One theory for chirping is cats use it to signal to others it has spotted prey. That does not seem to be entirely logical because cats remain quiet when they are stalking. In any case, cats are normally solitary hunters though some reports exist that they occasionally cooperate — apart from tigers this is certainly the exception rather than the rule.
If chirping is truly a signal used in hunting then this could be related to chattering — something many cats do when they spot a bird and which some experts say is done to practice a killing bite. In this case I think that the chirp and chatter have a purpose humans simply do not understand.
Then again it could be a “follow me” signal but I believe that a trill serves this purpose. Instead a chirp seems to me to be an expression of pure pleasure and excitement — a kind of “a-ha that’s wonderful.” It is perhaps pure communication of mental state rather than something that serves a purpose in the sense a trill or chatter does.
In the wild chirps seem to be restricted to kittens rather than adults. Some people say that a domesticated cat always remains a kitten in its head. I think this is plain wrong and that cats just have more fun when they live with a loving person and thus have a lot more to talk about.
Here are three examples of chirping. First of all listen to a wild cat – in this case a young Serval – doing so.
The wild kitten chirp:
This is just a kitten and the sound is more like a tiny bark than the chirp of a domestic cat. Now lets hear a domestic cat:
Why do cats make a chirping noise — domestic cat Chirp:
That is a definite chirp. If anything the cat seems to be saying “what’s going on?” or “why are you doing it” – definitely not a response to hunting.
Now another one — this time a Maine Coon — starts with a slight purr, a chirp and a trill. Is that a chirp or a short meow?
Why do cats make a chirping noise? Most cat language is still a mystery to humans though we often make out we understand. When does your cat chirp and have you a theory what he or she is saying. Please let us know.