trill.

So the kittens learn to respond to the trilling from the very beginning of their life.

3. Hey Pay Attention!

Why do cats trill, because they want your attention, yes such events are to be cherished because most of the time cats are such creatures which love to stay in their own element.

cats trill to express emotions

But cats are not as cold as the internet tells you. Trilling sometimes can be an affectionate way for your cat to ask for attention. If your cat is trilling endlessly, looking at you this means that she needs a lot of attention in form of love you can pet, cuddle, and play with her to fulfill her wish.

If your cat continuously looks at you, whistling, moving away, and trilling, she may be asking you to follow her.

Sometimes cats also trill in front of you because they want to show you something, they are asking you to follow them.

4. Happy Cat Trills!

It won’t be wrong to say that, you can associate your cat’s trill with positivity, happy cats often trill to express their emotions. Especially if she’s trilling around you, it means that she wants you to know that, hey human, you make me happy!

happy cat trilling

Trilling, a sing of affection, love, and special greetings. If you happen to be a lucky cat parent, then your cat will trill around you, and It’s not as common as a cat meow!

Cat trilling out of happiness is a sign for cat parents that they are doing a great job and your cat simply loves you.

5. Female Cats in Heat

This reason why cats trill is quite surprising and a clever move of our dear cats, In order to attract a male cat, female cats in heat will make a variety of sounds, including the odd extended trill. In addition, female cats in heat are more talkative in general and may trill more towards their humans.

female cats trilling in heat cycle

This is the one moment when trilling isn’t a mostly straightforward sound of joy. That’s not to suggest that cats in heat aren’t happy, but they’re usually dealing with a wide range of emotions at once, including frustration.

What If My Cat Doesn’t Trill?

As we stated that trilling is not as common as a cat’s “meow” which means that it is not necessary for all the cats to trill. Cats, who don’t trill, can have other ways of communicating their feelings! Even if your cats are shy, they will not use trilling as a way of communication.

On the other hand, extrovert cats are more likely to trill and engage in vocalization, such cats even sing together with their humans. Cat breeds like Maine coon, Siamese, or Scottish Fold blood are extremely vocalization, and they tend to trill often.

When You Should Be Worried About Your Cat’s Trilling?

Well never! To be honest, you should never be worried about your cat’s trilling, as it’s a form of communication and mostly considered a positive thing, but some cats trill when they are in pain. Trilling can be compared with singing a song, you might sing when you’re happy and some people sing when they are sad!

when you should be worried about your cat's trilling

However, if your cat has suddenly started to trill out of nowhere, then you need to look out for the possible signs of any kind of injury.


When your cat purrs, 90 % of the population knows that she’s happy and content in the same way trilling, though it is not that popular, it is related to a positive feeling. Cats usually trill when they are happy! For a better understanding of why cats trill, examine their body language.

However, there’s hardly anything to be worried about if your cat doesn’t trill because it is not compulsory for every cat to engage in such vocalization. Some shy cats won’t make such trilling noise.


  1. The cat’s meow — Humane Society
  2. How cats show they need attention — Hill’s Pet
  3. Sounds that cats make — Affinity Foundation

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