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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
Maine coons are very vocal cats and you may hear some strange noises such as chirps, trills and meows but why do Maine coons chirp?
There are a number of reasons why Maine coons make the sounds that they do. After studying cat behaviour for a number of years, I have used my knowledge to hopefully answer your questions!
Chirping is a common vocalisation in the Maine coon and is a repetitive ”bird-like” sound. They often chirp and chatter when they are excited, as a way to greet their owner and when focused on potential prey that they cannot reach. Chirping is often also called a chirrup or a trill.
Later in this post we look at the different ways they communicate through chatter, trills and chirps and we examine some more of the reasons why they make these cute little sounds!
Keep reading crazy cat people to learn more!
Check out the featured post in this series that looks at just how vocal Maine coons are and how to deal with over-vocalisation! – Click here to read now or bookmark for later
Why Do Maine Coon Cats Chirp?
Maine coons tend to be very vocal cats, they make very cute sounds and will chirp, trill and chirrup all day long.
Dont worry their vocalisations tend to be very high pitched when we compare them to other breeds such as the Siamese who can sometimes be very loud. It’s very hard not to fall in love with a Maine coon cat for several reasons and one of them is their cute little voice!
What is a Chirp, Trill and Chirrup!
To rule out any confusion I thought it would be best to let you know that all the above names all mean the same in cat language! Even the cat daddy Jackson Galaxy admits that they all mean more or less the very same thing!
There may be some very slight differences between a chirp or a trill and some say a trill is longer than a short chirp but in reality, they all sound the same it is that high pitched rolling ”r” sound with a rising intonation.
If you want to find out more about the subtle differences see this study article I found on google scholar!
Some say that a chirp is a short sound similar to a bird calling and the chirrup is a series of these sounds.
A lot of other cat noises can mean different things depending on the context such as the hiss, the purr or the meow! With the chirp, it is a universal sign of contentment in the cat. You want your cat to be making these noises and with a Maine coon they often make an abundance of these vocalisations!
Mother cats tend to chirp at their young kittens to get their attention and to encourage them to follow her to investigate something.
Kittens learn from a young age that when their mother makes this sound it is to get their attention and they then go on to make those sounds to each other and to humans to get your attention.
Just so you are familiar with what a Chirp sounds like check out the youtube video below to hear a Maine coon trilling and chirping!
So there are a number of reasons why your Maine coon will chirp and trill!
- Mom cats use the chirp to communicate with kittens
- To communicate with other cats
- Get your attention
- Maine coons will use trilling sounds to greet you at the door and to say hello when you arrive!
- They may want food or water
Why Does My Maine Coon Chatter at Birds?
The first time I saw my cats chatter I wondered what was going on!
Often people confuse chirping with chattering but there are differences between the two. Chattering is a vocalisation where your cat may still make the rolling ”r” sound but there will be no rising intonation and you will notice that their Jaw will swing and chatter while they do this.
It tends to be much quieter than a chirp and you will only notice your cats chattering when they have spotted prey! It is quite common for wild cats to copy the sounds of their prey and this behaviour has been carried on by domesticated breeds.
They normally chatter when they are viewing prey they cannot reach such as when observing birds out of the window.
According to Wikipedia, their chattering may also be an imitation of when they lock their teeth into a prey’s neck, this is because it activates a vibration within their jaw to pierce the spine of their prey!
Just so you know how to recognise this sound check the video below!
Should I Chirp back to my Maine coon?
Let’s face it we all talk to our cats! Often we talk in baby language to them but do they like it when we trill back to them?
Cats enjoy high pitched tones and I often meow at my cats, trill to them and talk to them like babies and they seem to love it!
Maine coons are highly intelligent and they will get to know you better than you know yourself! They will learn when you are sad, frustrated and when you are happy and a lot of the time this is through your tone.
So why not trill back at them to get their attention, to greet them and to get them to follow you in the same way they communicate with you. Regular play, talking with your cat’s and cuddle time will all help to nourish and strengthen the bond you have with them!
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)