Why Does My Cat Chatter?
WHAT IS IT?
You may notice your cat staring longingly out the window watching a bird or squirrels forage for food, when all of a sudden, they start making an odd noise. Your cat is chattering alternating between chatters and chirps, making “chchch” or “chirrup” noises as their whiskers twitch.
These noises may also be accompanied with twitching their back or their tails, crouching, and staring at something intently. Your cat may also do this noise when they are playing with toys or even you!
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
This behavior is an instinctive noise made when hunting. Chattering is common among cats, especially when they are looking at prey. It is believed that the cat is showing excitement and frustration that they are unable to get to the mouse or bird. Another theory is that they are preparing for the nape bite that they will use to kill the prey. The definitive answer is still out on exactly why, but chattering is likely due to predatory instinct.
WHAT TO DO?
There’s no harm in letting your cat engage in this behavior if they watch for a bit and then go back to their regular activities. Bird watching is a great activity for your cat to engage in and provides enrichment that breaks up their day and prevents boredom.
If your cat becomes excited after bird watching, you can play with them interactively. Grab the fishing pole style wand toy and pretend like it is a mouse. Move the toy slowly and then make it stop as if the mouse is spooked. Then suddenly move the toy quickly mimicking how prey would move. This will allow your cat to complete their hunting motor patterns and leave them satisfied.
However, you may need to intervene if your cat becomes overly frustrated, redirects aggression onto members of the family after bird watching, or becomes overstimulated. If your cat fits this description, you may need to block their access to the window. If this behavior persists, please reach out to us.