Have you been noticing your cat sigh when it is about to sleep, or just suddenly when it’s sitting by the window doing nothing? Don’t worry. It is perfectly normal for a cat to sigh – and we are here to explain why!
Yep. Cats sigh.
Cats yawn, grunt, groan, sneeze, burp, fart, get hiccups – and they sigh. It is completely normal for them to do so.
Cats often sigh to express their contentment, relaxation, or boredom!
Sighing is a long, deep breath that normally indicates the happy or relaxed mood of a cat. But many people have mistaken it to be a sign of depression or discomfort like of humans.
We often tend to get surprised or weirded out when someone not human does something we’re used to seeing only humans do – isn’t that why the craze for parrots talking hasn’t died out despite us getting used to the fact that parrots can mimic human tongue?
Well, then what is the sound like, and what could be the other reason?
I guess we need more points, let’s dig for more.
Why Do Cats Sigh?
Normally the sigh of the cat means it is happy and relaxed. Just like humans, it releases long breaths as they relax.
This is their way of telling people that they are content.
Though different researchers put different theories behind the sigh of this mammal but the relaxation theory is more acceptable.
Humans normally take sighs as a negative emotion. Being complex beings, humans have a lot of plans to accomplish and work to regret while cats have no such plans. They live and react to the present moment.
Some cats sigh before falling asleep, it seems to be a common reflex.
Cats are quite chatty animals, though their nature usually depends on their breed. Sighing can be assumed as one of their method of talking to you.
Let’s assume you played a chasing game with your cat and after the game, she lies down with a sigh. This sigh is of contentment. Take it as a compliment.
Watch when you treat her with her favorite thing, that sigh will be of happiness.
Sometimes, cat closes their eyes partially, which indicates pleasure
In nutshell the reason behind the cat’s sigh can be:
Every mammal has lungs, which are vital for the process of respiration.
Cat’s lungs are like human’s and serve the same purpose. So, a sigh is a long breath that refills the alveoli. Without a sigh, the alveoli might burst down.
Silvia Pagliardini said ‘sighs keep the tiny air sacs in the lungs, the alveoli, from collapsing, and maintain the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.’
Too much sigh might be an indication of underlying respiratory disease.
2. The Emotion
Cats normally sigh when it is relaxed. Don’t confuse it with the boredom sigh of humans for cats in case of boredom and frustration won’t stop making the irritable noise and in depression, they won’t meow a word!
It might take a deep breath while lying down in her place which shows that it is relieved to be here and is emotionally stable.
Sigh is similar to the other relaxation techniques of the cat-like; licking, suckling, and kneading.
They have no sense to regret their past mistakes, nor it worries about their future.
So, what do they express? Its current emotion!
With a deep and long sigh, your little friend might be telling you “hey Hooman, I am very happy!” or “oh! It’s so exciting!” or even “ah! I am so tired, finally, it’s my bedtime.”
It can be whatever.
In most cats, the sigh is not a topic of worry.
These fuzzy creatures are carefree, they don’t care about what’s happening around the world or which forest is burning. All it does is play around the house with the wool ball.
Sigh is a very positive sign, this means your cat is absolutely happy in your house.
In fact, you should feel relaxed and happy!
3. Cats Are Sentient Beings Too!
Sentience, although the most complex in humans, isn’t just a gift to the homo sapiens species. Animals, and now even plants, have shown to have some level of sentience – the flora and fauna around us are alive, not just in the literal, scientific sense – but in the sense of the philosophy of life and existence.
Elephants are known to suffer from depression if they lose their loved ones, dogs are known to grieve losing their human homies, and likewise, cats aren’t any different. Cats too, like their domesticated pet counterpart, have emotions that are expressed in different ways by different cats.
Although a cat sighing may not always sound like a human, it may be a higher pitched mrrr instead of a humanly hmpff – but cats do sigh. And often, cats sigh for the same reason as humans do – to express themselves and their current emotional states.
Also, check out why does my cat grunt
4. When They’re Bored
Notice your cat sigh after trying to desperately grab your attention whilst you’re busy working or cooking or lazing around on the couch – chances are, your cat is probably bored and wants you to play with it.
So, get off the couch, get your cat’s favorite toy, and play with them already!
5. To Show Contentment
Does your cat sigh while sitting by the window, basking in the sunlight and the vitamin D whilst its tail pleasantly sweeps the ground and air beneath and around it softly and elegantly? It could be a sign of peace and contentment in your cat.
So, when you see your cat enjoy its me-time, or “meow”-time, you can rest assured that your cat is content and happy.
6. To Relax
This is common to both cats and dogs – they often let out a huge sigh right before they pass out into deep sleep.
Letting out a huge breath while sighing helps the body to release excess carbon dioxide, and relax the muscles and nerves, thereby readying their bodies for a good night’s or afternoon’s sleep.
How Do Cats Sigh?
The sound of the cat’s sigh is like of human’s sigh. if a human says ‘ humph’ then the cat says ‘ mumphs. the long deep voice is the result of taking a deep breath in and out.
That’s why my friend was going to dial 199.
Most of the cat’s parents observed that the cat usually sighs while sleeping. It must be out of relaxation!
The cat sigh through their mouth.
Sighing Vs. Huffing
Cats have types of vocalization and huffing is one of them.
