If you have had a cat for any length of time you have probably noticed this behaviour a few times already. Why is my cat clicking?
Why do cats make clicking sounds?
Sometimes the cat makes the clicking sound with its mouth. This is known as chattering, and it is usually while the cat is intensely focused on something. Their wiskers are usually pulled in front of their mouth and their jaws will vibrate quickly. As you can imagine this isn’t regular behaviour, and it might even scare you a little bit, or at very least make you curious.
So what is actually happening when they make this noise? Are they communicating something to you, or is it just a random event?
Why do cats chatter their teeth? Is it ok?
You don’t have to worry, this is actually a very normal thing for cats. It is also not a sign of discomfort or any sort of trouble. Cat experts actually haven’t discovered yet exactly why cats make the chirping sound, so the true meaning of the thing isn’t quite understood yet. There are however a few theories out there that can help explain what is going on. Those chirp, chirps and chatters are all part of the deal.
Is it about the Birds?
Usually, you’ll notice your cat chattering at birds. Experts explain that seeing birds can unleash a cat’s wild instincts and make her wish to practise her hunting skills.
Therefore, chattering could be a kind of vocal manipulation as the cat copies the calls of a bird, which in this case is the prey. This use of vocal mimicry can serve as a hunting tool.
Cat behaviour specialists think that in these conditions cats chatter due to anticipation or frustration. If the cat is looking out the window and can’t catch a bird, s/he might be frustrated because she won’t be able to hunt.
What is that Cat Chattering Noise?
The chattering noise can be related to the readiness to perform and take down the prey. The movement is similar to the killing bite that the cat would use as a hunter.
When your cat is doing this, you can distract her with a toy. In this way, she can chase down and capture something. Moreover, you can enjoy her full attention.
However, there are other situations when your cat might chatter even if there is no possible prey around.
So why do cats chatter at laser pointers? Mostly because they get really excited, and sometimes don’t know how to respond.
If you have ever watched your cat’s body language when they chatter, you have probably noticed that they are wide-eyed with excitement and fixated on their target. Usually, chattering is a clear reaction to prey. Your cat’s chattering might be an expression, or reaction of excitement about spotting what they instinctively see as their next meal (or maybe their next “toy” for many of our lazy, well-fed house cats). In other words, they might be thinking like any of us humans when we see our food coming in a restaurant!
But why don’t our kitties chatter at us when we are about to feed them? Another theory behind why cats chatter is that they are frustrated. Imagine being so excited to see your food coming in a restaurant, just to watch your waiter put it down at another table. This idea is behind another popular theory that tries to explain why cats chatter: frustration.
Why is my cat chattering at me?
Apart from the predator theory, there is another one that suggests that chattering noises are triggered by excitement. This is most likely what happens when the cat is so delighted to see something that she shows her happiness by making a special noise.
The domesticated cat is chattering her jaw as a way to show off her enthusiasm for being able to engage in a pleasant activity such as playing with the laser pointer or spending time with you. It’s not even unusual to see your car chattering at a fly or to catch birds. They even sometimes chatter and chirp or while watching the birds.
Next time you see your cat chattering at birds or hear your cat making clicking sound somewhere in the house, rest assured that there is nothing wrong. It’s just one of the cute things kitties do! Anyway, whenever your cat is doing something and you’re not sure whether it’s ok or not, it’s always best to double-check.