Does your cat chatter or chirp at birds, toys or bugs? Find out what it means and how you can turn it into an opportunity to play!
Have you witnessed your cat sitting in a window, chattering at the birds? Does your cat sometimes watch a feather wand toy intently as it waves around and then start chattering at it? There are a few reasons this happens, and there are some great ways to capitalize on those moments with your cat!
As a prey animal, this behavior is driven by your cat’s natural instinct to hunt. It’s believed that one of the biggest reasons cats make this sound is out of frustration at not being able to catch the prey they’ve been stalking with their line of sight. There’s also evidence to support the idea that your cat is imitating sounds made by their prey in an effort to make the prey think that they’re not a danger. Whatever the reason, we can use those moments to really engage with our cats.
It’s not a great time to shower them with attention as it might increase their already high level of stimulation, but it’s a wonderful time to help them release that frustration and have a great time with their person. Encourage a round of energetic play, offering lots of chase, hunt and leaping opportunities. Allow them to complete their prey sequence by giving them time to capture and “kill” a wand toy or any toy that they really love to engage with.
If we use that high prey drive as an opportunity to have fun and blow off some steam, we can really make our cat’s day so much more enriched and satisfying!