Sighing is deep and long breathing while huff is short and fast breath. Cat huffs out of exhaustion.
While sighing is explained in the earlier section let’s have a look at huffing.
Cats usually huff, out of anger and irritation. By huffing cats usually tries to warn them to stay away.
Cats, being territorial creatures can get irritated if some other creature invades their personal space.
On the other hand, a sigh is an indication of a good mood. This makes the two sound opposite.
You need to take care and distinguish between these two sounds.
Also, check out why does my cat huff
When Should I Get Worried About Cat’s Sigh?
No, sighing should not make you worried, but not always. sometimes continuous sighs might be signaling some major problem.
In fact, a sigh indicates that your kitty is very happy and enjoying its existence.
But you should ignore the sigh when;
- If your baby is lying in one place from morning and is making such sounds then there could be chances of depression and sadness. You may have to give it some attention and more love.
- Kitty is not eating but lying in one place. This may indicate a lack of appetite and energy.
- Continuously sighing of cat
- If with a sigh you hear the moaning and howling sound.
These are the signs of discomfort. Try changing the environment and take medical health if serious.
What Are The Other Noises Cats Make?
Cats can make different types of noises.
These clever creatures can confuse you with their human baby noise.
Different noises that cat makes;
It is the most common and original sound of a cat. This is the most decent voice of cats, as it seems sweet and low.
This is also the most common voice in which cats communicate to us and other animals. normally, cats meow to ask for food and attention.
Moan is the sound of discomfort. it is drawn out by discomfort and pain.
Cats usually moan when they are in pain, ill, or want food or water. In many cases, these creatures just want to grab your attention.
Howling is a prolonged low pitched moan. this is a threatening voice that indicates that there could be a fight between cats.
Cats howl when it is feeling discomfort, which may be due to unknown people, illness, and pain.
It can be due to boredom. Try giving it some more toys.
Chirping is a beep-like sound. cats are mimicked, and chirping sometimes shows their playfulness.
Yes, it is the sound of birds then why do cats use this?
They want to catch the attention of their favorite person! But they are not just the predator of attention but insects too.
Sometimes they chirp while predating insects.
Snarling is the angry high pitched voice of a kitty.
While snarling, we’ll see the different shapes of a cat, erected body and hairs, and open mouth forecasting the sharp teeth.
Different Cats – Different Personality Quirks!
Not unlike us human beings, even cats have different and unique personalities. Some cats are very expressive, some aren’t really expressive at all!
This means that there might be some cats who sigh nearly every time they go to sleep or get bored, while there might be other cats too who don’t sigh at all.
Whether they sigh or not also depends on whether they are in the mood to sigh. Are they relaxed enough when going to sleep? Or, are they bored enough to put in the efforts of heaving a sigh? Well, it depends on their mood!
Cats do things like reacting, responding, sighing, etc in many ways that seem similar to or are exactly identical to the way we human beings react, respond or sigh.
While it is normal to be both amused and amazed by this, you really have no reasons to be weirded out, creeped out, or worried.
To know more about petting your cat well, check out our articles How To Make Your Cat Smell Good and Does Your Cat Nose Bump You? 4 Reasons Why It’s A Good Sign!
Frequently Asked Question
Why does the cat sigh?
Biologically, the sigh is taking a long deep breath while psychologically it indicates a happy mood of the cat. By sighing your cat tells you that it is comfortable with you.
Why do cats sigh so much?
Sigh is normal, but if your cat sighs too much, take it seriously and see if it is fine. It might indicate some underlying health issues.
Why does my cat sigh when she sleeps?
The sighing of the cat while sleeping shows that she is relaxed. after a long day when the cat comes to its place, curls around the pillow, and takes a deep sigh of relaxation.
My cat sighs when frustrated. Why?
Frustrated sigh is the characteristic of humans who accept their condition but it is the opposite for cats. Cat normally sighs when it is happy but not every emotion can be explained. A frustrated cat will speak nothing but anger. If you think your cat sighs with frustration then check if her health is fine and the surroundings. She might need some space of her own or more attention. Decide evenly.
What does a cat sigh sound like?
Cat’s sigh sounds mostly like the sigh human. Deep and long voice. A long ‘mumph’.
Is it normal for my cat to sigh?
It’s perfectly normal for a cat (or dog) to sigh when it put its head down to sleep. Much like a human, it’s just a release of a big breath as they totally relax and get comfortable. … Not all cats do it but enough that they sometimes seem as if they consider themselves one of us – only perhaps a bit better.
What does it mean when my cat huffs?
Just try to pay attention to what your cat was doing and what you did to deserve a huff, you’ll most likely find that it is behavior that comes up after you’ve stopped them from doing something they enjoy.
What does it mean when a cat exhales loudly?
Stridor: Noisy breathing with a high-pitched sound, which is usually caused by a blockage or issue in the larynx or windpipe. Stertor: Noisy breathing with a low-pitched sound that often occurs when inhaling, and is usually caused by an issue in the nose or throat.
Sighing is the basic behavior of cats through which they communicate their feelings. It normally shows their happy mood and if you are unaware of the reason then check their surroundings to find out something which made them happy.
Though a sigh is known to be a happy sound in some instances, it could be an indication of a problem.
Sighing is overall a positive sound.
Hope this article was helpful.