Share this image

5 Cat Sounds I Don’t Want to Hear

Kitties make so many lovely noises ... and some that make my eyes go wide and my flesh shiver.

Angie Bailey  |  Jan 14th 2013

I love most cat sounds. In fact, nothing makes me smile more than the peaceful purr of a cat in my lap. I also adore the sound and feeling of a cat jumping on my bed while I’m falling asleep. I share my home with three cats and can always tell which one has leaped on the bed based on the grace (or lack thereof) of the landing. And the sweet trill of a happy cat or awkward first mew of a kitten drive me crazy with cute!

There are, however, a few sounds I just don’t want to hear at all. These are those sounds:

1. The hack attack

We all know this one, right? Here’s how it usually goes in my house: My husband and I are lying in bed, and we hear the hacking coming from another room. We listen until completion and then both lie there, pretending to sleep in hopes the other will get out of bed and clean up the expulsion. Usually one of us will give up the standoff and venture into the darkness of the house, hoping not to plunge a foot into the vomity landmine.

If we don’t find the hacked stack by accident, the search begins. When I’m hunting for a puke pile, I think back to the gakky sounds I’d heard earlier, and try to calculate how far away they were. I also look at all obvious places: carpeting and rugs (even though a hard surface was an inch away), behind a sofa or someplace else that’s equally difficult to reach. Sometimes it is only discovered a day or two later, firmly cemented to the carpet.

2. The kerplop from the kitchen counter

My Saffy is partial to counter-cruising, and she’s smart enough to do it when we’re not in the room. What she doesn’t realize is she sounds less-than-stealthy when she jumps off the counter and hits the floor. The kerplop of the four paws hitting the linoleum is my cue that she’s been up to something fishy.

Upon further investigation, I usually discover the butter stick has been licked or she’d been snuffling around in the dirty dishes in the sink. One pre-kerplop sound I sometimes hear is her rough tongue licking a pan, usually one with meat drippings or oil of some kind. Lick, lick, lick, kerplop.

3. The cover-up

I enjoy the sound of the scratch-scratch I hear from the litter box — that means the cat is covering up her poo. I am leery, however, of that sound coming from areas outside the litter box, because that means there’s something foul afoot.

I hate to keep throwing Saffy under the bus, but she’s usually the out-of-bounds scratcher. Bless her heart, her butt fur is just a magnet for stray dingleberries, and once they become dislodged, she starts a-coverin’. Once in a while I’ll see one of the cats attempting to cover some phantom object, and I can only assume it is some stray poo energy that’s still hanging around.

4. The wrong cat lips

The cat food situation around my house is a little nutty. Saffy eats special food and Cosmo and Phoebe eat the same kind of kibble. Also, Cosmo and Saffy are pigs and eat as quickly as possible and then go after Phoebe’s food. Phoebe prefers to graze, but because of the two piggies, we can’t leave her plate of food unattended. She eats in tiny amounts and asks for more when she wants it. When we do place her food on the floor, we must keep watch because Saffy and Cosmo will swoop in and hijack the plate.

On occasion I walk away from my watch to grab something from another room and hear a non-Phoebe cat crunching some of the chow. I know it’s not Phoebe because Phoebe is a dainty eater and the other two eat like Kobayashi attempting a new hot-dog eating record. I immediately say, “Those are the wrong cat lips!” and help Phoebe reclaim her food. I’ve become quite adept at identifying cat lips in my house. It’s not a very employable skill.

5. The tippy cup

In our house, we’re pretty good about not leaving cups of liquid lying around unattended. Our cats are known big tippers, and one of the unwelcome sounds is a full cup being knocked over by a curious paw. I’ve heard this sound from the bed at night and the worst part is not knowing where the tipped cup is located and what sorts of items may have been washed up in the aftermath. I dash from the bedroom, praying I don’t find any expensive electronics taking a bath and immediately grab anything and everything that looks even slightly absorbent. FYI: sweat socks and coupon books work well in a pinch.

What cat sounds don’t you like to hear? Tell us about them in the comments!