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5 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Chirping at Birds: Do They Lure Them?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cat hunts a bird in a meadow

Cats are curious creatures. So often, we will try to figure out what they are thinking or why they are acting a particular way. One of the things that your feline may do is chirp at birds. And, as you may know, cats are not a bird’s friend. So, why is your furry friend chirping and chatting with birds?

According to the experts, there are five reasons why your cat is chirping at birds and why they chirp at you.

hepper cat paw divider

What Is Chirping?

The chirping sound that cats make sounds just like a bird. The sound can happen when the cat’s mouth is open or almost closed. The sounds are short peeps or rapid throaty vibrations. The sounds are unusual, quiet, and repetitive.

The 5 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Chirping at Birds

1. An Expression of Excitement

close up of cat whiskers
Image Credit: Nennieinszweidrei, Pixabay

According to The International Cat Association (TICA), when a cat is peering out the window and spots a bird, its hunting instincts take over. It is like a dog drooling when they are anticipating people food or a treat.

So, when your cat starts to chirp, you see its teeth chattering, pupils enlarging, and its tail moving back and forth in a frenzy. This is a demonstration of excitement. Chances are that your feline sees some prey animal like a bird or even a favorite toy.

2. They Are Mocking the Birds

Like wild cats, your cat is trying to trick their prey. By mimicking the sound of a bird, the cat does not appear to be a threat which makes the bird easier to capture. This “survival of the fittest” behavior is common amongst mountain lions and cheetahs in the wild too.

3. A Show of Good Frustration

cat hunting
Image Credit by: katya-guseva0, Pixabay

When your cat gets a glimpse of some prey, they may appear to be frustrated or anxious. When in fact, a glimpse of a bird, mouse, or bug, fills your cat with anticipation. The challenge of the hunt is entertaining, and the possibility of the capture is engaging for your cat.

Watching your feline in action is a reminder that while we see them as our cute loving pet, they are predators at heart. And, while they may look forward to the snack, they do love the chase!

4. They Are Initiating Their “Prey Sequence”

Since cats have a natural hunting instinct, they will naturally get excited at the sight of a bird or chipmunk while looking out the window. Once they spot their prey, they will initiate a series of hunting behaviors which are called their “prey sequence.”

The sequence begins with the cat staring at the prey. As the cat stares, it begins to exhibit signs of excitement. It will begin to chatter and chirp like a bird. When the time comes, it will stalk or chase the prey. Finally, it will pounce and grab. The feline’s final assault is the deadly bite.

Remember to provide things that will encourage this natural hunting instinct with your cat. They will love you for doing so!

5. It Is a Killer Reflex (Literally)

cat hunting bird
Image Credit by: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

As pet parents, it may be difficult to imagine your furry friend as a vicious killer, but while nature can seem cruel, it is also necessary. So do not hold it against your precious feline.

The chirping sounds made by cats imitate a cat’s jaw when they are snapping the neck and severing the spine of their prey. This is an involuntary reflex caused by your cat’s motor system, and it is completely normal. It is the enthusiasm associated with capture and the kill that causes their jaws to move so quickly. The chirping mimics the kill or the snapping of the prey’s neck.

It is understandable, however, if you find it difficult to think of your furry friend this way.

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Do not be concerned and think that your cat sees you as prey if it chirps at you. The feline may be looking for your attention or greeting you. The chirping sounds, focus, and eagerness may be the same, but the cat will be walking around, looking relaxed, and maybe rubbing against you. It is also likely it is saying hello, or it is signaling to you that it wants to play or eat.

So now that you know why your cat chirps at birds, you may want to open the blinds and let your cat enjoy watching them. Satisfying its instinct to hunt and the excitement of the chase will keep your feline engaged, stimulated, and happy.

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