Let’s Talk Cat Growling — Why Does Your Cat Growl and How Should You React?

Let’s Talk Cat Growling — Why Does Your Cat Growl and How Should You React?

An angry cat growling, hissing or hiding.

Why do cats growl? Is your cat growling because he’s angry, in pain, or feeling territorial — or is he just being dramatic? Plus, what is the right way for a human to react to cat growling?

As kitty parents know, cats make all kinds of sounds. My little calico lady, Merritt, is fond of trilling, but my large orange tabby dude, Gabby, is fond of the huff (and annoyed, airy snort — does anyone else’s cat do this?!) and the growl. We adopted Gabby as an abandoned older kitty with an unknown past, so it makes sense that he’s got a few behavioral issues and is more prone to expressing his discontent vocally. But I’ve heard a fair amount of cat growling come from Merritt, too (we recently experienced a case of feline non-recognition aggression that caused her to growl away!).

So, what exactly is cat growling and how should you react when your cat growls? Let’s take a look:

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