Cat Trill or Chirrup

Caymus is the first cat I ever heard trill.  I think I like the word, “chirrup” for it more because it the sound of that word sounds more like the sound they make than “trill” does.  I actually didn’t know what on Earth it was called – but sounds like a rolling of the tongue to me.

Yesterday, a Floppycats reader, Brian, pointed out that he heard Charlie trill in the video below at 3:30.

Brian went on to say, “A trill is also called a chirrup. The zoologist Desmond Morris, in his book “Catwatching” (a wonderful book by the way on cat behaviour and cat terms) says that the mother cat trills to her kittens to tell them to come to her or follow me.

Notice how Charlie moved just after trilling? Desmond Morris says adult cats will make this sound when they move off and or to a place where there is food or expect food.”

Does your kitty trill or chirrup?

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. George's Human Mum says:

    My George tends to make the sound when he is watching birds or other cats through the window. It sounds so funny and the way he puffs his cheeks out are gorgeous.
    I would love to get him the Catsitter dvd’s but hubby thinks I am weird enough because I play the cat clips on youtube for him. George loves them and sits and watches intently, hitting me occasionally when he gets excited (normally when it is a cat picking on a dog lol)His favorite tv show though seems to be Dr Who.

  2. Boomer trills A LOT–when he’s racing around, wanting me to play with him or chase him, when he’s sitting at his food dish looking at me imploringly, and on those rare occasions we’re actually in separate rooms (such as he’s sleeping in one room and wakes up to find I’m elsewhere) and he’s looking for his mommy. It’s the cutest, sweetest sound… but then again, he’s my baby, so naturally I think EVERYTHING he does is adorable, LOL. 🙂

  3. Shadow Dance Ranch Kittehs says:

    We always make trilling/chirrup sounds when we watch our video. We have had this since it came out on VCR and then momma got us the DVD when the VCR went bye, bye. We also make the sounds when we are watching the birdies and critters through the windows!

  4. Your cats are so precious – I love how they watch TV. Scooter is a meeper not a meower, and then during the night, she hauls her little no neck around the apartment while singing opera.

  5. All three chirrup (notice it is up to 3 again – that didn’t take long!). Our new one (my ‘granddaughter), chirrups every time she reaches the last step on the staircase or rung of a ladder! It is so funny. She does it to signal that she is going to play or go nuts too. Andy does it to me when he is begging. And Felix does it when he jumps into bed with me. They each seem to do it when they are reaching what makes them happy. I love the sound – it is almost as much fun as a purrrr.

    1. yes, charlie definitely chirrups to say he is going to go nuts or play too. AND WHEN he jumps onto the bed! i love the sound too!

  6. Most (but not all) of the many kitties I’ve had were/are “chirpers”. I think this is a special sound they make to communicate with their moms and also with human cat-parents. Sometimes they’re asking for food, although usually a food request is an increasingly loud MEOW. (No skinny kitties here, by the way!!!) When I pet a sleeping kitty or just enter a room, I’m often rewarded with delightful chirps. They might be cheerful greetings or mean “I love you too!” in cat language 🙂

  7. My Romeo trills all the time. He’ll often come in to the room and chirrup and give me a kiss– my term for a sweet headbutt. He’s always looking for a snack and constantly demands that his bowls be filled even if he’s not particularly hungry. He’s so cutely compulsive!

    1. of course, a cat named “Romeo” would!! What a lover!

  8. Dex does this when him and Jake get into what i call ‘frisky cat mode’.

    frisky cat mode – mode when cats trill/chirrup, run after each other with tails erect but drooping backwards in an upside down U shape.

    1. ha ha ha – that’s when i first heard caymus do it – more of a playful thing.

  9. Emily trills all the time! She does that more than meow. I’ve always thought it was a greeting of some kind. She especially does it when she jumps on the bed to settle in for the night and if she moves around on the bed, she announces it with a trill or chirrup. Love that sound.

    1. yes, i love it – charlie does it at night too.

    2. now that i think about it, Jake does this from time to time when i wake him up from a nap.

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