What is Your Cat Saying? By Christina Applebaum The Head Bonk You are holding your cat on your lap when they decide to rise up and bonk your head or face with theirs. But why? If your cat has done this congratulations! You are part of his gang. Among lions with each other it is a sign that they accept [the bonkee] into their pride. This is the same with your cat, it is a sign of acceptance and affection. It is also a scent thing. Sometimes a bonk ends with the sliding of their cheek across yours. Their cheeks contain scent glands so they rub anything they are marking as theirs with their cheeks. This includes you. The Trill Cats rarely meow at each other once they are adults so this vocalization is use mainly to communicate with us humans. One of the noises cats make is like a meow combined with a purr. This sound is called trilling and is mostly used by mommy cats to call her babies. Adult cats sometimes mimic this noise when happy to see us like a greeting. A playful cat may make the noise while running past you with his tail up and means "I want to play" or "Follow/chase me". The Chatter Then there is the noise you may hear them make while looking out the window at a squirrel or bird they would like to chase but can't. It's a chattering noise and it is their way of expressing frustration or excitement. Ahem Sometimes after sitting and staring at me as if to decide whether to jump on my lap or not, before doing so my cat lets out a little "beep" or "eek". I take this noise as my cats way of being polite and letting me know he about to jump on me. Sort of a "Ahem ... excuse me." [Yes when they choose to, cats have manners] The Alarm Clock One of my cats at precisely 8 am will get on the bed sniff my face and begin licking my head to let me know that is his mind it is time for me to get up. I swear he does it at the exact same time every day, which begs the question - can cats tell time? If t try to ignore him he moves on to pressing his nails ever so gently into my arm. In the end its all very hard to sleep through therefore pretty effective. All in all each individual cat will try to communicate to their human in their own way. That is to say not all cats try to talk to us the same exact way. Do your cats have any silly or unique ways of talking to you? I would love to hear them.