Why Do Cats Chatter Their Teeth When They See A Bird?

If you have a cat, you might have heard them make chirping or chattering sounds. One moment, your pet is relaxing in a sunbeam, and after some time, they are gazing out the glass and chattering away at an innocent bird.

But why do kitties make these strange noises? It’s still a mystery! Researchers have yet to discover a decent answer that outlines why cats chatter, but here are some likely theories.

What do we mean by a cat chattering?

Chirping, chattering or twittering– these odd noises might seem strange, but it’s something most cat keepers will recognize. This behavior almost always happens when a cat can see but can’t strike a creature they often prey on.

It is as common in indoor cats and kitties who are permitted to roam outdoors.

Commonly this behavior happens when a cat is staring out of a window and notices a rodent, bird, or other small creatures nearby. Cats then quickly open and close their mouth, typically while producing a chirping or squeaking sound.

While chattering, a feline’s body language will indicate a predatory attitude, too, including a wagging tail, alert ears, and a focused stare.

Reasons Why Cats Chatter their teeth At Birds

Although we may never get the actual purpose why your furry friend creates all those unusual noises when she sees birds or other creatures, we can theorize what it may indicate. Remember: your feline may make a chattering noise or meow, but it’s typically for the same reason.

1.   Your Cat Is Interested In The Bird

Kitties love watching outside, mainly when there is something good to watch! Bunnies and squirrels are amusing, but the birds are where it is at for maximum felines!

Your kitty may make out some meows while she sees the birds outdoors with interest. These sounds may also be paired with a swishing tail.

2.   It’s Your Cat’s Instinct

Cats are hunters by nature, even if they are now trained family pets. When your furry friend looks at a bird outside the glass, his primary instinct is to meow at it as they are prey to felines. Ultimately, that’s how his predecessors survived in the wild.

3.   Your Pet Is Trying To Receive The Birds Attention

If it’s the case that you have a peaceful, happy pet, then she may be trying to receive the bird’s attention for some playtime. The instinct doesn’t often have to be a violent one! It could be curiosity. Your feline friend may not realise that the bird isn’t giving any attention.

4.   Your Cat Is Frustrated

Chattering can be a way of showing their displeasure at not being able to capture that pesky-but-tasty bird. To your pet, that bird is impressive; it’s something to follow around or a delicious lunch.

As per this theory, when your cat realizes she can not catch this delicious and appealing food, they chatter to show their disappointment or frustration.

5.   It’s Out Of Excitement

 We all make unusual sounds when we’re pretty excited, right? Your kitty is no different! If your cat notices a bird outside the glass, she may be delighted to watch something new and begins to meow at them. It may be right if your pet’s chirping or meowing is remarkably loud.

6.   Meowing At Birds Will Alert Other Cats

You might only own one cat, but that doesn’t mean your kitty doesn’t want to alert other kitties that there is prey closeby instinctually. The chattering sound may certainly be a way that your pet communicates to other cats and say, “Heya, I’ve found our breakfast!”

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What if Your Cat Chatters at You?

If you’re playing with your furry friend with toys that are replicas of prey, such as toy rats, your pet may meow at you while you’re carrying the toy. It’s typically nothing to worry about. Just make sure to have an eye on your cat and back out playtime if she seems like she’s nearly pouncing.

While your trained cat understands and likes you, wild instincts can’t be switched off when supposed food is nearby.

Other Considerations and Solutions: If your kitty looks worried as they are staring out the window, offer them a secure outside adventure where she can get an opportunity to be near the birds and hear their chirping.

Make them a tunnel or crate filled with holes and windows where they can look, hear, and smell everything they’ve been wanting. Or spoil them with a catio, a cat-safe enclosure bound by fencing that lets your cat relax in the sun without the danger of falling off or getting into a terrible situation with another creature.

You can also train your pet to wear a leash and get them for a walk around the garden. This way, she can get closer and personal to the trees, flowers, and birds. Just be sure to provide them a collar with ID tags or a microchip, just in case.

What we still don’t know of kitties chattering

The question continues why felines would express themselves with chatter only while the prey is unreachable.

Cats remain as calm and stealthy as possible when hunting. Cats don’t chatter when they can capture prey that is within range. Maybe the chattering is an effort to draw birds closer or simply an instinct our cats can’t control. More research needs to happen before we can find out.

Please note: some teeth chattering can also be because of dental pain. If your pet is chattering at odd times and you’re worried, please take your cat to a doctor.


1.   What is cat trilling?

Cat trilling is a verbal way of communication that kitties practice to “talk” to other humans, cats, and even other creatures (mainly within their household). It is a high-pitched, constant sound that break in short bursts. It is also called chirping.

2.   Why do cats make a sound when they jump?

Cats often create sounds while jumping as they want to draw the attention of their keepers. It is just playful behavior.

3.   Can cats laugh?

Cats can’t laugh, but they display other signs to express their happiness. Purring is your pet’s primary way of saying that they are so glad. Many people even consider purring as equivalent to a cat laugh.

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