Growl


graphic by Ali Noel Vyain

It’s never good when cats growl. It’s worse than a hiss. A hiss is a warning, but a growl is much worse. It means we’re getting into fighting mode. So, it’s best to step away from us when we growl. A growl is in between a hiss and a scream. Don’t forget we are armed with claws which we sharpen everyday.

A growl means we are angry and don’t want to be bothered for any reason. We may not understand what your intentions are. We feel threatened and will attack to defend ourselves. It’s the way cats are. Best to leave us alone and give us lots of space until we calm down. Or the consequences could be dangerous.

Growl


graphic from Ali Noel Vyain

In cat language a growl is worse than a hiss. The cat is getting ready to fight. Best to leave a cat alone when they are growling. Clearly they feel threatened and mean to defend themselves.

Hiss


graphic by Ali Noel Vyain

Beware when a cat hisses at you. It’s a warning. We may not like you. We may not like the way you’re treating us. Or perhaps we just don’t feel well. Cats like humans can get irritable. We get sick on occasion. Hopefully, not very often. When our favorite people die or never come back to visit us or be with us, we get depressed. We can get upset when new people come into our lives.

But a hiss is just a warning. It means we want you to give us some space. Just leave us alone for a bit. Perhaps we just need to watch you from afar before we can let you get closer to us. Don’t take it personally and just give us the space we’re asking for.

Hiss


graphic from Ali Noel Vyain

In cat language, a hiss is a warning. The cat is irked and wants to be left alone. It is only a mild warning.

Tail Expressions


graphic by Ali Noel Vyain

Tail expressions tend to be overlooked by many humans. But our tails can communicate in ways our meows can’t. For example, when a cat carries their tail upright, it means they are happy. I know I walk around with my tail upright often. I’m quiet, but I’m still quite content.

If the tail is down low, such as lying straight on the cat’s back, it means the cat is nervous. Nuri used to walk like that when she first went to live with my girl. After Nuri learned how safe her new home was and how good my girl is, Nuri was able to relax. Now she walks around with her tail upright.

A fluffed out tail is a warning. It’s what we do to appear larger to scare off what is frightening us. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it’s all in play. Sometimes Nuri’s tail fluffs out and then she relaxes once she realizes there’s nothing to be afraid of. It was probably all the time she had live outside on her own. Every little sound could spell danger out there.

And now I come to Spot and his very expressive tail. Some humans make the mistake that he was angry when he waves his tail around. He isn’t. He usually is very happy go lucky. In fact, my girl used to recite my name and others we knew to him. Spot would respond not with a meow but with his tail beating faster. It was his way of saying how much he loved us all.

So, pay attention humans. We do use our tails as a means of communication.

Growl in Other Languages


graphic from Ali Noel Vyain

This month’s cat vocabulary is the word growl. When a cat growls it is a warning sign. They are warning us away from them. Usually any cat I live with won’t growl at me. They know me pretty well and trust me.

Sometimes they will. Once Sir Socks growled at me when I kept bothering while he was taking a nap. So, I left him alone to sleep. He’s right I can be too silly for my own good at times.

Other strange cats have growled at me in the past. They didn’t know me and wasn’t sure what I would do to them. I stepped back and left them alone. Cats do come with sharp teeth and sharp claws. They can and will defend themselves when necessary.

Saying Growl in European Languages (source)

Language Ways to say growl
Albanian: ankohem
Basque: Growl
Belarusian: рык
Bosnian: režanje
Bulgarian: ръмжене
Catalan: grunyit
Croatian: režanje
Czech: zavrčení
Danish: knurre
Dutch: grommen
Estonian: urin
Finnish: murista
French: grognement
Galician: rosmar
German: knurren
Greek: γκρινιάζω(nkriniázo)
Hungarian: morgás
Icelandic: Growl
Irish : growl
Italian: ringhiare
Latvian: rūkt
Lithuanian: urgzti
Macedonian: режењето
Maltese: growl
Norwegian: knurre
Polish: warczeć
Portuguese: rosnar
Romanian: hârâit
Russian: рычание(rychaniye)
Serbian: режање(rezhanje)
Slovak: zavrčanie
Slovenian: Rezanje
Spanish: gruñido
Swedish: morra
Ukrainian: гарчання(harchannya)
Welsh: growl
Yiddish: וואָרטשען

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